Human Services Advocate


Recruitment #230914-1419SH-001


Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the public sector? If so, read below and apply today!

The State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is seeking an experienced and qualified individual for the position of Human Services Advocate to support our agency. 

Facility: Southwest Connecticut Mental Health System (SWCMHS)
Location: Bridgeport, CT
Work Schedule: Full time, 40 hours per week | First shift, 8:00am - 4:30pm Monday through Friday
PCN: 140150

This position will monitor any client rights complaints and/or grievances as directed in DMHAS clients rights program. The Human Services Advocate will follow protocols to ensure that grievances are resolved via current protocols and time frames. 

In this role, discover the opportunity to:
  • Be a part of a comprehensive team of caring professionals;
  • Provide support to an agency that is passionate about improving the lives of those we serve;
  • Maintaining reports related to types of client complaints and report regularly to Quality Improvement Division;
  • Providing advocacy in treatment planning and for discharge planning if indicated;
  • Provide trainings and consultation to staff on Clients Rights;
  • Provide advocacy trainings to clients and promote client safety.
DMHAS is a health care agency whose mission is to promote the overall health and wellness of persons with behavioral health needs through an integrated network of holistic, comprehensive, effective, and efficient services and supports that foster dignity, respect, and self-sufficiency in those we serve.

SWCMHS strives to provide high quality, compassionate and culturally competent mental health and substance abuse services to adults with behavioral health disorders who are indigent. With three locations throughout Fairfield County, SWCMHS, promotes and administers comprehensive recovery oriented services in the areas of mental health treatment and substance abuse prevention and treatment. These services include inpatient treatment programs and outpatient clinical services, as well as a wide range of additional supportive treatment services.

Selection Plan

Please visit our 'Applicant Tips on How to Apply' page.

Please Note: In order to receive educational credits toward qualification for this job posting, the institution must be accredited. If the institution of higher learning is located outside of the U.S., you are responsible for providing documentation from a recognized USA accrediting service which specializes in determining foreign education equivalencies to the recruiter listed on this job posting.

To Apply:
  • In order to be considered for this job opening, you must meet the Minimum Qualifications as listed on the job opening. The minimum experience and training requirements must be met by the close date on the job opening, unless otherwise specified.
  • You must specify your qualifications on your application. You will be unable to make revisions once you submit your application for this posting to the JobAps system.
  • In order to comply with Public Act 21-69, the State of Connecticut is no longer asking for resumes during the initial application process.
  • All application materials must be received by the recruiting agency by the time specified on the job opening for the position for which you are applying. Late applications may not be submitted and will not be considered. Exceptions are rare and limited to documented events that incapacitate a candidate during the entire duration of the job posting time period. It is the candidate’s obligation and responsibility to request an exception and provide a legally recognized justification to accommodate such exception. Requests should be made to
  • This position will be filled in accordance with contractual language, reemployment, SEBAC, transfer, promotion and merit employment rules.
Important Next Step Information for After You Apply:
  • Although applicants will receive correspondence via email, as a backup they are also encouraged to sign on to their Personal Status Board on a daily basis to monitor their status, view all emailed notices and complete tasks required in the recruitment process.
  • This posting may require completion of additional referral questions (RQs). You can access these RQs via an email that will be sent to you after the posting's closing date or by visiting your JobAps Personal Status Board (Certification Questionnaires section). Your responses to these RQs must be submitted by the question's expiration date. Please regularly check your email and JobAps Personal Status Board for notifications. Please check your SPAM and/or Junk folders on a daily basis in the event an email provider places auto-notification emails in a user's spam.
  • Note: At any point during the recruitment process, applicants may be required to submit additional documentation which support their qualification(s) for this position. These documents may include: a cover letter, resume, transcripts, diplomas, performance reviews, attendance records, supervisory references, licensure, etc., at the discretion of the hiring agency.
  • The immediate vacancy is listed above, however, applications to this recruitment may be used for future vacancies in this job class.
  • Interviews will be limited to candidates whose experience and training most closely meet the requirements of the position.
  • Candidates who are offered and accept a position with the State of Connecticut are bound by the State Code of Ethics for Public Officials and State Employees which is available at
Connect With Us:
  • Due to the large volume of applications received, we are unable to provide confirmation of receipt or status during the recruitment process.
  • Updates will be available through your JobAps portal account. If you have any questions pertaining to this recruitment please contact Pamela Rochette via email at


In the Departments of Aging and Disability Services, Developmental Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Office of the Child Advocate, this class is accountable for independently performing a full range of tasks in providing advocacy services to ensure the preservation of individual rights.


  • Assists in administration of an individual rights program with respect to civil, legal and human rights, right to treatment, confidentiality, and other unique rights as specified by state and federal legislation;
  • Provides advocacy services, determines available courses of action, and develops advocacy strategies with individuals, families and/or groups;
  • Investigates and evaluates complaints and allegations of abuse and/or misrepresentation of authorized individual services;
  • Implements advocacy strategies through informal and/or formal actions such as meeting with legal and/or agency representatives to ensure provision of proper services;
  • Consults with professionals of various disciplines such as attorneys, physicians, educators, and others to identify options and barriers to individual rights;
  • Develops and interprets policies regarding individual rights;
  • Assists in researching and interpreting laws pertaining to individual rights;
  • Maintains confidential individual files documenting advocacy services provided and prepares reports summarizing case activities;
  • Prepares correspondence and reports;
  • Assists in orientation of new employees with regard to agency individual rights program;
  • May investigate accident and injury reports to determine cause;
  • May conduct studies to assess quality of care;
  • May conduct in-service training sessions on individual rights;
  • May provide technical assistance and training to field staff;
  • May participate on task forces and coalitions formed to effect system changes;
  • May meet with legislators, agency officials, and members of various interest groups on individual rights;
  • May participate in agency task groups to develop policies, positions and reports;
  • May make public presentations;
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Provides quality assurance through site visits and monitoring of vendor reporting to ensure compliance with terms and conditions of individual programs.
  • Evaluates delivery of services to children by state agencies;
  • Reviews procedures of state agencies providing services to children;
  • Visits residential facilities to review procedures, assure safety and assess facilities;
  • May recommend changes in state policies concerning children including changes in system of providing juvenile justice, child care, foster care, and treatment.


  • Knowledge of
    • problems and needs of individuals in one of the following areas: blindness or visual impairments; children; disabilities; intellectual disabilities; psychiatric disabilities;
    • advocacy process;
    • relevant state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations;
    • relevant agency policies and procedures;
    • community resources and service delivery systems;
  • Skills
    • interpersonal skills;
    • oral and written communication skills;
    • interviewing skills;
    • negotiating skills;
  • Ability to
    • identify, investigate, and analyze problems and recommend effective solutions;
    • research and organize information;
    • understand and explain complex written materials.


Six (6) years of professional experience in a public or private agency or organization providing services to individuals with disabilities or to children.


One (1) year of the General Experience must have been in the provision of advocacy or direct services to individuals with disabilities or to children.

NOTE: Advocacy services are defined as speaking and working on behalf of a position, cause, or individual to further interests and ensure the preservation of rights.


  • College training may be substituted for the General Experience on the basis of fifteen (15) semester hours equalling one-half (1/2) year of experience to a maximum of four (4) years for a Bachelor's degree.
  • Successful completion of a Connecticut Careers Trainee program approved by the Department of Administrative Services may be substituted for the General Experience and Special Experience.


  • Experience working in a role which supports and advocates for clients in psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. 
  • Experience with grievances or complaints process. 


Incumbents in this class may be required to travel.



The State of Connecticut is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.


As defined by Sec. 5-196 of the Connecticut General Statutes, a job class is a position or group of positions that share general characteristics and are categorized under a single title for administrative purposes.  As such, a job class is not meant to be all-inclusive of every task and/or responsibility.