Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (Client/Patient)


Recruitment #240222-9147SH-001


Looking for an exciting opportunity to make a real impact?
If so, join our team of dedicated professionals at the State of Connecticut!

The State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is currently seeking a qualified and experienced individual for the position of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (Client/Patient).

Position Highlights: 
  • FACILITY: Whiting Forensic Hospital (WFH)
  • UNIT: Dutcher 2S (Co-ed) & D2N (Male only)
  • LOCATION: Middletown, CT
  • SCHEDULE: Full-time (40 hours weekly), 1st Shift, Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Please note: This is not a Hazardous Duty position.
What We Can Offer You:
  • The opportunity to work for a Forbes top company: 'Forbes' State of Connecticut Ranked One of the Best Employers of 2023 - State of CT Receives National Recognition for Offering Job Growth, Competitive Benefits, and Flexible Schedule
  • NEW: A Platinum Healthcare Plan, the nation’s best for state employees and dependents, according to a report by Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reform and article by Ellen Andrews, Ph.D., along with comprehensive benefit offerings
  • Extensive pension plan and supplemental retirement offerings
  • State of Connecticut is an eligible Public Service Loan Forgiveness employer, meaning you may be eligible to have qualifying student loans forgiven after 10 years of service.  Click here for more information.
  • Generous paid time off, including 13 paid holidays per calendar year
  • Professional growth and development opportunities
  • A healthy work/life balance to all employees
    Discover The Opportunity To:
    • Engage in a rewarding career;
    • Showcase your talents in a meaningful role;
    • Thrive in an exciting environment;
    • Provide support to a division that is passionate about the work we do.

    The Role:

    Job duties include, but are not limited to:

    • Evaluates patients for vocational rehabilitation services; 
    • Establishes community contacts; 
    • Facilitates vocational training and retraining; 
    • Works with treatment teams to assist individual patients in achieving social, emotional and vocational stability; 
    • Maintains case records and other pertinent material.

      About Us:
      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. 

      Whiting Forensic Hospital specialized in providing inpatient services to individuals involved in the criminal justice system.  The hospital consists of 91 maximum security beds and 138 enhanced security beds.  

      D2S is a competency restoration unit housed within the enhanced security building of Whiting, wherein individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders work towards being able to participate in their defense.


      D2N is a long-term unit located within the enhanced security, Dutcher building aimed at community reintegration for individuals diagnosed with mental illness and or substance use disorders.

      We hope you take this opportunity to continue your career with us and make a difference!

      Selection Plan

      Please read or watch our Applicant Tips on How to Apply!
      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
      • For current state employees, salary calculations are not necessarily comparable from one of the three branches of state government (i.e., Executive, Legislative, Judicial) to the other.

      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 Julie Barker via email at


      In a state facility or institution this class is accountable for providing vocational rehabilitation counseling services to a caseload of clients and/or patients.


      • Evaluates patients for vocational rehabilitation services; 
      • Establishes community contacts; 
      • Facilitates vocational training and retraining; 
      • Works with treatment teams to assist individual patients in achieving social, emotional and vocational stability; 
      • Maintains case records and other pertinent material; 
      • Prepares state and federal reports concerning rehabilitation services rendered; 
      • Administers and interprets psychological tests pertaining to vocational abilities; 
      • Refers clients to in-hospital rehabilitation modalities such as pre-vocational evaluation, industrial and recreational workshops; 
      • Follows up on placements made in institution or community; 
      • Carries an on-going case load; 
      • May administer Employee Assistance Program; 
      • Performs related duties as required.


      • Knowledge of
        • principles and practices of rehabilitation counseling, interviewing, psychological and occupational testing; 
        • symptoms of alcoholism and rehabilitative remedies or treatments; 
        • community resources; 
        • occupations and labor market in assigned area; 
      • Skills
        • interpersonal skills; 
        • oral and written communication skills; 
      • Considerable ability to gather, analyze, and evaluate significant case information pertinent to rehabilitation of an individual; 
      • Ability to write complete and concise case reports; 
      • Supervisory ability.


      Six (6) years of technical or professional experience in rehabilitation counseling or related counseling fields which involve dealing with emotional problems of individuals or vocational adjustment.


      • 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.
      • A Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, vocational or educational guidance or a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) additional year of the General Experience.


      • Bachelor’s degree in human services, psychology, social work or sociology.  
      • Experience working with individuals with mental health/substance use disorders in a hospital/inpatient setting.                                                       
      • Experience with job coaching, vocational training, resume and cover letter writing, and pre-voc training in group and individual sessions.                 
      • Experience writing progress notes and treatment plans.     



      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.