MENTAL HEALTH CLIENT SPECIALIST

Job Specifications

Class Code:

NP5 

Analyst: 

LR/JS; MM 

Date Originated:

10/90 

Date Revised:

9/11

COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ

DEFINITION

Under general supervision, to provide a variety of professional mental health and/or substance abuse services and related administrative functions in support of clients and their families, including case management, short term crisis intervention, evaluation, counseling, and/or assisting in the implementation of appropriate treatment or service plans; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

This is the journey level in the professional Mental Health/Substance Abuse series and performs duties under the supervision of a mental health licensed or substance abuse certified staff member. Incumbents perform case management and/or crisis intervention/short term support, counseling to implement assigned client treatment plans. Clients include children, adults, with severe disability, chronic illness, individuals in a crisis situation, and individuals who are incarcerated. This class is distinguished from the lower level classification of Community Mental Health Aide in that the latter assists professional Mental Health staff in providing client services, and from the advanced journey level classification of Senior Mental Health Client Specialist which requires licensing and provides intensive therapy and treatment in the more complex cases.

TYPICAL TASKS

Interview clients to assess and evaluate the clients' problems, provide crisis intervention and determine treatment or rehabilitation needs; gather and analyze information on clients' presenting circumstances, social, substance use and psychiatric history, and/or immediate needs; determine need and eligibility for psychiatric hospitalization or other treatment, making recommendations and referrals within the Agency or to other programs and agencies as appropriate; provide continuing case management services to severely mentally ill and/or substance abusing clients and their families, assisting clients to function at the most independent level in the least restrictive setting possible; serve as Coordinator of client service plans which address the psychosocial needs as stated by clients which may include housing, employment, education, financial, legal and social needs; prepare case histories and assessments or service plans; provide individual, group and family mental health/substance abuse sessions as assigned, under the direct supervision of a licensed or substance abuse certified staff member; prepare a variety of administrative records, reports, correspondence and other documentation and maintains client records; communicate and/or consults with a variety of organizations, agencies, programs, and individuals in obtaining necessary treatment approaches and/ or support services for clients, assisting clients to meet their basic needs and improve their current situations; work with other agencies to identify, promote and develop needed health care services; participate in staff meetings, in-service training, team treatment sessions, conferences, and workshops; consult with supervisor, team members, and other professional staff concerning client caseload and/or assigned functions; arrange for emergency treatment and/or detention or out-of-home placement and care as necessary; input and access data using a computer; those possessing appropriate licensure may occasionally be asked to administer injections; may provide vacation or temporary relief for other classes.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

Knowledge of:

Working knowledge of:

Some knowledge of:

Ability to:

Special Requirements/Conditions:

         License Requirement: 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).

 

 

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:

A two-year Master's degree from an accredited college or university in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, Social Work, Clinical Psychology, Counseling, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, or closely related behavioral science field (with a focus in counseling methods or techniques).

OR

A one-year Master's Degree (as above) and two years full-time experience in a recognized public or private agency providing mental health counseling*, substance abuse counseling, psycho-social assessment, or case management services to mentally ill, substance abusing, or emotionally disturbed individuals

OR

BA Degree from a college or university in counseling, psychology, other mental health related field AND three years full-time experience in a recognized public or private agency providing mental health counseling*, substance abuse counseling, psycho-social assessment, or case management services to individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, or emotional disturbance.

OR

Four years full-time experience in a recognized public or private agency providing mental health counseling*, substance abuse counseling, psychosocial rehabilitation, or case management services to individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, or emotional disturbance.

*Educational counseling may be considered for up to 50 percent of qualifying experience for assignments in Children's Mental Health.

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; hostile or violent individuals; 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 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