Exam Bulletin - Supervising Psychiatric Social Worker 1

Department of State Hospitals

Multiple Testing Departments. Please see list of Departments.

Exam Code: EX-1316

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

SUPERVISING PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER I: $5,059.00 - $10,049.00 per Month

View the SUPERVISING PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER I classification specification.

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):


For SUPERVISING PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER I, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01316

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


Either 1

Two years of experience performing the duties of a Psychiatric Social Worker in the California state service.

Or 2

Experience: Four years of experience in Psychiatric Social Work, at least one year of which must have been as a social work supervisor and at least two years of which must have been in a child guidance or psychiatric clinic, in a psychiatric extramural program, in a psychiatric hospital, or in a psychiatric department of a hospital; or in a hospital for the physically disabled. and

Education: Completion of a two-year graduate curriculum in social work in a recognized school of social work. (In appraising experience, more weight will be given to the breadth of pertinent experience and the evidence of the candidate's ability to accept and fulfill increasing responsibility than to the length of his experience.)

Position Description


Provides supervision to a psychiatric social work staff; in an assigned district or in an institution or clinic for the mentally and emotionally disturbed, mentally deficient or physically disabled, having no higher level psychiatric social work supervisor, plans, organizes, and directs the psychiatric social work program; assigns cases and counsels social workers on casework problems; maintains adherence to social work policies of the department; conducts staff meetings; trains staff, evaluates staff performance and takes or recommends appropriate action; supervises the training of psychiatric social work students; personally performs or supervises research relating to psychiatric social work; participates in staff conferences; assists in the development of effective social work procedures; works with mental facility and departmental administrators for the purpose of improving policies and procedures as they relate to the social work program; establishes and maintains cooperative working relations with community agencies; assists in the development of programs of community planning, education, and consultation in mental and physical health; develops and directs a boarding home program for the area and arranges for placements of patients on leave of absence; addresses groups on the psychiatric social work program; dictates correspondence and prepares reports.

An objective and sympathetic understanding of the mentally, emotionally disturbed or mentally deficient or physically disabled; tolerance; tact; and emotional stability.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following components:

  • Online Exam : A passing score must be achieved and is weighted 100% of the final score.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:

  1. Principles, procedures, techniques, trends and literature of social work with particular reference to psychiatric social work.
  2. Community organization principles.
  3. Applying the principles of mental health education.
  4. Characteristics and social aspects of mental and emotional disturbances and mental deficiency and physically disabled scope and activities of public and private health and welfare agencies.
  5. Current trends in mental hygiene, public health and public welfare and Federal and State programs in these fields.
  6. Principles and practices of supervision and supervising others, evaluating their work, and giving in-service training.
  7. The department's affirmative action program objectives.
  8. A supervisor's role in the affirmative action program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives.
Ability to:
  1. Arrange placements for patients on leave of absence. 
  2. Apply the principles of mental and physical health education.
    reports, and interpret statistical data.
  3. Supervise others, evaluate their work, and give in-service training.
  4. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the work.
  5. Secure accurate social data, record such data systematically, write clear, accurate and concise.
  6. Develop and direct a boarding home program for patients.
  7. Give field work training to psychiatric social work students.
  8. Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
  9. Speak and write effectively.
  10. Effectively contribute to the department's affirmative action objectives.

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the SUPERVISING PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER I Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Supervising Psychiatric Social Worker 1 Training and Experience Examination Preview

Rate your knowledge and experience performing specific job-related tasks.

  1. Participate in the planning, organizing, and/or directing of a Clinical Social Work project.
  2. Ensure efficient case management and adherence to social work standards.
  3. Provide clinical guidance (e.g., case consultation, differential diagnosis) to improve quality of care and provide appropriate treatment.
  4. Develop effective professional relationships with supervisors, administrators, staff, patients and state, federal, and local agencies.
  5. Guaranteed consistent enforcement of policies and procedures.
  6. Ensure timely completion of psychosocial assessments and patient treatment plan.
  7. Ensure the provision of psychosocial services to address patients’ needs and program requirements.
  8. Monitor patient charts for quality and consistency of required paperwork.
  9. Provide individual and group treatment.
  10. Deliver direct clinical services to ensure sufficient case coverage.
  11. Work towards fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the team and the social work community.
  12. Aid in the formulation of social work procedures for facility programs.
Knowledge, Skill or Ability:
  1. Knowledge of principles, techniques, trends, professional ethics, and literature of Clinical Social Work for the purpose of maintaining a high standard of professional practice.
  2. Knowledge of current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) diagnoses and psychopathology.
  3. Knowledge of the social, economic, psychological, and behavioral changes necessary for the patients’ treatment.
  4. Ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing to facilitate the exchange of information both internally and externally.
  5. Ability to analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action to provide appropriate interventions.
  6. Ability to constructively handle aggressiveness, hostility, and other emotional attitudes to avoid conflict, deescalate situations, and resolve issues.
  7. Ability to deliver direct clinical services (e.g., group and individual therapy, interviewing techniques, treatment planning).
  8. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with individuals contacted during work activities to facilitate the effective delivery of services.
  9. Ability to interpret, explain, and implement applicable rules and regulations to ensure compliance and effective program implementation.
  10. Ability to use a variety of computer programs (e.g., word processing, email) to communicate effectively.
  11. Ability to apply the principles of mental health education to provide guidance to others.
  12. Ability to practice personal safety and vigilance in the identification of safety or security hazards, including infection control to support a safe and hazard free workplace.
  13. Ability to remain composed and levelheaded even in high stress situations.
  14. Ability to display a strong ethical foundation adherence to professional standards, maintaining confidentiality and respect for the mentally, emotionally disturbed or physically disabled individuals under care.

Testing Departments

  • Department of State Hospitals
  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

Department of State Hospitals
Department of State Hospitals - Sacramento
Human Resources Office
1215 O Street, MS 17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-8832

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Department of State Hospitals reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)