Residential Support Counselor

Alexandria, VA
$42,397.42 - $58,099.60 Annually
May 28, 2020
Jun 11, 2020
Full Time
Residential Support Counselors
Alexandria Residential Treatment Center (ARTC)
(2 Full-Time Positions)

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 positions.

An Overview
A Residential Support Counselor provides personal care assistance, supportive counseling and education to chemically dependent, acutely inebriated and/or persons experiencing co-occurring disorders who are undergoing withdrawal or in early stages of recovery in a residential treatment facility that operates 24/7. An employee in this class conducts intake activities, determines eligibility for the Alexandria Residential Treatment Center (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 use disorders, recovery, health, life skills and other related topics. Provision of treatment focuses on engagement, encouraging consumer 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 coordinator. 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 Therapist Supervisor.

What You Should Bring
The ideal candidate will possess knowledge and an understanding of substance use disorders, available treatment and prevention methods; good knowledge of the sociological aspects of alcoholism and substance use disorders; good knowledge of group dynamics; 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; some knowledge of available City medical, mental health, legal, social and supplemental services available through other community agencies and organizations; some knowledge of the behavior of emotionally and socially disturbed and/or chemically dependent persons; ability to establish rapport with consumers; ability to provide effective intervention in crisis situations and maintain and support a therapeutic environment with potentially agitated consumers; ability to maintain accurate records.

The Opportunity
  • Conducts intake screening interviews and assesses the appropriateness of potential consumers for treatment;
  • 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;
  • Maintains case notes on consumer's progress including behavior that does/does not conform to the program's rules and expectations and motivation level regarding treatment;
  • Enters accurate and timely information into the consumer's electronic medical record in compliance with all licensing, CARF and other standards;
  • Observes consumer participation in a casual setting, such as group sessions, and at A.A. meetings to evaluate mental and physical status and progress;
  • Leads discussion groups and community meetings as well as providing group education on substance use and related topics;
  • Participates in the development, revision and implementation of individualized treatment plans and discharge / aftercare plans;
  • Administers first aid and notifies police, medical or psychiatric services in an emergency;
  • Arranges and provides transportation to medical facilities and other consumer-related appointments;
  • Maintains all required City, State and Departmental certifications or licenses;
  • Assists consumers in performing personal hygiene tasks
  • Performs other 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 use disorders.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Two years of college; experience in a substance abuse treatment or mental health clinic providing individual and group counseling and/or case management coordination services and 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 degree in a Mental Health / Substance Abuse related field; Possess current Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC); Two years of experience during the past five years providing direct care services to adults in substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment. Currently licensed or license eligible as a Qualified Mental Health Professional - Adults (QMHP-A); At least twelve hours of training in Motivational Interviewing (MI); Fluent and Bilingual in both Spanish & English.


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.

Position #1
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00AM - 11:30PM; Monday & Friday, Friday, 3:00PM - 11:30PM

Position #2
Saturday, 7:00AM -11:30PM; Monday, 3:00PM - 11:30PM; Thursday, 3:00PM - 7:30AM.

As an Essential Employee, staff will be expected to be at work during weekends, holidays, or inclement weather if they have been scheduled.

Similar jobs