Important Changes Due to the COVID-19 Virus

  • During this time, the Department of Human Services is encouraging customers to utilize online self-service options. We have shortened our hours as a result of Kern County moving to an essential-staffing only model due to the quickly changing situation related to the COVID-19 virus. 
  • While our office will be closed to the public, we will continue to provide restricted in-person homeless services only between the hours of 7:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Our main lobby located at 100 E. California Avenue, Bakersfield, will conduct in-office interviews with our homeless clients by telephone utilizing the recently installed telephones in the lobby interview booths.
  • Due to these shortened hours and social distancing regulations, we are encouraging our clients to make use of our online options. Please go to and download the mobile app to apply for and keep track of your benefits, services, and application and redetermination forms. Applications for CalFresh may be made by phone at (661) 631-6062 and applications for Medi-Cal benefits can be made by calling 1-800-300-1506.
  • If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at (661) 631-6011 (Countywide) or (760) 375-6049 in Ridgecrest. Reports of child abuse can be made at any time.
  • Also, due to our limited service hours, we are encouraging clients to contact the EBT Customer Service line toll free at 1-877-328-9677 to report a lost, stolen, or damaged card, as well as to request a card replacement by mail.
  • Information regarding services will also be available by phone at (661) 631-6000. We want to reiterate, all critical services will be provided during our shortened hours.

Thank you for understanding.


Becoming a Social Worker

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Are You Up for the Challenge?

  • Like a doctor, I work to make sure families are healthy.
  • Like a teacher, I work to make sure children are educated.
  • Like a police officer, I work to protect children.
  • Like a lawyer, I work to ensure a child's rights to a safe and permanent home.
  • Like a counselor, I work with families in crisis.

Innovation & Excellence

The Kern County Department of Human Services has earned a statewide reputation for its innovative ideas and program excellence.

The business of social work incorporates a variety of tasks into its function of providing services. Services are provided to the community's families, individuals and children through case management in the areas of Child Welfare and Employment Services.

Child welfare case management activities are individualized to meet the protective needs of each child requiring services, whether they remain in the home or in out-of-home placement. This includes relative placements and emergency shelter care.

CalWORKs Employment Services Program, also known as Welfare-to-Work, helps applicants and recipients of cash aid to prepare for work and find a job. Customized case plans are created and implemented based on the assessment of each individual's barriers and employability.

Comprehensive Employee Benefits

  • Medical, Dental, Vision & Prescription Drug Plans and Sick Leave Benefits
  • Employee Wellness & Assistance Programs
  • Paid Vacation
  • Paid County Holidays
  • Service and Disability Retirement
  • Deferred Compensation
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Credit Union Eligibility
  • Longevity Pay
  • Tuition Assistance
  • M.S.W. Intern affiliation with Cal State Bakersfield


Social Service Worker I - III
Social Service Supervisor I

These positions require a Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 12 semester or 20 quarter units in behavioral science. Additional education and/or Human Services casework experience are required for Supervisory and promotional levels II and III.

Social Service Worker IV
Social Service Supervisor II

These positions require completion of a Master's degree in Social Work, or a closely related discipline, and additional Human Services casework experience.

Areas of Service

Areas of service for social workers throughout kern county include:

  • Emergency Response
  • Court Intake
  • Court Review
  • Family Reunification
  • Family Maintenance
  • Permanent Placement
  • Adoption
  • Foster Care
  • Jamison Children's Center (Emergency Shelter)
  • Kinship Center
  • Domestic Violence
  • Licensing Unit
  • CalWORKs Employment Services
  • Training Units

Come to Kern County and Share Our Vision