Human Services Specialist II - Homeless Services Intake Worker

Alexandria, VA
$52,326.04 - $70,092.62 Annually
May 12, 2022
May 26, 2022
Full Time
Human Services Specialist II

Homeless Services Intake Worker

The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for our Human Services Specialist II position.

An Overview

The Human Services Specialist I provides intensive social work services and crisis intervention to the vulnerable and at-risk individuals and families seeking services through the Homeless Services and Assessment Center. The incumbent supports and assists clients experiencing housing instability due to mental and physical illness, loss of employment, substance abuse, and domestic violence, etc. The Family Service Specialist I assesses clients’ strengths and limitations, as well as potential risk factors, and assists in advocating for a wide variety of social services to address household needs. The Family Service Specialist I utilizes various therapeutic techniques to assist clients in exploring every available options, feelings, attitudes, and anxieties which inhibit resolution of their housing problem as well as barriers to stability. Work is performed under the general supervision of a Family Services Specialist Supervisor in the Office of Community Services.

What You Should Bring

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of the principles and practices of social work; knowledge of social, psychiatric, economic and health problems; knowledge of early childhood and human development theory, principles and practices; knowledge of community resources or the ability to readily acquire such knowledge; knowledge of individual, group, and family therapy theory and techniques or the ability to acquire such knowledge; knowledge of counseling techniques provided to clients with mental disorders, substance abuse; knowledge of human services literature with emphasis on special population (trauma survivors, homeless, disabled, etc.); ability to quickly assess and defuse hostile situations; ability to identify social problems and needs, and to assess the strengths and challenges of individuals and families; ability to plan and organize work; ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; ability to work collaboratively with private and public agencies; ability to understand and interpret laws, policies, and regulations.

The Opportunity
  • Maintains a variety of records as required by the Housing Crisis Response System and HMIS;
  • Conducts in person eligibility screenings and comprehensive needs assessments for households seeking to access homeless services;
  • Assesses safety risks to clients in accordance with state and local policies and makes referrals to Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, Mental Health or Substance Abuse Services or law enforcement when warranted;
  • Provides crisis intervention and specialized casework at-risk individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness, and mental health or substance abuse issues as well as trauma, and domestic violence;
  • Acts as the first point of contact for clients experiencing an emergency need, i.e housing and provides supportive services and resources, such as shelter, food, clothing and critical medications, to alleviate immediate needs;
  • Utilizes a variety of counseling and therapeutic techniques, including crisis intervention, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and strengths-based counseling to assist clients in confronting and resolving emotional and environmental problems;
  • Prepares comprehensive social histories, psychosocial assessments, progress notes, and quarterly narratives;
  • Maintains client information, contact and progress notes in case management database information systems and case files;
  • Completes monthly program statistical and narrative reports;
  • Provides advocacy services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness including locating and referring to community services and resources;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

About the Department

The Center for Economic Support provides programs and services for Public Benefits, Community Services, and Employment and Training. Our mission is to provide direct services to City of Alexandria residents in need of temporary assistance with food, shelter, employment and State medical assistance as they strive toward self-sufficiency.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Bachelor's Degree in psychology, social services, public health, guidance, or a related field; three years of experience in the provision of mental health and/or substance abuse treatment services, including some experience at the level of Caseworker; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Employees must possess a valid driver's license issued by the State of their residence.

Preferred Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with at least 2 years of relevant experience in providing crisis intervention and counseling services; Must have a valid driver's license. At least one year of experience in case management, counseling the homeless population. Competent in imputing data and pulling reports from the Homeless Management Information System or other equivalent client database; At least one year of direct client experience within homeless services; Proficiency in using computers, particularly Microsoft Office Suite and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) or an equivalent client database system.


This position requires the successful completion of pre-employment background checks including but not limited to: Criminal Records Check; VA State Child Abuse/Neglect Registry; Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Database; education/certifications; drug screening; and driver's license.

Schedule: Monday through Friday, 7:30AM - 4:30PM. Occasional need to work nights and weekends for special projects/assignments.

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