Recovery Mentor, Black Cultural Competency, #1239

LifeWorks NW promotes a healthy community by providing quality and culturally responsive mental health and addiction services across the lifespan. We envision an inclusive world where stigma fades and all people can live healthy and meaningful lives.

LifeWorks NW's REAL (Recovery, Empowerment, Achievement in Life) Program provides culturally responsive outpatient, community-based alcohol and drug treatment and mentoring for adolescent-aged Blacks.

The Recovery Mentor provides culturally specific services with consideration to how culture intersects with addiction and recovery as well as support in looking at cultural influences on behavior. 

Program/Dept:  REAL (Recovery, Empowerment, Achievement in Life) Program

Reports to:  Program Director

Location:  North Portland (St. Johns)

Status:  Regular, full-time, non-exempt

Compensation:  $17.02 - $18.30 per hour plus full comprehensive benefits

Training and assistance with certification provided.


Provide (a) culturally specific services, with consideration to how culture intersects with addiction and recovery, and (b) participant support in looking at cultural influences on behavior. 

Essential Responsibilities

(Must be able to be performed with or without reasonable accommodation.)

  • Collaborate and coordinate services with program staff, community providers, and personal support networks in order to support participant needs.

  • Attend program meetings for the purpose of coordinating care and consultation regarding participant participation and understanding of culture and identity.

  • Advocate for participants within systems; provide referrals reflective of cultural needs.

  • Facilitate peer mentoring groups.

  • Accompany participants into the community to access resources, attend appointments, and build skills; demonstrate knowledge of Black resources within the community.

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Black values, family systems, and community structures; facilitate regular cultural events with participants and families.

  • Use lived experience, along with profession judgement and training, to support participants towards self-identified goals and culturally responsive treatment planning.

  • Build community relationships by presenting the program to community partners and attending community partner meetings as requested.

  • Outreach to those not yet enrolled in the program.

  • Aid participants in acclimating to all program rules, etc.

  • Continually increase level of cultural sensitivity, awareness, and competency within the program and the agency. 

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills; maintain cooperative working relationships in a culturally diverse environment.

  • Attend informational and clinical meetings, which may include but is not limited to: agency-wide, team; psychiatrist consultation, staffing, and trainings.

  • Complete documentation in electronic health record system.

  • Check email and voicemail during work days, responding as appropriate.

  • Complete tasks accurately and within defined timeframes with minimal supervision. 

  • Cover for co-workers when needed; willingly accept and follow through on other tasks as needed.

  • Meet standards for attendance; follow department's call-in policy for unscheduled absences.

Work Activities

  • Communicate with Supervisors, Co-workers, and Others

    • Provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and others via phone, written form, email, and/or in person.

  • Gather Information

    • Observe, receive, and otherwise obtain information from all relevant sources.

  • Document/Record Information

    • Enter, record, store, and/or maintain information in written and/or electronic form.

  • Establish and Maintain Interpersonal Relationships

    • Develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, maintaining them over time.

  • Identify Objects, Actions, and Events

    • Identify information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences and/or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances and/or events.

  • Organize, Plan, and Prioritize Work

    • Develop specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

  • Increase and Utilize Relevant Knowledge

    • Keep up-to-date on and apply technical and other new knowledge relevant to your position with the agency.

  • Make Decisions and Problem Solve

    • Analyze information and evaluate results to determine the best solution and solve problems.

  • Communicate with Persons Outside the Agency

    • Communicate with and represent the agency to potential participants/clients, the public, government and community contacts, and other external sources via phone, written form, email, and/or in person.

  • Perform General Physical Activities

    • Performing physical activities, requiring considerable use of arms, legs, and moving the whole body, including but not limited to: standing, sitting, lifting up to 50 pounds (such as moving tables/chairs), walking, reaching, and twisting.


(Equivalent education and/or experience may be substituted for qualifications, which are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills, and/or abilities to perform this job successfully. The employee in this position must possess the abilities and aptitudes to perform each task proficiently.)

  • High school diploma or GED.

  • Substantial experience with and knowledge of issues involving addiction, including language, values, norms, and other attributes of this subculture; also including the subtleties and linguistic nuances of differences between honest dialogue and statements made for affect.

  • Demonstrable effective communication skills, including maintaining a cooperative working relationship with others in a culturally diverse environment.

  • Extensive knowledge of how to efficiently navigate the social service network from the bottom up.

  • Ability to accompany clients throughout their environment. 

  • Valid driver's license, access to a car, proof of current automobile insurance coverage, and safe driving record from DMV (verified by agency).

  • If recovering from a substance abuse related disorder, must demonstrate continuous sobriety under nonresidential, independent living conditions for the immediate past two years.

  • Demonstrable ability to maintain confidentiality and appropriate boundaries.

  • Good computer skills, including functional knowledge of Outlook and Word; ability to master proprietary software such as electronic health record system.

  • Ability to work some evenings and/or weekends. 

  • Ability to perform essential functions of job without creating a direct threat to the safety of self or others.


  • Customer and Personal Service

    • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction in a culturally diverse environment.

  • Clerical

    • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems, such as word processing, managing files and records, and other office procedures and terminology. 

  • English Language

    • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • Education and Training

    • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


  • Service Orientation

    • Actively looking for ways to help people in a culturally diverse environment.

  • Social Perceptiveness

    • Aware of others' reactions, and understanding why they react as they do, while being specifically sensitive to cultural differences.

  • Active Listening

    • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Speaking

    • Talking to others to convey information effectively in a culturally sensitive manner.

  • Reading Comprehension

    • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

  • Writing

    • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Coordination

    • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

  • Critical Thinking

    • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, and/or approaches to problems.

  • Monitoring

    • Monitoring/assessing performance of yourself, others, and/or organizations to make improvements and/or take corrective action.

  • Persuasion

    • Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


  • Problem Sensitivity

    • Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong - not solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

  • Deductive Reasoning

    • Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. 

  • Vision

    • Ability to see details at close and far range (within view of the observer). 

LifeWorks NW strives to create a culture of inclusion, and is continually working towards greater diversity across staff and leadership to ensure that our employees reflect our communities.

This position description is not intended to be, and should not be, construed as an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, skills, or working conditions associated with the position. While it is intended to accurately reflect the activities and requirements of the position, management reserves the right to modify, add, and/or remove duties as necessary. Job responsibilities are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an "at will" employment relationship.

LifeWorks NW is an Equal Opportunity Employer