Clinical/Client Services Fairfield, California


Position Title: Counselor
Program/Dept: Laurel Creek (Transitional Housing)
Reports to: Program Manager
Classification: Regular, Full Time, Non-Exempt
Compensation: DOEE + Full Benefits Package

Agency Description: Founded in San Mateo, California, in 1964, Caminar’s thriving programs and services serve more than 14,000 individuals annually across San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Solano, and Butte Counties. Our nonprofit organization’s portfolio of behavioral health and supportive services empowers and supports individuals and families to move toward resilience, wellness, and independence. And, we are expanding our capacity to address the increasingly complex needs of individuals and families.

Position Description: Under general supervision of the Program Manager, the Counselor provides support and assistance to clients through individual and group counseling in a transitional housing program.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
• Develop and maintain a respectful, caring, tolerant, ethical, and empowering relationship with all individuals served.
• Provide intake services, including taking and assisting appropriate referrals, conducting intake interviews, completing necessary paperwork; design and formulate client treatment plans; explain program rules and relations and otherwise acclimate to the facility.
• Establish and maintain clear and effective communications with clients, ensure that their needs are met, assist them in the development and implementation of their treatment plans, and prepare them for the permanent housing or other discharge plans.
• Continually educate oneself about psychiatric medications, their uses and side effects, and assist clients increasing their understanding as well.
• Monitor and document clients' intake of psychiatric medications and ensure that medications are handled and stored in accordance with established program procedures; regularly review medication logs to ensure that they are accurate and complete.
• Provide informal counseling, focusing on the client’s immediate situation and needs. Provide Cognitive/Behavioral types of intervention allowing the client to work toward achieving their immediate goals and recognizing their strengths.
• Provide crisis assessment and intervention. Appropriately assess the escalation of a situation and de-escalate or make appropriate decisions to manage the safety of others and self. Interface with crisis/emergency responders as necessary.
• Ensure that all pertinent information is recorded in the client notes. Document clients' progress in program charts and conduct regular chart reviews in accordance with established program procedures.
• Assist program management in ensuring compliance with all agency policies and procedures, contractual agreements, licensing and certification requirements, and local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
• Facilitate various groups (e.g. educational, community, medication, symptom management, and other counseling groups) in order to enhance clients understanding, acceptance and personal rights. Provide a well-rounded curriculum to expand client’s awareness of arts, nature, sporting events and by arranging and escorting clients to outings into the community.
• Provide one-to-one and group counseling to program clients, as assigned and as necessary.
• Conduct educational classes for program participants, as assigned, ensuring that the curriculum for such classes is documented, regularly updated, improved, and expanded.
• Attend minimum 20 hours of continuing education per year as required by the Department of Mental Health / Community Mental Health.
• Provide accurate, timely, and complete transfer of program and client information to other staff as they begin their shift. Communicate effectively, respectfully and professionally with peers, supervisors and county personnel.
• Assist program management with ongoing development, implementation, evaluation, and refinement of documented curriculum in support of all classes and groups provided.
• Remain alert and perform job functions as assigned and as necessary during awake overnight shifts.
• In conjunction with all other program staff members, actively participate in the effort to ensure that the facility environment is homelike, clean, safe, attractive, and comfortable at all times. Notify program management of all needs for repair or maintenance of the facility or program vehicles, involving clients when appropriate.
• Assist program management to create and maintain a safe and professional working environment free of hostility, harassment, and discrimination.
• Educate clients about and enable them to make use of free and low-cost community resources for social and recreational use, as well as service resources, such as AA and NA.
• Participate in staff meetings and attend other meetings, as assigned and required.
• Attend and participate in regularly scheduled supervisions sessions.
• Assist program management in maintaining the program budget by carefully managing resources and by exploring and recommending cost saving measures and approaches to service delivery.
• Assist clients with room maintenance, laundry, meal planning and preparation, shopping, and cooking.
• Participate in promoting a safe, healthy and clean working environment at all times consistent with applicable laws, industry standards and the agency’s own Health & Safety Program.
• Complete and submit accurate time sheets and absence reports to program management in a timely manner.
• Promote within the agency and with the general public the philosophy and practice of social rehabilitation.
• May drive own or agency vehicle to transport clients and on various errands, as required; documenting and reporting mileage according to agency procedures, so that services can be provided in a timely manner; comply with agency vehicle policy at all times.
• Actively nurture and advance the cooperative, harmonious and teamwork oriented environment Caminar strives to promote within the workplace; Through daily efforts and presentation promote an atmosphere of dignity and respect in line with the organization’s mission, philosophy, policies and procedures.
• Perform other related duties, responsibilities and special projects as assigned.

Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:
• Must be passionate about Caminar's mission.
• High School Diploma or GED is required. BA in psychology or related field is strongly preferred.
• A minimum of one year full time experience or its part time equivalent working in a program serving persons with mental disabilities is required. Such experience must be in the direct provision of services to clients.
• Experience in psychiatric rehabilitation, preferably in a social rehabilitation environment is preferred.
• Excellent computer skills in a Microsoft Windows environment including email and Internet navigation required. Experience with Human Service Information Systems strongly preferred.
• Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality, a professional demeanor and to represent the organization in a positive manner at all times.
• Must demonstrate acceptable level of maturity, good judgment, and emotional stability.
• Problem solving—identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner and gathers and analyzes information skillfully.
• Customer Service—manages difficult customer situations, responds promptly to customer needs and solicits customer feedback to improve service.
• Oral and written communication—speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations, demonstrates group presentation skills and conducts meetings. Completes written progress notes and other formal communications skillfully and professionally.
• Quality management—looks for ways to improve and promote quality and demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
• Planning/organizing—prioritizes and plans work activities, uses time efficiently and develops realistic action plans.
• Adaptability—adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events.
• Dependability—is consistently at work and on time, follows instructions, responds to management direction and solicits feedback to improve performance.
• Safety and security—actively promotes and personally observes safety and security procedures, and uses equipment and materials properly.
• Must be a dynamic self-starter with demonstrated ability to work independently on special projects.

Physical, Environmental and Mental Requirements:
• Physical: Occasionally required to push/pull objects up to 50 lbs, and to lift/carry objects up to 25 lbs. Frequently required to perform moderately difficult manipulative tasks such as typing, writing, etc. Must be able to walk, stand, sit for extended periods.
• Sensory: Frequently required to read documents, written reports, and plans. Must be able to distinguish normal sounds with some background noise, as in answering the phone, interacting with residents and staff, etc. Must be able to speak clearly and understand/be understood using the English language.
• Cognitive: Frequently required to concentrate on moderate detail with constant interruption. Must be able to attend to a task/function for 20-45 minutes at a time. Frequently required to understand and relate to specific ideas, several at a time. Must be able to remember multiple tasks/assignments given to self and others over a period of several days.
• Environmental Conditions: Frequent exposure to varied office and mixed (residential/office) environments. Occasional exposure to toxins and poisonous substances, dust, and loud noises.
• Equipment: Frequently required to use a computer, phone, and fax machine.

Special Requirements:
• Must be able to meet and receive a criminal records clearance, as required by Title XXII, other licensing regulations, and Caminar practices.
• This position may require occasional driving. A valid California driver license and an MVR sufficient to obtain and reasonably maintain insurability under agency auto liability policies are essential job requirements. Personal auto insurance and reliable personal vehicle may be required and in all cases are strongly preferred.
• Must be able to pass post offer, pre-employment medical and drug tests as required under State Community Care Licensing regulations and/or agency policies.
• Must obtain and maintain First Aid and CPR certification.

Caminar is a leader in providing innovative client-oriented mental health services. We are an equal opportunity employer. Please visit our web site at