Public Defender Social Workers serve as part of the juvenile defense team, under the specific direction and instruction of the attorney; and as such, are bound by the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct including rules regarding the attorney-client privilege and client confidentiality. The position of Licensed Social Worker (LSW) requires the application of fundamental theories of psychosocial variables, evidence-based theory and practice to assist in identifying the presence of physical or mental health impairments, substance abuse issues, family or other social history patterns that impact the juvenile’s behavior and development. Under the direction and in support of the defense attorney and as an advocate for the juvenile, social workers conduct assessments and compile psychosocial histories to develop recommendations concerning pretrial release, detention, case preparation, alternative placements, treatment, and sentencing and post-sentencing options.
Typical responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Conducts assessments to identify, interpret and document symptoms of behavioral, physical or mental health issues; developmental disabilities; substance abuse; or, other issues potentially influencing the juvenile’s development, personality or behavior.
Interviews the juvenile, family members, friends and others, which requires the ability to elicit sensitive and confidential information such as, family and social history, psychosocial influences and patterns in the juvenile’s life, socio/cultural/economic status, gang involvement and gender issues. Interviews may be conducted outside normal office hours and in various locations including residences or detention facilities.
Reviews arrest reports, juvenile screening team reports and other relevant records and information to address pretrial release or detention concerns.
Compiles and prepares reports on psychosocial histories and other information as required.
Assists in developing recommendations for appropriate pretrial release, detention, treatment options, conditions of probation or diversion and sentencing and post-sentencing options, if adjudicated.
Participates in pretrial, adjudication and sentencing hearings as requested by the defense attorney; prepares reports and provides information and support, as required.
Keeps current on statewide resources available and relevant to the individual needs of the juvenile.
At the direction of the defense attorney, obtains and reviews records, evaluations or reports and analyzes the significance of information relevant to the juvenile’s case and circumstances. Documents and organizes digital and physical files of information collected.
May assist the defense attorney in locating medical or mental health experts, exchanging relevant information and interpreting evaluation findings.
May supervise and mentor student interns enrolled in a graduate-level social work program.
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university social work program;
Licensure to practice social work (LSW) upon hire or within 90 days of employment.
Training or experience in a criminal defense system;
Experience working with juveniles;
Conditions of Employment:
Travel to work locations covering Boulder, Larimer, Weld and Colorado’s northeastern counties within the 13th Judicial District, with frequent travel to Fort Collins;
Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and access to a reliable vehicle.
HOW TO APPLY
E-mail a resume and cover letter to Kristi Rudy at Kristi.Rudy@coloradodefenders.us by 11:59pm Mountain time on Monday, January 1, 2018. Please address how your skills and experience meet the qualifications for the position and your interest in working for the Office of the State Public Defender.
About Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) maintains a reputation as one of the top organizations in the nation specializing in the delivery of indigent criminal defense representation. It operates as an independent agency within the Judicial Branch of Colorado State Government with just over 800 dedicated and zealous individuals assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices across the ...state, a centralized Appellate Division, and a centralized Administrative Office. The mission of OSPD is to defend and protect the rights, liberties, and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. We do so by providing constitutionally and statutorily mandated representation that is effective, zealous, inspired and compassionate.
We seek to hire professionals who are dedicated to public service and committed to serving our clients. We are a fast paced, team-oriented environment, where self-motivation and a personal commitment to high performance are important attributes for success.