Job Specifications


Class Code: SL3/SL5
Analyst: PT/CE
Date Originated: 2/97
Date Revised: 06/02


Under direction, provides for the care, welfare, and rehabilitation of clients on an assigned shift; and does other work as required.


Mental Health Counselor I is the trainee class in the series. Incumbents initially work under close supervision, learn the procedures of caring for and counseling clients in a specialized treatment program, and work various shift assignments. Incumbents are expected to promote to the next level of Mental Health Counselor II after gaining experience and demonstrating the required level of proficiency.

Mental Health Counselor II , the full journey level, is expected to carry out a wide range of responsible work assignments on a shift with a minimum of direction. This class is distinguished from Senior Mental Health Counselor in that the latter is the supervisor with responsibility for operations on an assigned shift, including scheduling staff and program activities.


Tasks are performed by both levels (I as trainee and II as journey): Plan, organize, and lead in a structured program of counseling, work, study, rehabilitation, recreation and social activities for a group of emotionally disturbed clients, including activities such as individual, group and family counseling and discussions; oversees daily living routines and development of life skills, including meals, arts and crafts, sports, personal hygiene, housekeeping chores, and clothing issue; assist youth to gain insight into themselves and their relationships to family, peers and adults; observe and document in clinical records on youth treatment goals, behavior, attitude, appearance, interests and skills; maintain necessary log and reports, including progress notes, including possible effects of medication on behavior; assists clients in taking prescribed medication; assist clinicians with development of treatment plan; may assist in clinical assessment; leads off-site therapeutic activities; assists with intake; explain the purposes and procedures of the program and facility; participates in four-month treatment plan review meetings; participate in multi-disciplinary clinical meetings with residents and families; maintain good discipline and instruct clients in acceptable behavior; take proper action for non-cooperating youth; remain alert for potential problems and take measures to reduce tensions and avoid possible violence; contact parents, probation officers, police and others as required; observe and facilitate family and significant other visiting; attend and participates in staff, program and planning meetings; participate and assist in group and individual in-service training programs; transports groups on therapeutic outing activities; transports individuals to hospitals, clinics and community facilities; may provide back-up for other classifications as required; may supervise volunteers and student interns.


Knowledge of:

Mental Health Counselor I

Some knowledge of:

Mental Health Counselor II

Working knowledge of the above, plus working knowledge of:

Ability to:

Abilities required of I as trainee and II as journey

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledges and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain these knowledges and abilities would be:

Mental Health Counselor I: Fifteen (15) semester units of college coursework in psychology, sociology, or other behavioral science, or experience involving the supervision, care or leadership of adolescents, or one year of non-professional treatment experience in a mental health program or facility.

Mental Health Counselor II: One year of experience performing duties comparable to a Mental Health Counselor I in Santa Cruz County.

Special Requirements/Conditions:

Selective certification, based on male or female gender to meet staffing needs and maintain a gender balance on each shift, may be requested for permanent regular (non-extra help hires) appointments in these classifications.

License/Certificate Requirements: For both levels: Possession of a valid California class C driver license.

Special Working Conditions: Exposure to the possibility of bodily injury; infections which may cause chronic disease or death; combative minor detainees; offensive odors; high noise levels; insect bites; dust and pollens.

Background Investigation: Fingerprinting is required.

Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 04
Occupational Grouping: 69
Worker's Comp Code: 0285