This is an attorney III position for the Policy and Program Support team in the General Counsel’s Office. The attorney will act primarily in an advisory capacity, providing legal support to the Child Protective Services program as well as the other programs and divisions of the Department of Family and Protective Services. The attorney’s duties will range from legally reviewing and assisting with drafting policies, agency administrative rules, and other documents for CPS and other programs and divisions in the agency; researching issues of concern and implication to DFPS and drafting formal and informal memos for DFPS programs and executive management staff; providing legal advice as needed to the DFPS programs based on sound legal research; drafting fair hearing orders for adoption assistance and permanency care assistance denials; drafting legal sufficiency reviews for investigation findings that are appealed; providing timely and expert resource assistance to DFPS government relations staff and the legal legislative coordinator by reviewing and analyzing legislation that impacts the agency, responding to questions from the legislature, drafting legislative initiatives and statutory revisions, and serving as a resource witness during legislative hearings when needed; and providing general support to DFPS programs in their activities to ensure compliance with applicable laws. The selected candidate should have a strong working knowledge of federal and state child welfare laws, administrative rules, federal funding streams for child welfare agencies, and the operation of a state agency.
Essential Job Functions:
Drafting and reviewing client-drafted, policies, procedures, rules and other documents (30%); Reviewing and drafting Memoranda of Understanding for the CPS program, and other agency programs as needed (10%); Providing consultation and advice concerning case specific questions and general issues of concern to CPS and other DFPS programs and divisions (20%); Performing legal research and drafting legal memoranda on issues with implications to the agency as a whole, such as questions related to funding, ethics, and sharing of information (20%); Handling informal administrative appeals, including issuing adoption assistance and permanency care assistance agreed orders as well as legal sufficiency reviews of investigation dispositions (5%); Legislative tasks (5%); Other duties as assigned (10%)
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Strong research and writing skills; (2) Strong academic credentials; (3) Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as well as independently; (4) Polished analytical and advocacy skills; (5) Ability to complete assignments in a timely manner and work in a fast paced legal setting; (6) Willingness to assist colleagues and take on additional projects as needed.
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Must be licensed to practice in Texas and in good standing with the State Bar of Texas
Initial Selection Criteria:
Basic knowledge of CPS and other DFPS program and governing laws and regulations, including some familiarity with federal funding streams, Title 5 of the Texas Family Code and Title 2 of the Texas Human Resources Code; (2) Basic understanding of administrative law and public policy; (3) Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with agency legal and program staff and external stakeholders; and (4) Willingness and ability to learn new subject matter.