Provides mental health case management, counseling and rehabilitation services for severe mental, emotional, co-occurring chemical dependency, and dual disability disorders in in-patient or out-patient settings; provides and oversees both treatment and continuing care; prepares reports and maintains records related to clients and client services.
This is the unlicensed, entry/working level within the Mental Health Clinician classification series. Incumbents are professional counselors possessing a master’s degree but not possessing certification for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (MFTI) or Associate Licensed Clinical Social Worker (ALCSW). The Clinical Services Associate performs work in accordance with the licensing requirements for mental health professionals, but must secure sign-off and approval by licensed staff for certain decisions. Some positions in this classification carry the expectation that the incumbent will obtain an MFTI or ALCSW. This classification is flexibly staffed with the Mental Health Clinician – Registered, and upon obtaining MFTI or ALCSW certification, the employee may be eligible for promotion to that classification without participating in a competitive selection process.
Positions providing primarily Substance Abuse counseling do not require that the employee seek to obtain MFTI or ALCSW licensure. However, employees in this classification providing Substance Abuse counseling must register and become certified as Alcohol or Other Drug (AOD) Counselors within timelines proscribed by Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs Regulations.
Supervision Received and Exercised
Receives general supervision and technical direction from licensed staff.
After becoming licensed as an AOD Counselor, may act as a resource for Clinical Services Associate AOD Registrants.
Examples of Duties
Conducts clinical interviews to gather information, assess client needs, determine level of potential harm to self or others; determines need for hospitalization; develops diagnostic information; serves clients with serious and persistent emotional, mental, behavioral problems and co-occurring disorders, including but not limited to substance abuse problems.
Performs crisis intervention; assists in the triage of clients, coordinates with other treatment staff including physicians, and evaluates the need for involuntary hold applications.
Prepares assessment and provisional diagnosis of acute and persistent mental illness, substance abuse, and other mental, emotional or behavioral disorders.
Develops for approval and implements written treatment plans with goals and objectives; designs and implements behavioral and treatment contracts for clients with difficult clinical issues and substance abuse.
Provides individual and group counseling and non-medical psychotherapy, for clients with clinical issues, such as treatment and medication compliance, depression, substance abuse, etc.; leads and facilitates counseling groups with focus on special rehabilitation issues including communication and social interactions; may act as co-leader in clinical treatment groups with a licensed or waivered professional.
Uses established counseling methods and procedures for client assessment, planning and implementation of treatment and service plans, and non-medical psychotherapy, within the limits of a non-licensed mental health counselor.
Provides case management services to mentally ill clients including out-of-home placements; determines suitability of treatment facilities or prospective foster parents based upon analysis of individual psycho-social needs.
Prepares reports and correspondence and maintains a variety of documentation, such as charting observed behaviors, treatment plan objectives, progress reports, discharge summaries, incident reports, and other data.
Drafts for approval legally required documents, temporary conservator ship applications, 72-hour involuntary detention, and fourteen-day holds; assists clients with paperwork and enrollment procedures for various treatment and social support programs.
Attends and participates in a variety of internal and external meetings such as daily treatment team report, clinical meetings, interdisciplinary case conferences, inter-agency meetings, etc.
Coordinates with caseworkers, probation officers, community and support services, and appropriate referrals for clients upon discharge; works with other agencies to obtain information, coordinate services, determine appropriate venue for service, provide training about mental illness, and related matters.
When certified through a “Management of Assaultive Behavior” course, may assist with physically controlling and containing violent and/or combative clients in maintaining safety and security of facilities.
May operate vehicles to transport clients between facilities or to perform field duties of monitoring service provision, working with clients or clients at other sites, and/or to coordinate with other agencies.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Stages of normal and abnormal human development including children, adults and older adults.
The principles, practices, techniques, trends and literature of clinical interviewing, casework, diagnosis, and assessment.
Theories, principles and techniques of individual and group psychotherapy.
Psychological, physical, and social aspects of mental disorders, chemical dependency, and recovery.
Theories of human behavior and personality and techniques of evaluating and modifying human behavior.
Planning, development and implementation of comprehensive treatment plans.
Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations governing mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Services and activities of public and private health and welfare agencies including referral sources and community resources.
Basic techniques of supervision and training.
Use of automated equipment and standard office support applications software related to the work.
Impact of cultural, gender, or socio-economic status on manifestations of emotional distress and mental illness.
Strength based consumer/family focused partnership service delivery models.
Conduct accurate and thorough assessments of client status, history, danger to self and others, progress, chemical dependency, and related mental health information.
Prepare diagnostic impressions and evaluations of mental and emotional disorders.
Conduct clinical interviews.
Formulate, implement and monitor treatment plans.
Conduct group and individual counseling and rehabilitative counseling under supervision of licensed professional.
Make referrals to other providers of mental health services.
Respond appropriately in crisis situations.
Understand, interpret and apply complex mental health technical materials and applicable laws, codes and regulations.
Prepare complex and detailed reports and records.
Communicate and interact in situations requiring instructional, persuasive, consultative, counseling and motivational skills in both an oral and written manner.
Provide training, guidance and consultation to other staff.
Assist in physically controlling and/or restraining violent and/or combative clients.
Work effectively with clients of various ages and socio-economic and cultural groups including those with physical and/or emotional problems.
Establish and maintain professional relationships with clients, children, representatives or the community served, employees of County departments and other agencies and the public.
Education and Experience
No experience required
Possession of a Master’s degree in social work, counseling, psychology or a related field of study which would qualify for approval by the California State Board of Behavioral Science Examiners as a registered Marriage Family Therapist Intern or Associate Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
A Bachelor’s degree in social work, counseling, psychology or a related field of study and two years of experience performing counseling or rehabilitative services for mentally, emotionally and/or chemically dependent clients may be substituted for a Master’s degree.
Certification: By October 1, 2005 or within six (6) months of hire, whichever is later, all non-licensed or non-certified employees providing counseling services in an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) program must be registered to obtain certification as an AOD counselor with a certifying organization approved by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. Registrants shall complete certification as an AOD counselor within five (5) years of the date of registration. Note: Failure to obtain such required license within the legally specified timelines shall result in termination or reassignment, if such a vacancy exists and the incumbent meets the minimum requirements for the vacant position. (Such action will be taken in accordance with Civil Service Commission rules).
Driver’s License: Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California Class C Driver’s License may be required at the time of appointment. Loss of the Class C Driver’s License is a cause for discipline. Individuals who do not meet this driver’s license requirement due to a physical disability will be considered for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.
Assignment Requirements: Some positions in these classes may require work in an out-station location or in a setting with other professionals integrated as a team.