About CFCS

Current Openings

Social Worker, Adoption

TITLE: Social Worker
DIVISION: Adoption
PROGRAM: Adoption
REPORTS TO: Director of Adoption
HOURS: Full-time: 37.5 hours; Requires work outside of traditional office hours
REVISION DATE: January 5th, 2017

AGENCY: Cambridge Family and Children’s Service (CFCS) is one of the oldest human services agencies in Greater Boston. Founded in 1873 as the Avon Home, an orphanage for local children, CFCS has a long and distinguished history of serving children, adolescents, individuals and families in the Cambridge area, Greater Boston and its suburbs. Today CFCS provides services for foster and group care, adoption, developmental disabilities, and family support, all programs that support individuals and strengthen families in more than 100 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts.

PURPOSE & SCOPE: The Adoption Social Worker is a member of the CFCS Adoption Program which provides:
• Adoption planning and case management for children and youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families;
• Recruitment, assessing, training, guidance and support for families interested in adoption;
• Matching children with families able to care for them;
• Specialized recruitment for specific children and sibling groups;
• Post-placement family support.

Under the supervision of the Director of Adoption (or designee) the Social Worker provides adoption planning and case management services for children and youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families as well as services to prospective adoptive families, including home studies, matching, and post-placement support. The Social Worker also provides consultation services to the Department of Children and Families.

• Manages a caseload of children and youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families;
• Conducts clinical assessments of children and youth;
• Collaborates with DCF staff and CFCS staff in identifying specific adoption/permanency needs, e.g. keeping sibling groups together, preferred characteristics of adoptive family, continued contact with relatives; supports child/youth’s participation in this process.
• Assists children and youth in preparing for adoption placement;
• Establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with MARE and other resources in recruiting and identifying potential adoptive families;
• Works with CFCS staff, and other resources, in developing targeted recruitment for specific children or youth;
• Provides post-placement support to children and youth;
• Maintains complete and accurate records.
• Duties and responsibilities are carried out in conformance with relevant Competences (below).

• Master’s degree in social work, psychology, education or a related field;
• Professional Social Work licensure;
• Minimum of 2 years’ experience providing case management and/or counseling services to children, adolescents and families;
• Experience in adoption or child welfare services preferred.
Other requirements:
• Valid driver’s license and properly insured vehicle
• Clearance of background checks as required by state and federal law

COMPETENCIES FOR ADOPTION SOCIAL WORKER: The following is a summary list of competencies required for this position. Detailed listing of the attitudes, knowledge and skills involved can be found in the full Competency document.

LEADERSHIP: Demonstrates

1. Ability to develop productive, respectful and empathic relationships

2. Understanding of legal and ethical principles that govern practice.

ORGANIZATION: Demonstrates

3. Ability to manage own workload.

4. Ability to anticipate and avoid or mitigate crises to reduce risk and disruptions arising from crises.

5. Understanding of and applies conflict resolution principles and process to promote consensual agreement.

6. Ability to actively pursue improvement of own skill, knowledge and abilities.


7. Understanding of process and elements needed to engage families and children in assessing strengths and needs, planning and providing service, reaching service goals, and concluding service provision.

8. Understanding of evidence-based and best practices.

9. Understanding of importance of existing family relationships to children and acts to support such relationships.

10. Understanding of importance of permanent and long-term nurturing relationships for children and youth.

11. Thorough knowledge of child and youth development, and applies knowledge in conclusions and decisions which might influence a child’s or youth’s course of development.

12. Understanding of medical and educational needs of children and applies that knowledge in conclusions and decisions about a child’s care.

13. Understanding of family dynamics.

14. Ability to apply family centered and strengths based principles in recruitment, assessment and support of placement resources families to ensure resource families are well informed and prepared.

ENHANCED COMPETENCIES: Knowledge, attitudes and skills not required at hiring, but expected to be acquired on the job, and that will enhance performance.

15. Ability to promote agency values and goals and exert influence within the program, agency, with public and private partners and in the community.

16. Understanding of role of culture in provision of service, including effects of stereotypes, biases and prejudices.

17. Understanding of licensing and contractual compliance.

18. Ability to gather and use information and data to for case planning and decision making.

19. Understanding of accurate and complete documentation and record keeping.

20. Understanding of laws governing CFCS practice, including statute, regulation and case law.

21. Understanding of system of public and private agencies involved in services CFCS provides.

22. Understanding of trauma, prevalence of trauma in population served, and elements of trauma-informed interventions

23. Understanding of case management as a comprehensive role including needs assessment, planning, linkage, monitoring, and advocacy.

24. Understanding of content and process for conducting clinical assessments of families and children in relation to adoption planning.