What is Conservatorship Specialist?
When a child must be removed from their home, the court appoints Child Protective Services to be a "Conservator" of the child. That means CPS is legally responsible for the child's welfare and that is when a Conservatorship (CVS) caseworker comes in. A CVS caseworker monitors children's care while they are in CPS conservatorship.
- There are four types of CPS specialists that work in conservatorship. They are: conservatorship caseworkers; legal unit workers; substitute care workers; and family moderate or intensive reunification workers.
- Supervisors generally oversee a unit of 7 to 9 CPS specialists and one or more support staff.
Sounds good, but what kinds of things will I be doing?
- Taking cases from caseworkers after children are removed from their homes, placed in CPS conservatorship, and placed in care outside their homes.
- Determining each child’s needs and getting whatever testing, evaluations, records, or further assessments they need.
- Doing home studies of a child's family members or family friends (kinship providers) who might care for the child.
- Meeting with the family at least monthly while the case is in temporary legal status to assess risk and safety issues and the family’s progress on the Family Service Plan.
- Searching for potential kinship providers if needed.
- Placing children with parents, family friends, or in foster homes.
- Asking a Placement Team for foster care placements as needed.
- Develop a child’s Service Plan and review it regularly. Coordinate the plan with all people involved, including the child.
- Holding meetings at a time and place convenient for the family members. Participate in meetings and conferences.
- Visiting the child at least monthly to monitor the child’s needs, wishes, adjustment, and progress while in care and to help the child prepare for a permanent living arrangement.
- Going to court hearings about the child and family. This includes contacting the parties in the case before hearings, preparing court reports, and testifying in court on the child’s needs, the family’s progress, and the department’s efforts to assist the family. If CPS has permanent managing conservatorship of the child, the hearings focus on the child’s progress, setting a goal for a permanent living arrangement, and progress toward achieving that goal. This could include adoption or other alternatives to a long-term stay in state care.
- Keeping the child’s court-appointed attorney and guardian ad litem(s) informed about the child’s circumstances and significant events.
- Working with the department's attorney to prepare for contested-court hearings.
- Making referrals for testing, evaluations, and therapy as needed and working with the clinicians and therapists as needed to ensure children and families get the care they need.
- Working with kinship caregivers and foster parents to ensure that they have what they need to care for the child or youth placed with them. This means keeping them informed about developments in the case, returning phone calls, and being available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
- Working with children and their caregivers when problems develop and, if necessary, working with kinship providers or the Placement Team to find a new place to live for the child.
- Monitoring and helping families when children go home during the period before legal responsibility is returned to the parents.
- Supervising adoptive placements until the adoption is final or until the case is transferred to an adoption caseworker.
- Using effective time-management skills to make sure all key tasks are done.
- Relying on your supervisor to help you set priorities and best use your time.
- Delegating and engaging professionals, caretakers, and others to help achieve everything in each child's service plan.
What are the job qualifications?
You must have a 4-year bachelor's degree, but it doesn’t have to be in social work. Experience as a CPS caseworker is preferred, especially experience working with older youth moving from foster care to living independently as adults.
What would my salary be?
The starting salary range is $2,689.43 to $3,029.64 per month and is based on your qualifications.
I think I could do this job, but will I get specific training on what to do?
Yes! You will have lots of great training before beginning your job. While you will be doing visits to clients on your own, you will have support from your co-workers and supervisor any time you need it.
Are their opportunities for career advancement?
Yes! You will get ongoing training to prepare you to advance and there are various levels of certification.
Condition of Employment
You must have and keep a valid Texas driver's license. CPS will also do criminal background checks and CPS history checks on all applicants.