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Bilingual (English/Spanish) Encouraged to Apply

Recruitment #22-SK5-BB



THE JOB: 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. There are multiple vacancies in Children’s and Adult Mental Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Programs; the County of Santa Cruz Primary Care Clinics.    Adult Team vacancy - working with individuals with serious mental illness, involved in the criminal justice system; part of an intensive treatment model inclusive of mental health, probation and community-based service programs. Adult Access vacancy - Provide clinical assessment, crisis intervention services and disposition planning to consumers presenting for County Mental Health Services, and Adult Crisis Intervention Services - Provide mental health clinical assessment and crisis intervention services at the main jail as part of the Forensic Mental Health services. Transition Age Youth (adult) - Provide clinical assessments and brief treatment to youth and family for 18-25 year olds, including case management and community linkage. Children's Mental Health vacancies providing individual, group, and family therapy to children who are 0-21 years of age. Bilingual Senior Mental Health Client Specialist positions require that the mental health and/or substance abuse clinician be fully fluent in Spanish and English in order to provide the full range of professional level mental health and/or substance abuse services in Spanish, including the facilitation of individual, group, family and crisis counseling. Bilingual clinicians may be asked to translate written clinical materials and interpret for Spanish speaking clients that need to communicate with monolingual English speaking mental health and/or substance abuse professionals. The list established from this recruitment will be used to fill all current and future full-time, part-time, substitute and extra-help vacancies during the life of the list.

Employment Standards

THE REQUIREMENTS: 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.      

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS: 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. Additional License/Certificate Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License, or the ability to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority. 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).


SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: 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 positions 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 RequirementsPositions 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.


Knowledge: 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.


Ability to: 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.


ANNUAL LEAVE - 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service.  Available for vacation and/or sick leave.
HOLIDAYS - 14 paid holidays per year.
BEREAVEMENT LEAVE - 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out-of-state.
MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans.  For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.
DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.
VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.
RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013(PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years.  County participates in Social Security. 
LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy.  Employee may purchase additional life insurance.
DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.
DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”
H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.
HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.
DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees

Selection Plan

THE EXAMINATION: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.


HOW TO APPLY: Apply Online Now!  Click on the link below; or print out an application and supplemental questionnaire and mail/bring them to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.  For information, call (831) 454-2600.  Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711.  Applications will meet the final filing date if received in one of the following ways:  1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date. 


Women, minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call (831) 454-2600.


To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S.


NOTE: The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract.

An Equal Opportunity Employer


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