MDCPS to add caseworkers after budget increase from legislature

Mississippi’s child and family welfare agency are seeking to add dozens of soon-to-be graduates with degrees in human service-related fields to their growing team of child protection and family welfare specialists.

“This is the opportunity to make all the difference in the world to the children of Mississippi – and to their families,” said MDCPS Commissioner Jess. H. Dickinson. “These jobs that we’re working to fill – they require hard work and long hours. But as everyone who does this work will tell you, there isn’t anything more rewarding than to know you have changed a child’s life for the better. For forever.”

Dickinson added that the new positions are a result of additional funding appropriated by the 2019 Mississippi legislature, and the agency is looking to hire more frontline caseworkers to expand and improve the quality of services provided to Mississippi’s at-risk families and children.

MDCPS is also recruiting experienced social work professionals to fill new supervisory positions needed to oversee the work of frontline caseworkers, adoption specialists, and licensure staff.

In addition to social work majors, individuals with degrees in related human service fields such as education, sociology, counseling, child and family studies, marriage and family therapy, educational psychology and nursing may also qualify for the available jobs in frontline casework, adoption, and foster home licensure.

Individuals interested in possible job opportunities are encouraged to visit the Mississippi State Personnel Board website at www.mspb.ms.gov to access current job postings and job descriptions. Appointments for preliminary interviews will be available later this spring at all Mississippi universities offering social work degree programs. Interested students should contact their university’s social work department to arrange an interview date and time.

“Working with MDCPS can be very rewarding and is an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in human services/social work to connect to the children and families in Mississippi,” said Kris Jones, Deputy Commissioner of Administration.

MDCPS currently employs almost 900 frontline caseworkers who operate in all 82 Mississippi counties. Over the past 18 months, Mississippi’s child welfare agency has dramatically decreased the number of children in state custody due to a successful three-pronged “Safe at Home” effort to reunify families, eliminate obstacles to adoption and avoid traumatic removal of children from their birth parents – all while keeping the safety and protection of these children as a primary focus.

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services now has less than 5,000 infants, children, and youth in state foster care – roughly 20% fewer children than the highest count recorded in early 2017.

Dickinson said frontline caseworkers are staff most directly involved in the protection of at-risk children and in working with families to address their needs and issues which, if left unaddressed, could result in danger or harm to children.

“This is one of the most important jobs anyone could ever hope to do,” he added. “It takes a special kind of person to do this work well – and that is exactly who we want to hire.”