Therapeutic Recreation Leader

Alexandria, VA
$42,940.30 - $57,519.80 Annually
May 25, 2023
Jun 29, 2023
Full Time
Therapeutic Recreation Leader

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 Therapeutic Recreation Leader position.

An Overview

The work of this class involves creating, implementing and leading therapeutic recreational programs for older adults with physical, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities, recognizing emergencies and other health threatening conditions for participants at the Adult Day Services Center. The work of this class provides assistance with personal hygiene, physical and cognitive activities, and social interactions. This class creates and implements behavior treatment plans for participants, communicates concerns and makes recommendations regarding the participants' behavioral problems to the direct supervisor, center nurse and center director. The incumbent plans and implements program goals and objectives. The incumbent initiates program activities and plans based on the varied interests and needs of the program participants. The incumbent works independently consulting, when necessary, with the supervisor. The work is performed under the general direction of a Therapeutic Recreation Manager.

What You Should Bring

The ideal candidate should have good knowledge of the social and recreational sciences, including the theory, principles and practices of therapeutic activities. Implementing activities for older adults in an adult day care program setting; knowledge of the aging process; ability to relate to frail and or impaired older adults and adults with disabilities; skilled in interpersonal work relationships; ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing with the program participants, caregivers, and co-workers; ability to break activities down into recreation skill levels that meet the needs of participants; ability to plan and present creative therapeutic activities for older adults. All employees must complete and sign the attached Essential Job Functions sheet.

The Opportunity
  • Leads daily therapeutic recreational activities, instructs and demonstrates game methods, motivates participants to actively participate in therapeutic activities to enhance individuals physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual well-being;
  • Inspects equipment and monitors activities to ensure safety standards are met and guidelines are followed;
  • Observes participants for changes in medical conditions and behavior;
  • Removes participants from groups when behavior becomes inappropriate;
  • Provides direct care to physically and cognitively impaired participants including toileting, changing soiled clothing, and assists with colostomy bags;
  • Provides assistance with ambulation, redirects confused and wandering participants and maintains a safe environment;
  • Plans and evaluates activities including scheduling appropriate groups at designated dates and times, ensuring all materials needed for activities are safe, clean and available for use, purchases supplies not available through City contracts;
  • Uses community resources to enhance the activity program;
  • Utilizes publications for activity professionals to incorporate new ideas and programs;
  • Uses the internet to research activity ideas and supplies;
  • Performs related work as required.

About the Department

The Center for Adult Services (CAS) provides programs and services in Aging; Adult Protective Services; Clinical & Emergency Services; and Community & Residential Support Services for seniors and for persons with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. CAS provides compassionate and effective person-centered services based on best practices. Our teams support self-determination, safety and recovery for Alexandria residents affected by abuse, neglect, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse disorders.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Two-Year College Degree; Good knowledge of the social and recreational sciences, including the theory, principles, and practices of therapeutic recreation; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities; ability to acquire appropriate certification in CPR and First Aid within the first three months of employment; completion of a minimum 40-hour training program consistent with Department of Medical Assistance Services requirement or Nursing Assistant Certification; employees must have a valid driver's license; pre-employment drug test; criminal records check; and TB test.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in therapeutic activities, preferably in an adult day care program setting or a directly related field working with the frail and impaired older seniors and person with disabilities; completions of college-level courses in gerontology including therapeutic recreation; or acquire appropriate certification from National Certification Council for Activities Professionals.


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; Verification of education/certifications; Drug screening and TB test.


Monday through Friday, 9:00AM - 5:30PM.

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