Chemical Dependency Counselor I, Crisis #178

LifeWorks NW is a private, non-profit organization providing prevention, mental health, substance use treatment, and related social services to youths, adults, and older adults in over fifteen locations throughout Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. LifeWorks NW promotes a healthy community by providing quality and culturally responsive mental health and addiction services across the lifespan.

Our core values-Recovery and Relationships, Resilience, and Results-inform the work we do. The four pillars of the strategic vision include Compassionate, Impactful Care, Holistic Health, Passionate Team, and Thriving Organization. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are critical to successfully achieving the mission. We know that "life works" when people get the help they need and are dedicated to changing lives.

The Chemical Dependency Counselor 1 position provides screening and referral for substance use disorder treatment services and transitional case management while individuals engage in on-going substance use disorder services.  Services will be provided at both the Hawthorn Walk-In Center and by mobile response in the community.  Responsible for screening, service coordination and referral, brief crisis counseling, short term support to individuals while engaging in substance abuse treatment services.  Consultation and coordination with treatment providers as needed to support referrals to services.

Location: This position is based out of LifeWorks NW's Hawthorn site. 

Days/Hours: Tuesday through Saturday  9:30am - 6:00 pm.

Pay/Benefits: $24.54 to $25.86 per hour. Additional $7.50/hr differential for swing shift and weekends. 

This position is 40 hours a week. Full benefits.

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES: (These responsibilities must be able to be performed with or without reasonable accommodation.)

  • Responsible for in person screening, substance use and risk assessments including initial intake interview, formulating a substance use diagnosis, identifying appropriate referrals for treatment services. 
  • Provide crisis intervention and support, as appropriate.
  • Develop a plan to connect the individual to substance use disorder services and an interim plan for the person to access support between the time of screening and the date the person can be admitted to treatment. Plan will be based on individuals' interests, abilities, strengths, and clinical needs.
  • Maintain awareness of community referral resources. Helps to build positive relationships with other community providers and provides appropriate referral services.
  • Provides culturally appropriate resources and support linkage, advocacy, and community collaboration as well as evaluation for individuals.
  • Provide training to staff, caregivers, and family regarding issues of substance use as it relates to clients
  • Provide accurate screenings for mental health, health, gambling, suicide ideation, trauma, and domestic violence issues, and make referrals to appropriate services providers as necessary.
  • Provide referral services to individuals and their families, e.g., residential services, health care, mental health services, community resources, recovery support services, etc.
  • Counsel individuals or families, using evidence-based treatment practices, to help them understand problems, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with substance use treatment providers to ensure smooth transition into care for individuals. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with referral sources. 
  • Serve as back-up for other staff when needed.
  • Observe and evaluate individual's behavior, social development, and physical health and motivation and readiness for treatment.
  • Identify and diagnose substance use disorders, using information obtained from interviews, records, and reference materials. 
  • Notify individual, of diagnosis and initial treatment recommendations in a timely manner, complete written narrative of the screening assessment, obtain necessary authorizations for disclosure.
  • Involve significant other(s), care givers and care providers in the care plan as indicated and planned with the individual. 
  • May be responsible for service coordination.  Coordinate/collaborate with physicians, staff, families, caregivers, referents, etc. 
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of screening and referral to services
  • Document and maintain client records in electronic healthcare system within 24 hours of meeting with client to ensure compliance with agency and contract guidelines and confidentiality.
  • Complete required reports for Washington County Addictions.
  • Identify situations involving domestic abuse or other family problems affecting clients' development and determines whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists. Follows through with mandatory reporting duties.
  • Participate in a culture of feedback at the agency by eliciting feedback to promote professional growth and assess work effectiveness
  • Travel between sites or in the community, may transport clients in the LifeWorks NW vehicles.
  • Evenings and / or weekends required.
  • Participate in regular individual and team meetings with supervisor.  Attend informational and clinical meetings which may include all staff and team meetings, consultation with other staff, and required trainings.
  • Attend meetings and coordinate with Washington County Staff regularly. 
  • Meets performance standards for direct service, documentation (including progress notes, assessments) proficiency in clinical model and evidence-based practices, quality of care (including engagement and linkage to services) and teamwork as defined in the Performance Review.
  • Check e-mail/voice mail throughout the day when working and respond appropriately.

Work Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others 

Provide assessment, emotional support, referrals, and resources to individuals who are not known to the team, experiencing behavioral health crisis; including intoxication and/or experiencing distressing symptoms including suicidal ideation.  Includes use of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale to identify level of presenting risk and collaborate with team members to mitigate imminent risk, with the goal of hospital diversion when possible

De-escalation- use of verbal de-escalation skills to resolve heightened emotional situations on site and in the community, use of team approach to de-escalation as needed

Urgent Care Coordination- ability to work with the team to request and communicate with emergency services such as dispatch, law enforcement, paramedics, and hospitals

Communicating with Supervisors and Peers Provide information to supervisors and co

Workers, community partners by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.  This includes talking with team members about workflow and capacity.

Documenting/Recording Information - Enter and maintain information in written or electronic form - within agency timeframes.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others and maintaining them over time.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Responding to complaints, working to settle disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others and co-workers.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

REQUIREMENTS: (Equivalent education and/or experience may be substituted for qualifications.  Requirements are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills and/or abilities.  To perform this job successfully, the employee will possess the abilities or aptitudes to perform each task proficiently.)

  • Requires a current CADC 1 or equivalent national certification; or a submitted application for CADC 1 with a formal plan to obtain certification within six months of hire.
  • If recovering from a substance use related disorder, must be able to demonstrate continuous sobriety under nonresidential, independent living conditions for the immediate past two years.
  • Have knowledge, skills, and abilities demonstrating competence in treatment of substance-related disorders including client evaluation and individual, group, family, and other counseling techniques; program policies and procedures for client case management and record keeping; and accountability for recording information in the client files assigned to them consistent with those policies and procedures.  
  • Should be familiar with theory or concepts of prevention, trauma informed care, cultural awareness and dual diagnosis.
  • Must have a working understanding of cultural values and norms, acculturation, and generational issues within a culture; extensive knowledge and understanding of resources and appropriate support linkage available within the community; effective inner-cultural communication skills in order to advocate for culturally diverse clients.
  • Knowledge of human development across the span of life.   
  • Sensitivity and understanding of specific barriers which may lead to lack of access and engagement.
  • Good computer skills including a functional knowledge of Microsoft Outlook and Word.  Ability to master proprietary software including electronic health record system.
  • Requires ability to work evenings and/or weekends, depending on the work assignment
  • Requires valid driver's license and verification of safe driving record from DMV.
  • Ability to perform essential functions of job without creating a direct threat to the safety of self or others.
  • The ability to work in the community and in person with clients and community partners.

Working Conditions:

  • At least one weekend day required. 
  • Evenings required for some positions.
  • Some holidays required (shared between co-workers)
  • Work in a shared space (cubicles)
  • Share tasks with the team and collaborate with co-workers to prioritize and complete tasks.
  • See people in person in the clinic and in the community, by mobile response.  Locations may include:  a person's home or residence, hospital, jail, schools and so forth.  This also includes meeting with people outside in the elements.
  • As part of crisis and safety net services, our programs are considered essential services and continue to operate when other programs and agencies might be closed, such as during inclement weather or other hazardous conditions, like poor air quality. 
  • Individuals in this position need to report in person and provide services during inclement weather and other hazardous conditions (whenever reasonably possible). 

This is a represented position.

Drug Free/Tobacco Free Site 01/09