Catholic Community Services’ Counseling, Recovery & Wellness (CReW) Program is a licensed community mental health and substance use treatment program and provider of the King County Behavioral Health Organization (BHO). The program serves individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, or co-occurring disorders to help improve individuals’ quality of life. Individuals served are currently or formerly homeless, living in poverty, and have high barriers to participating in treatment. Services are provided in a variety of settings, including client’s homes, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, homeless shelters and the streets. Our services promote a collaborative partnership with the person served, the development of opportunities for personal growth, a commitment to community integration, goal-oriented and individualized supports, and satisfaction and success in community living.
The South King County Mental Health Outreach Specialist position is a collaboration between CREW and the Health Care for the Homeless Network (HCHN) to provide outreach, engagement, and linkages to persons that are experiencing homelessness and have mental health issues. The position will connect homeless individuals and families at select homeless sites who are most vulnerable and at risk, to prevent or reduce more acute illness, high-risk behaviors, incarceration and other medical or crisis responses by increasing patient access to adapted health care services. Services will be provided from a harm reduction and trauma-informed care approach, utilizing motivational interviewing skills. This position will operate with a great deal of independence and so requires strong interpersonal relationship and communication skills, common sense regarding personal safety, creative thinking, multitasking, and conflict resolution skills.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide effective services to individuals living in family shelters, through:
- Going to family shelters and day centers to make contact with individuals and offering services.
- Making repeated contacts, developing relationships with individuals and families in order to assess their service needs and responding with appropriate referrals and linkages to resources.
- Dialogue with individuals and families and relate personal experience that will assist in building trust with them.
- Utilizing an approach based in a recovery and strengths-based model to help individuals and families set long-term and short-term goals, and to convey messages of hope to individuals and team members that changes for individuals are possible.
- Helping individuals and families to reduce barriers to obtaining housing and providing direct support to access community resources such as personal identification, shelter, housing, entitlements, medical care, behavioral health treatment, etc.
- Referring eligible individuals families to more intensive case management or treatment programs when indicated, accepted and appropriate based on presenting behaviors, symptoms, strengths, needs and challenges.
- Developing and maintaining productive relationships with all community partners, including other outreach, basic-need and shelter programs through timely and effective communication and participation in all required meetings and activities in order to prevent duplication of services and promote effective collaboration and access to resources.
- Advocating for individuals and families living in shelters with a wide variety of other service providers.
- Identifying gaps and barriers in available community resources and advocate for systemic changes to improve quality and coordination of community services.
- Provide Substance Use Screening and Assessment, through:
- Conducting brief screenings to measure for behavioral health concerns such as the MAST and DAST to identify need for referrals.
- Completing initial intake assessments with adults or youth if requested and as needed to bridge gaps in accessing outpatient treatment with appropriate treatment programs. Assessments utilize ASAM Placement Criteria and DSM-5 diagnoses.
- Offering crisis intervention to urgent and emergent family needs through utilization of non-violent de-escalation techniques.
- Participating in psychiatric consultation, staffing and supervision for individuals with need for psychiatric medication monitoring. Communicate progress and concerns to the appropriate co-workers which may include a registered nurse and psychiatric practitioner.
- Offering consultation to other shelter and day center staff or community partners on appropriate interventions, considerations or responses based on families’ presenting behaviors, strengths and needs.
- Represent the CREW program and Catholic Community Services to community stakeholders using effective communication and strategic partnerships to best leverage the program’s strengths and contribute to the success of the program.
- Document services provided using clear, accurate and well-organized notes in an electronic health record system.
- Track all expenses and mileages accurately, effectively and in a timely manner.
- Participate in continuous improvement efforts by sharing perspectives in agency activities such as Quality Improvement reviews, staffing, or other means.
- Seek assistance and report incidents to the right people at the right time.
- Be able to organize weekly schedule, prioritize tasks, follow through on given assignments, demonstrate reliability in appointments with individuals, and accurately show documentation that work was done and completed within expected time frame
- Additional duties as assigned.
This position requires the employee to work in an environment where there may be exposure to blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious material. Other exposures could include cleaning supplies, chemicals involved in pest control, paint and other materials used in building maintenance. Working conditions may include interruptions, interactions with angry persons, and exposure to computer CRTs.
- CDP or CDPT certification with WA State Dept. of Health, or ability to obtain DOH credential within first 60 days of hire.
- A minimum of two years’ experience in work related to homeless services for individuals with mental health conditions or substance use disorders.
- Pass background check through Washington State Patrol.
- Availability to work flexible hours (evenings or early mornings may be needed).
- Proof of negative TB test within past 12 months or ability to complete within 6 months of hire.
- Active Washington State Driver’s License with reliable transportation and proof of insurance coverage.
- Experience providing services from harm reduction and trauma-informed care perspectives.
- Ability to prioritize workload and responsibilities in timely and efficient manner both independently and in consultation with supervisor.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, clients, and outside contacts from a wide variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Basic computer skills with ability to maintain up to date and organized records.
- Demonstrate the necessary attitudes, knowledge and skills to deliver culturally competent services and work effectively in multi-cultural situations.
- Responsible for upholding a culture of privacy and security in highly confidential work environment (HIPAA covered entity service area).
- Complies with all CCSWW policies and procedures that involve access to and safeguarding of client Protected Health Information (all forms).
- Associates, Bachelors or Masters level degree in social services related field.
- Experience working with homeless families and youth.