Company Name:

Washington State-Department of Social and Health Services


Lakewood, Seattle, Yakima, Kent, Washington

Approximate Salary:

$90,000 - $115,200 Per Year

Job Category:

Forensic Psychology

Work Setting:

Government Agency

Position Type:

Full Time

Required Experience:

Less than 2 years

Required Education:


Date Posted:

May 31, 2019

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DSHS Forensic Evaluator


With openings currently in Lakewood, Seattle, Yakima or Kent, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), Office of Forensic Mental Health Services (OFMHS) is seeking experienced and motivated professionals to serve as a Psychologist- Forensic Evaluators in Washington State. These positions conduct forensic psychological evaluations, provides expert testimony for the courts, conducts psychological testing of patients and provides reports to the court.

There are at least five reasons why a well-qualified candidate should look at a job like this. They include, but are certainly not limited to: the diversity offered by a cutting edge field where psychology and the legal system intersect, working in the public sector where there is a plethora of interesting psychological cases, state of the art practices based on empirically supported systems, working with stakeholders within the criminal justice field and high job satisfaction. A sixth reason – and maybe the most important – is that Washington State is a great place to live.

DSHS BHA improves the health status of multiple vulnerable populations by supporting sustainable recovery, independence and wellness. BHA is organized into the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, the Budget and Finance Division, the Office of Forensic Mental Health Services and the three state psychiatric hospitals.

The Office of Forensic Mental Health Services is responsible for the leadership and management of Washington's forensic mental health care system, and is addressing the increase in demand for mental health services for adults and youth in the criminal justice system. OFMHS provides forensic evaluations, competency restoration, develops and assesses Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) treatment services, and provides liaison services to effectively coordinate efforts with system partners to meet shared goals. OFMHS additionally provides ongoing training and technical assistance to improve quality and timeliness of forensic mental health services, data management and resource allocation, training and certification of evaluators and quality monitoring and reporting. OFMHS works in collaboration with the Governor's Office to lead and implement robust diversion efforts to prevent citizens with mental illness from entering the criminal justice system. Significant public resources have been invested in providing the high quality and empirically supported services of OFMHS.

What you will be doing
The most important duties performed by someone in this job include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting forensic competency to stand trial and mental state at the time of the offense evaluations for the courts of Washington State.
  • Interviewing pretrial defendants in custody and in the community and collaterals.
  • Collecting data such as treatment, education, criminal and social histories; objectively synthesize and weigh all historical information available.
  • Performing relative case specific psychological, medical and legal research as necessary.
  • Administering, scoring, interpreting and reporting the results of psychological testing.
  • Submitting forensic evaluations to the court.
  • Analyzing relevant data and facts to formulate opinions to questions posed in a court order.
  • Preparing for and providing expert witness testimony regarding forensic evaluations or as requested or subpoenaed by the courts.

What we're is looking for
  • Knowledge of forensic mental health services, including competency restoration services.
  • Demonstrated competency in working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultural groups.
  • Experience and demonstrated competency with assessing or screening patients for admission into a psychiatric hospital and other residential mental health setting.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with management peers, patients and others in a psychiatric hospital or other residential settings.
  • Forensic fellowship training or experience as a forensic evaluator and expert witness.

Who should apply
Professionals with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited school or department of psychology and an active license to practice as a psychologist in the State of Washington.

Successful completion of a pre-doctoral internship accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Preference may be given for either forensic fellowship training or one year as a forensic evaluator and expert witness.

Preference may be given for ABPP certifications.

Application Information
When applying for this position, please attach an up-to-date resume and a letter of interest that specifically addresses items mentioned in this announcement. Note in your letter which geographic area you have the most interest in - Lakewood, Seattle, Yakima or Kent. If you are willing to work at more than one location, please state this as well.

Be advised that the hiring manager will be interviewing well qualified applicants as they apply and reserves the right to extend an offer of employment before the position closes. It is to the applicants' advantage to apply for this position as early as possible.

If you have questions about this opportunity, please feel free to contact Joshua Shawhan by e-mail at

Supplemental Information

Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history may be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the job. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver's license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any area of employment, its programs or services on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protect­ed veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

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