Position Information

Position Information Message
Social Worker (Public Defender)


Position Description

This position is in the Pima County Public Defender's Office. 

Salary Grade: M2

Starting Salary: $21.56 - $23.82 DOQ (additional $1.00 per hour given for a Master's degree in Social Work or LMSW Certification)

Where to learn more & apply:

The Pima County Public Defender’s Office is expanding its Social Work and Mitigation Unit and seeking skilled and dedicated Social Workers to join its team of professionals representing adult and juvenile clients. Our team provides client-centered, holistic defense for adults and juveniles facing criminal charges or adults in the dependency process. Our Social Work and Mitigation team is an integral part of the defense team and provides expert guidance in the areas of mitigation, treatment and community resources, rehabilitation, and sentencing alternatives for our clients. The team works in partnership with clients to offer support and advocacy to address the underlying issues that led to a client’s involvement with the justice system. We are seeking energetic and dedicated social workers to work as part of our criminal defense team and advocate for our clients both in and out of court. 


(Work assignments may vary depending on the department's needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the supervisor.)

Provides direct social services,  counseling and crises intervention to individuals and families involved in the legal system which may include dependency, delinquency, and/or criminal cases or in an office/community based setting which may include outpatient clinics, hospital/ED or rehab facilities;
Conducts client screenings and assessments to then make referrals to appropriate services congruently with established care plans;
Works collaboratively with other professional staff and related working professionals to help represent the client; 
Provides on-going assessment of clients' emotional, behavioral and social needs;
Develops client care plans and helps set individual and/or family centered goals to meet client  needs;
Provides crisis intervention;
Provides focused support and counseling to clients and families dealing with the criminal justice system or the impact of bereavement and loss, chronic illness, physical disability and substance use;
Participates in developing training modules to address needs in the community related to substance use, trauma, suicide prevention, overdose, and general mental health;
Informs concerned parties on impact that psychosocial and cultural differences have on illness;
Evaluates the home environment and determines if client's needs are being met;
Maintains liaison with and refers clients to appropriate community resource agency;
Maintains client records and prepares written recommendations and reports to responsible parties;
Serves as an advocate on behalf of clients to coordinate services and information with community agencies, state agencies, social service systems, and courts;
May testify in a variety of judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings.
Knowledge of:

  • methods, principles and practices used in social work;
  • community resources and social service agencies;
  • economic environments, cultural and community attitudes and social mores;
  • effects of illness and disability on client's social and emotional functioning;
  • counseling principles and practices;
  • program eligibility requirements, payment sources, and the referral process;
  • behavioral health systems locally and state-wide and criteria for accessing services on behalf of clients;
  • child welfare systems and dependency process.
Skill in:
  • analyzing and evaluating case history information;
  • directing clients and family members to appropriate services and community resources;
  • counseling clients and family members;
  • establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with professional staff and community organizations;
  • communicating effectively.

Position: Social Worker (Public Defender)
Organization: Pima County Public Defense Services
Location: TUCSON,  AZ 
United States
Salary: $21.56-$23.82 DOQ
Posting Start Date: 4/26/2023
Date Posted: 4/26/2023
Minimum Qualifications

(1)  A Master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in social work, behavioral or social services, or a closely related field as defined by the appointing authority at the time of recruitment.


(2)  A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a behavioral or social service, or a closely related field as defined by the appointing authority and two years of experience in client, family and child behavioral services, child welfare and needs or crisis intervention counseling.
(Additional relevant education from an accredited college or university may substitute for one year of the aforementioned experience.)

Qualifying education and experience must be clearly documented in the "Education" and "Work Experience" sections of the application.  Do not substitute a resume for your application or write "see resume" on your application.
Preferred Qualifications: (Be specific in describing your experience in your application. Ensure the descriptions provided illustrate your competencies, specifically addressing the required and preferred qualifications.):

  1. Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) from the AZ Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, or ability to be licensed within the first six (6) months of hire.
Selection Procedure:
Pima County Human Resources Department reserves the right to admit to the selection process only those candidates that meet the minimum/desired qualifications. All applications will be assessed based on an evaluation of the listed education and experience. Candidates meeting the minimum/desired qualifications may be further evaluated/scored against any advertised Preferred Qualifications. The hiring authority will interview and select the successful candidate from a referral list provided by Human Resources. Additional assessments/testing may be required as part of the selection process.


Supplemental Information

Licenses and CertificatesValid driver license is required at time of application. Valid AZ driver license is required at time of appointment. The successful applicant will be subject to a 39-month DOT Motor Vehicle Record review to determine applicant's suitability to operate county vehicles in accordance with Pima County administrative procedures. Failure to obtain and maintain the required licenses and certifications shall be grounds for termination. Any offer of employment resulting from this recruitment is contingent upon Risk Management's review and approval of the candidate's driving record.

Special Notice Items: The County requires pre-employment background checks. Successful candidates will receive a post-offer, pre-employment background screening to include verification of work history, education and criminal conviction history. A prior criminal conviction will not automatically disqualify a candidate from employment with the County.

Physical/Sensory Requirements:  Physical and sensory abilities will be determined by position. 

EEO Information: Pima County Government is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We are committed to an inclusive and diverse workforce and will not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, kinship, political interest, or any other characteristic protected by law.  

Status: This listing expires on: 7/25/2023
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Organization Information
Pima County Public Defense Services
33 N. Stone Ave.
Suite 1800
TUCSON,  AZ 85701
United States
(520) 724-6901
(520) 770-4117
Michelle Granillo