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Social Worker

Lake County (IL) Public Defender

Job description

Acts as a consultant to attorneys by performing advanced level professional practice of forensic social work on behalf of juvenile and adult defendants, and acts as a subject matter expert in assisting Public Defenders in presenting information to the courts. Performs diagnostic screenings of clients for social/psychological problems and incorporates an appropriate case plan. Assist in the development of case plans for alternatives to incarceration, and for consultation on disposition of cases involving serious and complex treatment issues.



Essential Functions


  • Conducts interviews and diagnostic assessments of adult and juvenile clients to determine their psychological, social, medical, and mental conditions.
  • Analyzes comprehensive confidential psychological medical and social histories of clients.
  • Interprets results of complex professional assessments and utilizes the information to analyze client case plan.
  • Provides crisis counseling for clients and their families.
  • Determines clients’ needs for psychological, psychiatric, and medical treatment and makes appropriate arrangements.
  • Develops comprehensive case plans for clients, including strategies which provide an advanced level of constructive therapeutic alternatives to incarceration.
  • Facilitates clients’ admission into treatment and rehabilitative programs.
  • Assists public defenders in presenting evidence in court.
  • Assists in the transportation of clients.
  • Prepares and maintains client records and reports.
  • Visits clients where they are located, including home, jail, juvenile detention, prisons, group homes, and residential or community-based programs.
  • Visits family, and other collateral contacts to establish personal background and history summaries.
  • Identifies and makes referrals for housing and income assistance
  • Prepares detailed mitigation reports.
  • Develops cooperative relationships with appropriate service organizations to assist clients with matters related to their rehabilitation.
  • Provides testimony at various court hearings.


Knowledge Skills Abilities and Education Required


  • Good knowledge of the legal system and court procedures.
  • Good knowledge of the principles and practices of clinical and abnormal psychology, and care of emotionally disturbed and/or disabled persons.
  • Good knowledge of the principles and practices of modern forensic social work.
  • Good knowledge of social and rehabilitation programs.
  • Ability to effectively counsel and assist juvenile and adult clients.
  • Ability to recognize clients’ problems and ensure their needs are met.
  • Ability to obtain information through effective interviewing and telephone contact.
  • Ability to assess problem areas and make appropriate referrals (e.g., psychiatric consultation).
  • Ability to arrange for and assist in transportation of clients.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to prepare written reports, correspondence and maintain accurate records.
  • Ability to compose and prepare clear and concise reports, case histories, and convincing, understandable materials for case presentation in courts of law.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret documents, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from both attorneys and the general public.
  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and dived in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of variables in situations.
  • Good knowledge of computers is a requirement. Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software is required. Ability to type accurately and efficiently.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective time management skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of social psychological, medical, economic, and legal factors that affect individual behavior.
  • Two years of experience as a Forensic Social Worker.

Educational Requirements

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker – State of Illinois
  • Completion of a Master’s degree program from a recognized college or university is required. Major course work in psychology, social work, or sociology is preferred.



Supplemental Information


  • Visual abilities such as: close vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Ability to maintain professional working relationships.
  • Ability to work with disoriented and/or confused individuals.
  • Bilingual preferred (Spanish/English).
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