Placer County

Patient Rights Advocate (#14421)

$28.84-$36.01 Hourly / $4,998.93-$6,241.73 Monthly / $59,987.20-$74,900.80 Yearly


To perform a variety of analytical and professional duties in protecting the statutory and constitutional rights of Placer County mental health patients and clients; and to monitor County operated facilities and professional service providers for program and service compliance through site reviews or reporting by patient and/or others.


Receives direction from a program manager or other management position.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Monitor mental health facilities, services and programs for statutory and regulatory compliance regarding patients' rights; ensure that recipients of mental health services are notified of their rights.
  • Receive and investigate complaints from residents, their families or staff of licensed health or community care facilities and Placer County Mental Health inpatient facility regarding abuse, unreasonable denial or punitive withholding of patient rights.
  • Act as advocate for involuntarily detained mental health service recipients; represent clients at Certification Review Hearings; assure that denial of patient rights occurs only within the context of that allowed by State code.
  • Report violations of rights directly to the State Department of Mental Health; exchange information and cooperate with the State Patients' Rights Office.
  • Provide training and education on mental health laws and patients' rights to staff of County clinics and facilities; consult with staff on rights issues; and assist staff with policies and procedures relative to legal compliance.
  • Travel to visit patients at residential and/or nursing facilities on a regular basis to ascertain satisfaction with level of care and evaluate the patient's environment.
  • Ensure that applicable County operated facilities and providers are maintaining mandated postings and materials regarding patient rights, compliance, and services.
  • Function as the Department's System of Care Ombudsman in his or her absence. 
  • Monitor service provider compliance through site reviews and patient reporting; maintain appropriate records and logs as departmental reference resource; advise management regarding problems or service issues.
  • Prepare various reports and correspondence, including mandated reports and filings.
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees and the public using principles of good customer service.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


Experience and Training
Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Experience:  Three years of responsible experience providing client advocacy services in a mental health agency.

Training:  Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in business or public administration, social sciences, psychology or a related field.

Required License or Certificate:  
Must possess a valid driver's license as required by the position.  Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance is also required.


Knowledge of:

  • Rights of patients in mental health institutional and community facilities.
  • Pertinent local, State and Federal rules, regulations and laws.
  • Symptoms and treatment of mental illness, including role and effect of medications; general psychiatric terminology.
  • Interviewing and investigative techniques.
  • Advocacy ethics and principals. 
  • Appropriate living arrangements for various functioning levels of mentally ill persons.

Ability to:

  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job; observe and identify potential patient rights violations; analyze and interpret laws, legislation, and policies related to patient rights; explain and respond to questions from patients and providers regarding patient rights information; intermittently identify through oral and written reports and site reviews any potential patient rights violations; and identify and problem solve situations involving patient rights; remember clients' names.
  • On a continuous basis, sit for long periods of time at a desk or while driving; intermittently walk, stand, bend, squat, or kneel while retrieving or returning files, documents and supplies, and making copies; walk, stand, bend, squat, kneel, climb, or twist while conducting home/site visits or transporting client; twist to reach equipment surrounding desk; perform simple grasping and fine manipulation; use telephone, writing materials or use a keyboard to communicate through written means; see and hear with sufficient acuity to listen, observe and assess physical condition and living environment of patient; and moderate occasional lifting/carrying up to a maximum of 50 pounds with frequent lifting/carrying of up to 25 pounds.
  • Plan, organize and coordinate the County's patients' rights program.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate procedures for monitoring mental health facilities, services and programs.
  • Use a computer, calculator, typewriter, telephone, facsimile machine and photocopy machine. 
  • Analyze and interpret legislation, regulations, legal opinions and court decisions relative to protection of patient rights.
  • Investigate and assess complaints of rights violations.
  • Effectively interview individuals who may be suffering severe mental or emotional problems.
  • Prepare, interpret and administer professional service contracts.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.

CLASS: 14421; EST: 9/2/1995; REV: 5/13/2013;