Prevention Specialist (behavioral Health Wellness)

$55,931.20 - $85,488.00 Annually
Oct 18, 2019
Oct 25, 2019
Full Time
Position Information

Arlington County Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking a dynamic, engaging and motivated Prevention Specialist to join the Behavioral Health Wellness team in the Child and Family Services Division (CFSD). The Prevention Specialist is responsible for providing substance use prevention, early intervention, outreach, and behavioral wellness promotion services to young people (ages 3-18) and their families by identifying and implementing evidence-based prevention programming at community sites, including schools, community centers, and other locations throughout Arlington County. This position works in collaboration with therapists, case managers, Arlington County Court Services Unit, and Arlington Public School staff to coordinate prevention services for youth and families.

Specific duties include:
  • Collaborating with schools, parent-teacher groups, civic organizations, faith-based groups, and other youth and community organizations to provide information and awareness on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and behavioral wellness promotion activities;
  • Participating in alcohol, tobacco or other drug awareness campaigns, as well as health fairs and other community events for the purpose of providing substance use prevention and behavioral wellness promotion messages;
  • Providing trainings to the community on Mental Health First Aid, SafeTalk, Lock and Talk, and other prevention programs as well as providing in-service training to staff on emerging practices and trends;
  • Attending training, seminars, workshops, and classes to achieve best practices in prevention services;
  • Documenting all program activities and submitting program reports and records according to the agency's established deadlines; and
  • Participating in divisional, departmental, school, and county committees and task forces.

The ideal candidate will have exceptional communication skills to engage a diverse community on substance use prevention and behavioral health and wellness issues via multiple platforms including public speaking, website development, social media and promotional materials.

Arlington County DHS is committed to delivering client services in an effective, equitable, respectful, and trauma-informed manner. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring our clients are approached, engaged and cared for in ways that demonstrate competency, sensitivity and awareness of factors which impact the client experience including but not limited to: cultural identity, gender, racial, and ethnic diversity, religious/spiritual ascription, physical capability, cognitive and literacy levels, sexual orientation, and linguistic needs. The Prevention Specialist is expected to establish a strategic vision for service delivery that supports this mission and the needs of Arlington's youth and families.

Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor's degree in Education, Counseling, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Health or Human Services related field; and
  • Experience working with young people in a school, the community or child-serving agency promoting behavioral health and wellness services, and/or addressing substance use.

Additional qualifying experience may substitute for the education requirement on a year-for-year basis.

Desirables: Preference may be given to candidates with experience in one or more of the following:
  • Promoting a program's website and social media presence;
  • Creating flyers and info graphics;
  • Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) credential;
  • Substance use prevention training; and/or
  • Bilingual in Spanish/English.

Special Requirements

Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST) must be completed within 18 months of employment.

Applicant must possess, or obtain by time of appointment, a valid motor vehicle operator's license from the applicant's place of residence. The applicant must authorize Arlington County to obtain, or the applicant must provide, a copy of the applicant's official state/district driving record. Any offer of employment may be contingent upon a favorable review of the applicant's driving record.

A background check is required and may include checks of the following: criminal record, driving record, education, professional licensure, and credit check and may require signing a release authorizing the County to obtain this information. The position will require travel around Arlington County. Applicant must possess or obtain by the time the appointment a valid Driver's license from the applicant's place of resident or be willing to use alternative modes of transportation.

A pre-hire background check and State of Virginia Child Welfare and Neglect Central Registry may be required.

Additional Information

Work hours: A very flexible schedule is required due to the nature of the work. This will include some work between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, frequent evening and weekend hours are required to support the community and program implementation.

Your responses to the supplemental questionnaire are considered part of the selection process and are required for this position. Please do not give "see resume" as a response to the questions. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Arlington County Government employee benefits depend on whether a position is permanent, the number of hours worked, and the number of months the position is scheduled.

Specific information on benefits and conditions of employment can be found on the Arlington County Human Resources Department website:

Permanent, Full-Time Appointments
All jobs are permanent, full-time appointments unless otherwise stated in the announcement. The following benefits are available:

Paid Leave : Vacation leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. Leave accrual increases every three years until eight hours of leave are earned biweekly for twelve or more years of service. Sick leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. There are eleven paid holidays each year.

Health and Dental Insurance : Three group health insurance plans are offered - a network open access plan, a point-of-service plan, and a health maintenance organization. A group dental insurance plan is also offered. The County pays a significant portion of the premium for these plans for employees and their dependents. A discount vision plan is provided for eye care needs.

Life Insurance : A group term policy of basic life insurance is provided at no cost to employees. The benefit is one times annual salary. Additional life insurance is available with rates based on the employee's age and smoker/non-smoker status.

Retirement : The County offers three vehicles to help you prepare for retirement: a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan (401(a)), and a deferred compensation plan (457). The defined benefit plan provides a monthly retirement benefit based on your final average salary and years of service with the County. You contribute a portion of your salary on a pre-tax basis to this plan. General employees contribute 4% of pay; uniformed public safety employees contribute 7.5% of pay. Employees become vested in the plan at five years of service. The County also contributes to this plan.

For general employees, the County also contributes 4.2% of pay to a defined contribution plan (401(a)) . The County also matches your 457 contribution, up to $20 per pay period, in this plan. The 457 deferred compensation plan allows you to set aside money on either a pre-tax (457b) or post-tax (457 Roth) basis up to the IRS annual limit. New employees are automatically enrolled with a pre-tax contribution equal to 2% of your base pay.

Other Benefits: The County also offers health, dependent care, and parking flexible spending accounts; long-term care insurance; tuition assistance; transit and walk/bike to work subsidies; a college savings plan; wellness programs; training opportunities; and a variety of other employee benefits.

Permanent, Part-Time Appointments:
Part time employees who work ten or more hours per week receive paid leave and benefits in proportion to the number of hours worked per week.

Limited Term Appointments:
Benefits are the same as permanent appointments except that the employees do not achieve permanent status.

Temporary Regular Appointments:
Temporary regular employees who work 30 hours or more per week are eligible for health, dental, and basic life insurance as described above. They are also eligible for vacation, sick leave, and paid holidays.

Temporary Seasonal and Occasional Appointments:
Temporary employees who work on a seasonal basis or variable hours receive sick leave, but do not normally receive other paid leave or benefits. Exceptions are noted in individual announcements.


I understand that a very flexible schedule is required for this position.
  • Yes
  • No


Please provide the following:
  • Highest level of degree earned:
  • Area of focus:
  • Are you substituting years of experience for the degree requirement?:
  • How many years do you have in related work experience?:


Please select if you have experience in one or more of the following (check all that apply):
  • Providing substance use prevention and behavioral wellness promotion.
  • Organizing community events
  • Working with individuals with trauma history
  • Organizing and convening psycho-educational support groups
  • Working with a diverse population
  • None of the above


Describe your experience for any of the boxes checked above as well as any additional relevant behavioral health experiences. If none of the above are checked, type N/A.


Are you currently credentialed as a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)?
  • Yes
  • No


Please list any prior substance use prevention training. If none, type N/A.


This recruitment may be used to fill future similar vacancies. Are you sufficiently proficient in oral Spanish to interview, assess the needs of, counsel and refer Spanish speaking individuals who have limited English proficiency and who are facing a crisis?
  • Yes
  • No

Required Question

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