Promoted content

Mental Health Client Specialist II

health services agency of santa cruz county

Filing deadline: 7/15/2022 11:59:00 PM

Salary: $6,228 - $7,873 per month

Job type: Open & Promotional

Description: Under general supervision, to provide a variety of professional mental health and/or substance use disorder services and related administrative functions in support of clients and their families, including case management/care coordination, short term crisis intervention, evaluation, counseling, and/or assisting in the implementation of appropriate treatment or service plans; and to do other work as required. This is the journey level in the professional Mental Health/Substance Use series. Incumbents are mental health license eligible and actively pursuing a full license from the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners (BBS) or have a higher level of experience in providing crisis intervention services. The list established from this recruitment will be used for current and future full-time, part-time, temporary and substitute vacancies during the life of the eligible list.

Any combination of training and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these would be:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited college or university in psychology, social work, counseling, or closely related behavioral science field
  • One year as a Mental Health Client Specialist I or equivalent experience
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in psychology, counseling, or closely related behavioral science field
  • Three years full-time experience in a recognized public or private agency providing mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, psycho-social assessment, or case management services to individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders, or emotional disturbance, which includes a minimum of two years’ experience in providing crisis intervention services in the community or in an inpatient psychiatric program

License Requirement: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License, or the ability to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.

Alcohol and Drug Assignment: All persons providing alcohol and drug counseling services within the Alcohol and Drug Program must be certified as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor OR be licensed as a mental health professional, OR within six (6) months of the date of hire, all non-licensed individuals, pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 8, Subchapter 2, or non-certified individuals providing counseling services in an AOD program, must be registered to obtain certification as an AOD counselor by one of the approved certifying organization (CCR, Section 13035(f)).

Other Special Requirements/Conditions:
All assignments: Exposure to offensive odors such as unwashed people and clothes, human and animal feces; the possibility of infections which may cause chronic disease or death; hostile or violent individuals and may be exposed to cigarette smoke. Juvenile Hall and Acute/Emergency Services assignments: Exposure to noise, such as people yelling.
Children’s Service assignment: Exposure to disturbing material, such as photos of abused children; allergens such as poison oak, insect stings or bites, and pollens. Some positions may require lifting objects such as boxes of belongings weighing up to fifty pounds.
Note: Persons in this classification may be assigned to positions with any of the above working conditions on an emergency, as needed basis.

Background Investigation: Fingerprinting is required.

Special Requirements: Positions may be assigned to carry a pager and respond to crisis situations and perform “on-call” or call/back duties. Work situations may include evenings, weekends and holidays.

Knowledge: Working knowledge of symptoms and behaviors of major mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders; basic social rehabilitation, socialization and practical life management skills; psychosocial aspects and characteristics of emotional disturbances, substance abuse and mental illness; principles and methods of interviewing, counseling, crisis intervention and assessing psychosocial behaviors; human behavior and development; and problems, attitudes, and needs of the emotionally or socially disturbed. Some knowledge of community resources; pharmacology of medications and psychotropic drugs; and laws and regulations as they pertain to clients’ rights.

Ability to: Assess clients’ behavioral, substance use and emotional problems/conditions, making knowledgeable recommendations and/or designing appropriate service plans; interview clients and record pertinent information in an effective manner, obtaining accurate social, personal, and psychosocial information; conduct effective individual and group mental health/substance abuse services with assigned clients including adults with serious mental and/or substance use disorders, individuals in crisis, and/or children with emotional disturbance and/or substance abuse under supervision; participate effectively with assigned treatment or case management team; prepare a variety of administrative and professional reports; learn the appropriate laws, regulations, Agency policies and procedures of health and social service programs; communicate effectively and persuasively in both oral and written form; establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties; learn to input and access data utilizing a computer; distinguish speech and non-speech sounds in noisy environments; intervene and diffuse situations involving combative clients which may include active restraint if needed; and stand and walk for extended periods of time may be required for some positions.

The examination: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.

How to apply: Apply online at or mail/bring an application and supplemental questionnaire to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. For information, call (831) 454-2600. Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711. Applications will meet the final filing date if received: 1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date.