CYS partners with Clarion University

Clarion County is promoting opportunities to Clarion University students for its open Children & Youth Services Caseworker positions. Clarion University social science students received a presentation from Clarion County Children & Youth Services to better understand what is involved with being a Caseworker and to promote the changes and benefits of working for the county. CYS Director Todd Kline explained to students the benefits and challenges caseworkers face on the job. Caseworkers at Clarion County CYS assist children, youth, and families in attaining a more satisfactory social, economic, or physical adjustment in everyday life. Clarion County CYS Quality Assurance representative Sarah Wallace described in detail some of the harsh situations a caseworker may encounter. Although the job can be demanding at times, students heard how rewarding it can be knowing they are an advocate to the safety and wellbeing for the children in Clarion County. Kline said an important skill to being a caseworker was to learn to separate personal feelings from the law as many caseworkers see children living in conditions they might not approve of but it is still not within the law for the child to be removed from the home.

Over the past several years, Clarion County has struggled to not only maintain caseworkers but even receive applications for the chance to fill the positions. Over the past year, Kline said Clarion posted open caseworker positions four times but only received a total of three applications. He explained this issue is not exclusive to Clarion County but is a common problem in counties across the state and country. Part of the problem in Pennsylvania stems from the process within the State Civil Service Commission. Until caseworker applicants were required to pass the Civil Service test. The closest locations to take the test were either in Pittsburgh or Erie. Now students have the opportunity to take this test online creating a faster turnaround for graduating students to apply for caseworker positions.

Aside from the self-fulfilling reward of being a caseworker, Kline said the entry level CYS position, Caseworker 1, offers a starting salary of $28,267.20 with annual raises. Entry level employees receive 12- 15 paid holidays, three days of personal leave and once fully accrued, 10 days of sick leave and 10 days of vacation leave per year. They are offered health insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits. Caseworkers also don’t work hours past a certain time in the day, have weekends off and opportunities for promotion.

Clarion County CYS is also working with Clarion University professor Brenda Manno to create two intern positions by 2021. The internship will be a paid, full-time, six-month experience and give the student a chance of being hired upon graduation. If hired by Clarion County at the end of the internship, the time invested accrues in their career allowing for a faster promotion to become Caseworker 2.

If you have questions about working for Clarion County Children & Youth Services or gaining an internship, feel free to email Clarion County Employee Relations Director Tim Cochran at tcochran@co.clarion.pa.us.

For more information on applying at Clarion County Children & Youth Services, visit http://www.employment.pa.gov. Search “County Caseworker Exam” and select “County Caseworker 1-Local Government (Exam)” and click Apply. Select Apply to create account and complete the application. Once you complete the application, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt of the application and directions on how to schedule your Civil Service Exam for County Caseworker 1 (local government).

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