Modified: September 13, 2021 12:47pm

invites applications for the position of:


#42-270 - Open Competitive (open to the public)

Salary: $44,081 - $57,044 Annually
Opening Date: September 13, 2021
Closing Date: October 13, 2021
Application fee: $20.00

Erie County is an Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to workplace diversity.

Candidates who will take a Caseworker examination for a municipality other than Erie County after July 1, 2021 and before
November 20, 2021 must submit a statement with the application clearly indicating where and when the examination will be taken.
(Please see page 2 for further information.) 

Residence Requirements:


The eligible list resulting from this examination will not supersede currently existing promotional eligible lists for this title, if any.

A promotion examination will be held at the same time as this examination. The list resulting from the promotion examination will be used first but appointments from this open competitive examination are anticipated. Use of the list may be suspended after it is one year old for any position which it is practical to fill through a new promotion examination.

Examples of Duties:

Caseworker performs social case work in connection with such social services as child and family welfare and protective services for adults; or health department clinical and home-based programs; if assigned to Social Services:

Interviews applicants and referrals for child care, foster care, adoption, adult services, preventive services, in-home health care, nursing home or other services of the department and makes field investigations to verify intake information and to ascertain needs;

Prepares case assessments for review by supervisor, including recommendations as to services required to attain defined goals;

Assesses risk/safety of children;

Recommends referrals to other agencies;

Makes plans for services and assistance to meet individual problems of the cases assigned and after approval, puts plans into effect;

Makes collateral contacts with other interested agencies and/or individuals to gather information coordinate services and guard against duplication of services;

Reviews assigned cases periodically to determine changes affecting client circumstances and need for service, including follow-up field investigations;

Gives advice and counsel to applicants and clients to assist in solving personal, family, domestic and financial problems;

Determines categorical eligibility to assure appropriate Federal reimbursement for services provided;

Utilizes information supplied by supportive services such as Resource Division and Home Economist's Office, as applied to specific units of assigned caseload;

Dictates case records, composes letters and reports as required;

Maintains case records on computer system;

Locates, studies and reports on family or foster homes and adoptive homes;

Investigates and makes recommendations on boarding homes regarding certification;

Investigates through inspection and interviews, as to whether child's needs can best be met in natural home, foster home or institution;

Plans with parents and relatives for care of children and re-establishment of the home, and promotes permanency planning for children, including adoption services;

Attends in-service training programs and meetings;

Investigates, through assessment and interviews as to whether client's needs can best be met in client's home or institution;

Plans with client and client's relatives for care of client and promotes optimum support from relatives and other interested parties;

Assists in locating appropriate placement of clients deemed in need of protective environment; Makes court appearance as required;

Inputs and retrieves information on computer systems relevant program assignment;

Convenes and/or participates in case conferences;

Manages client financial affairs in some adult service cases;

Transports children;

Prepares Family Court reports and related court work;

May review cases for falsification and investigates to determine if there is overpayment of funds;

May conduct field investigations as required;

May assist in establishing accounts and arrangement of repayment schedules.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must meet one of the following requirements on or before the date of the written test:

Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Bachelor's Degree* (see Note 1) and one (1) year of social case work experience** (see Note 2).


Eligibility for a New York State driver license at the time of application. Possession of the license and use of a private automobile required at time of appointment.

Applicants for designated positions in the Department of Social Services that may have regular and substantial unsupervised or unrestricted contact with children shall be subject to background checks according to the New York State Justice Center's Staff Exclusion List (SEL) and New York State Office of Children and Family Services Statewide Central Register of Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). Inquiries on current employees shall be made annually and prior to promotion but no more often than once in any six month period (N.Y. Social Services Law 424-A.) Candidates/applicants with conditional offers of employment may be required to submit the necessary fee(s) for background screening and inquiries shall be completed prior to employment hiring/start date. Refusal to sign the necessary clearance forms, submit the required associated fees and/or participate in the review process shall be cause for an automatic non-selection. In addition, inquiry responses are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law.

Applicants for designated positions in the Department of Social Services that may have access to federal tax information to perform his/her job duties shall be subject to a suitability background check investigation, including FBI fingerprinting, local law enforcement check, and verification check of citizenship/residency. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify applicants from employment, rather an individualized determination will be made. The cost of the background check will be assumed by the Department of Social Services.


1. *Candidates may be appointed as Caseworker Trainee (Job Grade VIII) with only the Bachelor's Degree qualification. Upon satisfactory completion of the one (1) year training term an appointee shall be entitled to advance permanent status as a Caseworker (Job Grade IX) without further examination.

2. **Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Master's Degree in social work may be substituted for one year of the required experience above.

3. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience will be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.

4. Your degree and/or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the New York State Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. A grade of "D" or better is necessary for a course to be credited as successfully completed. If your degree and/or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to this Department for a list of acceptable companies providing this service; you must pay the required evaluation fee.

5. ***If you expect to meet the educational requirements by November 20, 2021, you may be admitted to the written test, but you cannot be considered for appointment until you submit proof of successful completion of the educational requirement to the Appointing Authority at the time of the employment interview. Failure to meet the educational requirements by November 20, 2021, 2021 may result in your removal from the eligible list. 

Notice to Candidates: Transcripts will now be accepted by the Department of Personnel ONLY at time of application.
All subsequent transcripts must be submitted at time of interview.


A medical examination may be required before appointment.



Examination date:

November 20, 2021

Applications Must Be Postmarked or Hand Delivered By:

October 13, 2021

A copy of A Guide to the Written Test For The Caseworker Series may be viewed and/or downloaded at the New York State Civil Service web site located at If you do not have Internet access, you may obtain a copy by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope (size required to accommodate the guide – manila 10" x 13") to the Erie County Personnel Department,95 Franklin Street,Buffalo,New York 14202 or by picking one up in person at Room 604.

Subjects of Examination:

THE WRITTEN TEST is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

1. ESTABLISHING & MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE HELPING RELATIONSHIPS IN A SOCIAL CASEWORK SETTING: These questions test for an understanding of the factors contributing to the development and maintenance of positive and productive clientworker relationships. You will be provided with descriptions of specific client-worker interactions and asked to select the appropriate responses. The questions cover such topics as confidentiality, time management, professional ethics and referral techniques.

2. INTERVIEWING (CASEWORKER): These questions test for an understanding of the principles and techniques of interviewing and their application to specific client-worker situations. You will be provided with a series of concrete interviewing situations for which you will be required to select an appropriate course of action based on an analysis of the situation, the application of the information provided and the ramifications of various interviewing principles and strategies. You will also be asked questions about the interviewing process and various interviewing techniques.

3. PREPARING WRITTEN MATERIAL: These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES: Unless otherwise noted, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculators. Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", "Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited. You may not bring books or other reference materials.

Candidates who file for Caseworker examinations with more than one civil service agency will be required to use the score received in this examination subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • A candidate is permitted to take a Caseworker examination prepared by the New York State Department of Civil Service only once during each of the following defined periods: January 1 – June 30 and July 1 – December 31
  • A candidate who applies and is approved for more than one Caseworker examination during the same six-month period (January 1 – June 30 or July 1 – December 31) is required to use the score resulting from a single test administration for all examinations held during the same six-month period.
  • The candidate must inform the civil service agency if he/she has previously taken a Caseworker examination in any other civil service agency and provide the location and date the examination was taken.
  • A candidate must pay application fees for each examination requiring such fees.
  • A candidate's placement on resultant eligible list(s) and duration of eligibility for appointment will be determined by the civil service agency conducting the examination(s).


APPLICATION FORMS: You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo. Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.

Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.

Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.

MILITARY STATUS: Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam. A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty. Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.

VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the OPEN examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.

In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.

MORE THAN ONE EXAM ON THE SAME DAY: If you have applied for more than one exam on the same day you MUST make arrangements to take ALL of the examinations at ONE examination test site. If you have applied for both STATE and LOCAL government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the STATE examination center. If you have applied for both COUNTY and CITY government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the COUNTY examination center. You are responsible to notify EACH Civil Service Agency no later than TWO WEEKS before the examination date on which you are taking multiple examinations by submitting a Cross-Filer form; EACH Civil Service Agency has their own Cross-Filer form. The Erie County Cross-Filer form can be found at If you are taking multiple exams on the same date with Erie County only, you do not have to file a Cross-Filer form.

Candidates taking more than one exam in DIFFERENT exam series will be allowed the specified length of time for each exam, up to a maximum of eight hours. Example: If you are taking one exam which allows six hours and another exam in a different series which allows four hours, you must complete both tests in eight hours, but no more time can be spent on each exam than the time allotted for that exam. Candidates taking more than one exam in the SAME exam series will be allowed up to the specified length of time for each exam. Example: If you are taking two exams in the same series with a maximum time of five hours for each exam, you can spend no more than five hours to complete both exams.

ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION: Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test. Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test. You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.

RATINGS REQUIRED: Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment. If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your application subject to verification. If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only. Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION: You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position. In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs and activities.

VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.

ELIGIBLE LIST: The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate. Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (*including psychological evaluation when required by position): Candidates may be subject to a thorough background investigation or psychological evaluation when required to determine eligibility for appointment. Applicants may be required to authorize access to educational, employment, criminal history and other records check as part of such investigation or participate in related tests or interviews. Criminal convictions or other offense are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law. Applicant will be required to submit the necessary fees for the fingerprint processing, where required. (*If a psychological evaluation is required, it shall be specified in the minimum qualifications or special requirements for the position.)


A $20.00 filing fee is required for this exam. The required fee must accompany your application. Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.

All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement. The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service.”

This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service,
and held in compliance with the New York State Civil Service Law
and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.

Frequently Requested Information


Phone: (716) 858-8484
Erie County Civil Service Exam Line: (716) 858-8729

Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202