Human Services Specialist II

Alexandria, VA
$51,552.80 - $70,644.86 Annually
Sep 24, 2021
Oct 08, 2021
Full Time
Human Services Specialist II

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 Human Services Specialist II position.

An Overview

The Human Services Specialists II in the Office of Community Services provide supportive counseling and engage in a collaborative process of assessing, planning, facilitating, and advocating for services to meet the needs of individuals and families in crisis. Using culturally competent social work skills, they assess strengths, needs and trauma experiences, and coordinate utilization of available resources to assist clients in gaining stability and improving quality of life. In partnership with clients, Human Services Specialist II prepare, monitor and evaluate individual service plans, and provide interventions to facilitate alternative solutions to specific problems. OCS Human Services Specialist II work with special populations including low-income individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless or homeless, persons with disabilities or chronic illnesses, elderly, mentally ill, substance dependent, and ex-offenders. Human Services Specialist II maintain case records to include biopsychosocial assessments, budgets and service plans. In addition, Human Services Specialist II establish and maintain interagency relationships and community partnerships for provision of services.

What You Should Bring

Knowledge of social work principles and practices; knowledge of social, psychiatric, economic and health problems; ability to provide counseling using modalities and techniques such as Motivational Interviewing and Trauma Informed Care; experience providing coordinated case management services and applying social work techniques and practices; knowledge of early childhood development theory, principles and practices; ability to understand laws and interpret and apply policies and procedures; ability to apply casework principles and counseling techniques to clients with mental disorders, alcoholism, and/or drug abuse, and trauma survivors; knowledge of community resources or the ability to readily acquire such knowledge; experience working with low-income culturally diverse populations facing crisis; ability to quickly assess and defuse hostile situations; ability to identify social problems and needs, and to assess risk and protective factors of individuals and families; ability to assess clients from a strengths based perspective and guide them in the constructive use of their own capabilities; ability to plan, prioritize and organize multiple assignments; ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; ability to provide guidance and assistance to new staff, interns and volunteers; ability to establish and maintain effective collaborative working relationships with clients, co-workers, community partners, and the general public; possess proficient computer skills and ability to prepare and maintain complete and accurate records.

The Opportunity
  • Utilizes Crisis intervention, Motivational Interviewing, and Trauma Informed Care modalities to counsel and problem solve with clients and to engage and establish rapport;
  • Conducts biopsychosocial assessments to determine immediate need, history, and potential strengths and barriers;
  • Assesses initial and on-going risk factors to determine level of intervention which includes using a Self-Sufficiency Matrix and other standardized assessment tools;
  • Reviews verifications, prepares social histories, and makes recommendations for financial assistance based on federal, state and local program guidelines;
  • Develops individual service plans with clients and other providers to address service needs in life domains such as housing, family relationships, social activities, child care, family planning, health care, financial management, education, training, and employment, mental health and substance abuse, parenting education, anger management, etc.;
  • Refers, coordinates and monitors the delivery of appropriate services and leverages community resources to meet clients’ basic and treatment needs;
  • Provides crisis and supportive counseling and makes appropriate referrals to assist clients in addressing emotional and environmental problems, including relationships, suicidal ideation, substance use, self-injurious and risky behaviors, immigration and employment;
  • Conducts home visit and accompanies clients to appointment as needed;
  • Builds and maintains partnerships with landlords, management companies and non-profit providers to identify affordable housing locally and in surrounding jurisdictions;
  • Creates and maintains confidential client files and enters information in secure case management database;
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

About the Department

The Center for Children and Families (CCF) provides programs and services for Behavioral Health, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Child Welfare & Child Protective Services, Early Childhood and Youth Development. CCF provides compassionate, collaborative and effective person and family-centered services based on best practices. Our teams support self-determination, safety, recovery and resiliency for Alexandria children and all residents affected by abuse, neglect, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse disorders.

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.

Preferred Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree in social work or related field and at least two years of experience in the provision of crisis counseling and case management with the economically disadvantaged. Extensive knowledge of social, economic, health, and behavioral problems; experience working with clients in crisis and engaging difficult to serve individuals and families; The ability to identify social problems and needs in order to assess clients' and/or their family's ability to utilize available services; strong knowledge of benefit programs and community resources and the ability to interpret laws, policies and procedures, and regulations for such programs; The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and advocate for service population and liaison with community resources; ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; The ability to prepare and maintain complete and accurate records and reports and possess proficient computer skills, 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: FBI/Federal Records Check; VA State Child Abuse/Neglect Registry; Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Database; education/certifications; and driver’s license.

Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM. Occasional need to work nights and weekends for special projects/assignments.

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