Under direction, to provide highly skilled, specialized and intensive mental health and/or substance abuse services, counseling, therapy and case management services to individuals with mental illness or emotional disturbance, their families and support network; to serve as a liaison to other community agencies/ organizations in a training, educational, advisory, and/or consulting capacity; and to do other work as required.
This is the advanced journey level classification in the professional Mental Health/Substance Abuse series. Incumbents provide intensive therapy, treatment and diagnosis for the most complex cases and act as a consultant in specialized areas such as adult treatment, after care, families, juveniles, older adults, or mentally ill sex offenders. This classification is distinguished from the Mental Health Client Specialist classification in requiring licensing and an advanced level of professional knowledge in a variety of diagnostic, assessment and mental health and/or substance abuse services. This classification differs from the Mental Health Supervising Client Specialist tasks in that the latter manages and directs a program area and supervises professional employees. Incumbents may serve as team leader in the diagnosis and treatment of assigned clients; and may supervise student interns through an accredited program.
Interview clients and makes a psycho-social assessment and evaluation of problems; conduct individual, group and family psychotherapy using accepted diagnostic and assessment procedures; prepare case histories and diagnostic service plans; identify special needs of clients and serves as coordinator to oversee the implementation of individual service plans in accordance with client's coordination plan; participate in case conferences and meetings of team members to review treatment/service plans; act as a resource to other Agency staff members regarding service plans, client information, diagnostic and assessment methods; participate in the training of internal or contract facility staff in therapeutic treatment techniques and psychiatric evaluation and serve as a resource in a specific discipline such as psycho-social rehabilitation, benefits advocacy, supported housing, vocational rehabilitation, children's services, older adults and services to those incarcerated or institutionalized; work with other agencies to educate them in various aspects of mental illness and/or substance abuse to participate in the collaborative care of shared clients to identify, promote and develop needed health care services; initiates and maintains a variety of records, reports, case notes, correspondence, forms, etc. for assigned client case load; participate in and/or lead staff conferences/ workshops in client evaluation and plan development; participate in planning for and evaluating new and/or improved mental health and/or substance abuse services in relation to Agency needs and priorities; may supervise, oversee and instruct student interns participating in an approved program, assigning, coordinating and reviewing their work; may act as a case management or assessment team leader; develop and implement appropriate plans for assigned clients; plan, coordinate and participate in special programs/projects as assigned; input and access data using a computer; those possessing appropriate licensure may occasionally be asked to administer injections; and may provide vacation or temporary relief for other classes.
Thorough knowledge of:
- Psychological and social aspects and characteristics of emotional disturbances and mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
- Principles and methods of counseling and the accepted techniques for assessing psycho-social behavior.
Working knowledge of:
- Human behavior and development.
- Appropriate and available community resources.
- Problems, needs and attitudes of individuals with emotional and social disturbance.
- Pertinent laws and regulations regarding health and social service programs.
- Laws and regulations as they pertain to clients' legal rights.
- Some knowledge of:
- Pharmacology of medications and psychotropic drug treatment.
- Current diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
- Assess and diagnose all types of client behavioral, substance use and emotional actions/problems, and develop and implement effective and appropriate treatment plans.
- Conduct effective and appropriate individual and group psychotherapy on an on-going basis.
- Train others at various levels of expertise in the concepts and theories of the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and/or substance abuse.
- Prepare a variety of administrative and professional reports.
- Lead and participate in a treatment team, including effectively coordinating and directing the work of others.
- Establish and maintain a variety of case notes, client records and other required documentation.
- Communicate effectively in both oral and written form, expressing complex and technical terminology and concepts in an understandable manner.
- Learn Agency's policies and procedures relative to client support and treatment programs.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties. Learn to input and access data utilizing a computer.
- Distinguish speech and non-speech sounds in noisy environments.
- Intervene and diffuse situations involving combative clients including active restraint if needed.
- Stand and walk for extended periods of time may be required for some positions.
Training and Experience
Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:
Possession of a Master's Degree or PHD. with a major in Social Work, Psychology, Clinical Counseling, Psychiatric Nursing or a closely related behavioral science field which has included completion of a university approved internship, preferably a clinical internship, in a mental health agency AND two years of experience providing treatment, counseling* or case management services to clients in a mental health setting.
Qualification as a Certified Occupational Therapist or a Licensed Registered Nurse and four years of experience in mental health service delivery.
*Educational counseling may be considered for up to 50 percent of qualifying experience for assignments in Children's Mental Health.
Special Requirements, Conditions:
- License Requirements: Possession of a valid California class C driver's license, or the ability to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.
- Possession of one of the following licenses issued by the State of California: Clinical Social Worker; Marriage, Family and Child Counselor; Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Nurse; Occupational Therapist; or Clinical Psychologist. If licensed in another state, incumbent must obtain the appropriate license issued by the State of California within twenty-four months from the date of employment.
- Alcohol and Drug Assignment: All persons providing alcohol and drug counseling services within the Alcohol and Drug Program must be certified as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor OR be licensed as a mental health professional, OR within six (6) months of the date of hire, all non-licensed individuals pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 8, Subchapter 2, or non-certified individuals providing counseling services in an AOD program, must be registered to obtain certification as an AOD counselor by one of the approved certifying organization (CCR, Section 13035 (f).
Background Investigation: Fingerprinting is required.
Special Working Conditions: All assignments: Exposure to offensive odors such as unwashed people and clothes, human and animal feces; the possibility of infections which may cause chronic disease or death; and may be exposed to cigarette smoke. Juvenile Hall and Acute/Emergency Services assignments: Exposure to noise, such as people yelling. Children's Service assignment: Exposure to disturbing material, such as photos of abused children; allergens such as poison oak, insect stings or bites, and pollens. Some position may require lifting objects such as boxes of belongings weighing up to fifty pounds. Note: Persons in this classification may be assigned to positions with any of the above working conditions on an emergency, as needed basis.
Other Special Requirements: Positions may be assigned to carry a pager and respond to crisis situations, and perform "on-call" or call/back duties. Work situations may include evenings, weekends and holidays.
Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 50
Worker's Comp Code: 0290