With the exception of the Agency Administrator, all Children and Youth Agency staff members are Merit Hire employees. This means that they must have met Merit Hire education and training guidelines and passed tests appropriate to their respective positions prior to employment. County caseworkers must have a Bachelors Degree and at least 12 credit hours in sociology or psychology to qualify to take the examination. Candidates with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work or a Masters Degree in Social Work qualify, by education and training, for a higher entry classification.
Upon employment, all professional staff members must continue education and training. The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Competency Based Training program is the largest of its kind in the United States. All caseworkers must successfully complete nine (9) CORE courses totaling 20 days (120 hours of training) and complete pre and post training assessments to gain certification. Twenty hours of continuing education per year is required to maintain certification.
Supervisors must attend a supervisory training series consisting of 10 days (60 hours) to attain certification and attend a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education per year to maintain their certification.
As with Professional Staff, support staff are all Merit Hire employees. The same procedures apply for non-professional staff positions concerning experience, training and testing.
The most common position classifications used at Children and Youth are: Clerk Typist 2 and Fiscal Technician.
The Adoption Section finds permanent homes for children who cannot be reunited with their birth parents. Counseling services are offered to both birth and adoptive parents and children.