Shelter Counselor II (#RS1072)
$29.23-$35.53 Hourly / $5,066.04-$6,157.80 Monthly / $60,792.48-$73,893.64 Yearly


Under general supervision, performs responsible counseling and custodial work in the supervision, care, and evaluation of troubled, abused and/or neglected youth in a residential care facility; develops and implements activities; monitors and records behaviors; and does related and other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


Shelter Counselor II is the full journey level class in the Shelter Counselor series. Incumbents perform the full range of Counselor duties in various dependent children's care facilities. Based on previous experience and training, incumbents are expected to exercise good judgment and work with relative independence to identify and resolve difficult situations involving troubled youth from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Incumbents may be assigned to work a rotational schedule in Intensive Services, the Family Services Unit, or the Visitation Center, and may act as a leadworker and/or assist with the training of other staff.


  • Oversees the daily activities and behaviors of children within a care facility, both on and off-site; participates in the development, scheduling, and implementation of on-site and off-site activities; ensures the safety and proper care of children during outings and routine activities; conducts daily counts of children to ensure safety and knowledge of their whereabouts.
  • Assigns and develops lists of children's work assignments; oversees the work to ensure its completion; works with children to identify and promote desired behaviors; ensures compliance with rules and regulations relating to the safe and orderly operation of the shelter.
  • Schedules and conducts counseling sessions with assigned youth; determines appropriate intervention strategies to meet children's physical and emotional needs; applies approved techniques within established guidelines; refers children for mental health assistance and evaluations as required.
  • Processes new children, teenagers and toddlers to the unit, providing orientation, and treating for medical conditions as required; assists children in obtaining daily living items and personal grooming items; provides guidance in living skills and assists in preparing children for their release from the shelter.
  • Cleans and sanitizes common areas; sorts, launders, and stores donated and personal items for children; ensures the work unit is ready for the next shift.
  • Prepares, updates, and maintains a variety of records, work orders, logs, charts, and reports; serves as liaison between youth and social service workers; attends staff meetings to discuss and document observed behaviors and interactions; consults with other staff concerning youth's problems and incidents.
  • Identifies and reports safety issues, hazards, and health concerns requiring correction; reports items needing repair; takes immediate action to eliminate or reduce safety hazards; prepares records of actions taken and forwards to appropriate person for review or further action.
  • Assists in providing basic medical first aid to injured children; records details of injuries and actions taken; drives children to medical facilities such as emergency rooms and clinics for treatment or scheduled appointments.
  • Picks up, delivers, unloads, and stores needed supplies and donated items; drives children to activities and functions.
  • Conducts shelter tours; directs visitors to appropriate offices and provides needed information; receives phone calls for residents and staff; takes messages and routes to the proper person.


Experience: One (1) year of experience as a Shelter Counselor I in San Joaquin County. 

Note: For individuals employed in the San Joaquin County class of Group Counselor I-DCH at the time of adoption of this specification (October 11, 2000) shall meet the above experience requirement.

Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university. 

Experience: One (1) year of full-time experience performing children’s social services in a shelter, group home or similar setting or social service case work for children and families. 

Substitution: Additional qualifying experience may substitute for the above education on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years. (24 units equates to one year) 

License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license. 

Special Requirement: Must pass fingerprinting as required by state law. 

Certificates: Must obtain certification in Basic First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within the first six months of employment and maintain such certification during employment. 

Note: Employees at Mary Graham Children’s Shelter are subject to the authority, rules, regulations, standards, and approval of the Community Care Licensing Authority (CCL) of the California Department of Social Services. In addition to the above minimum qualifications, as a condition of employment, approval of the CCL is required for both initial appointment and for continued employment at MGCS.


Principles and techniques of interviewing and recording in social service work, including basic counseling and intervention strategies/techniques for managing troubled youth; basic functions of public social service agencies and the laws, rules, regulations, and various social and economic conditions affecting their work; community resources available to troubled youth; general problems, and guidelines related to the care and treatment of children in a residential facility; basic mathematical calculations; proper English usage including grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Read and understand written materials; prepare and maintain legible files, records, and logs; write clear and concise reports; make and record observations accurately; clean assigned areas to meet health and safety needs; learn to effectively use and apply observation, counseling, and intervention skills and techniques to evaluate and recommend needed action for dependent youth; assess potentially dangerous situations accurately; make sound decisions requiring independent judgment; work with hyperactive, troubled, and developmentally delayed youth from ethnically diverse backgrounds; provide minor medical aid; perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation as required; learn, apply, and adhere to policies, procedures, rules and regulations governing interactions with youth and the operations of a residential facility for children; operate a variety of office equipment and home appliances to perform assigned duties; plan and implement a variety of activities to meet the children's needs; drive a vehicle in the performance of assigned duties; establish and maintain effective relationships with others contacted in the performance of assigned duties.


Mobility-Constant walking; frequent driving and climbing stairs; occasional operation of keyboards, pushing/pulling, bending/squatting and running; Lifting-Frequent lifting of heavy objects or people; occasionally able to lift 5-70 pounds; Vision-Constant use of good overall vision and field of vision/peripheral; frequent reading/close-up work and eye/hand coordination; occasional depth and color perception; Dexterity-Frequent writing and reaching, occasional grasping, holding, and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking-Constant talking/hearing in person; frequent hearing/talking on the telephone; Emotional/Psychological-Constant concentration and working weekends and nights; frequent decision making, public contact and dealing with emergency situations; occasional exposure to hazardous materials, trauma, grief and death; Environmental-Constant exposure to noise.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RS1072; EST: 10/11/2000; REV: 9/10/2003;