Residential Support Counselor

Alexandria, VA
$42,397.42 - $58,099.60 Annually
Oct 03, 2019
Oct 17, 2019
Full Time
Residential Support Counselor
Alexandria Residential Treatment Center (ARTC)

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. About one-quarter square miles in the city have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for our Residential Support Counselor position.

An Overview
The Residential Support Counselor provides personal care assistance, supportive counseling and education to chemically dependent, acutely inebriated individuals and/or persons experiencing co-occurring disorders who are undergoing withdrawal or in early stages of recovery in a 24-hour SA residential facility. An employee in this class conducts intake activities, determines eligibility for the ARTC program and provides therapeutic and case management services. In cooperation with members of the clinical and nursing staff, the Residential Support Counselor coordinates the screening and admission for services while interfacing with collateral sources such as law enforcement, family members and healthcare providers. The Residential Support Counselor provides group and individual supportive counseling employing best practice models of treatment. The Residential Support Counselor prepares topics and facilitates groups related to education on substance abuse, recovery, health, life skills and other related topics. Provision of treatment focuses on engagement, encouraging client acknowledgment of addiction, promoting behavior modification, discussing current problems, treatment options, social and occupational planning. The Residential Support Counselor serves as a primary counselor as well as shift team leader. Independent judgment is required in making decisions concerning admissions, interventions and referrals with individuals who may have co-occurring diagnoses. Work is performed under the general supervision of the Assistant Team Leader- (Therapist Supervisor).

What You Should Bring
The ideal candidate should have good knowledge and understanding of substance abuse, available treatment and prevention methods; good knowledge of the sociological aspects of alcoholism and substance abuse; good knowledge of group dynamics; and good knowledge of commonly practiced approaches to counseling; some knowledge of psychopharmacology as it relates to the properties, actions, and health effects of illicit drugs, and commonly prescribed anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and anti-psychotic medications.

The Opportunity
  • Conducts intake screening interviews and assesses the appropriateness of potential consumers for treatment.
  • Provides information and referral, and orients consumers to the program.
  • Administers medications.
  • Monitors the vital signs and assess consumer's physical condition during withdrawal.
  • Obtains basic consumer information, medical history and all signed waivers and releases.
  • Protects consumer confidentiality as required by State and Federal Privacy Laws.
  • Serves as primary counselor for assigned consumers and as leader for a shift.
  • Maintains electronic case notes on consumer progress including significant or non-compliant behavior and motivation level regarding treatment.
  • Enters accurate and timely information into the consumer's medical record in compliance with all licensing, CARF and other standards.
  • Prepares incident reports.
  • Observes consumer participation in a casual setting, such as group sessions, and at A.A. meetings to evaluate mental and physical status and progress.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

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 years of college; A least one year of experience in a substance abuse treatment or mental health clinic providing individual and group counseling and/or case management coordination services; Completion of college level courses in Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and/or Mental Health diagnosis and treatment; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Must possess a valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications

Bachelor's or Master's degree in Mental Health / Substance Abuse related field or Possess current Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC); Licensed or licensed eligible as a Qualified Mental Health Professional - Adults (QMHP-A); At least two years of experience during the past five years of providing direct care services in an addiction treatment and/or mental health setting for adults; Fluent and bilingual in both English and Spanish.


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

Schedule: This is a full-time position; some evening and weekend hours will be required. The program operates 24/7 and staff work in the following shifts: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.; 11:00 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. As an essential employee, staff will be expected to be at work during weekends, holidays, or inclement weather if they have been scheduled.

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