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Requisition Number 18-10126
Post Date 8/2/2018
Title Substance Use Counselor
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Division Clinical
Pay Frequency Semi-Monthly
City Pacoima
State CA

   Substance Use Counselor

Impact People's Lives While Expanding Your Skills at a Leader in Substance Use Services

Diverse Role    ●    Excellent Training    ●    Career Options    ●    Great Culture


Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been a leading provider of community mental health and substance use services since 1942. With a history stretching back to the Great Depression, Didi Hirsch has established a strong reputation in the communities we serve. We help more than 90,000 children and adults each year from 11 locations and 100 schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. We are committed to excellence, diversity and opportunity. We are dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who make a difference in the lives of the clients we serve. We offer a competitive salary along with a full benefits package. 


Top five reasons to bring your career to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services:

  • This is a diverse role, allowing you to expand your skills in assessment, group and individual counseling, case management, coordinating among agencies/programs and more.
  • While experience with dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders would be great, if you don't yet have it, you'll acquire it here. We'll also help you get CCAPP or CADTP certified, if you aren't already.
  • Through our dedicated Training Division, we provide extensive professional development programs, in class and online.
  • Add it all up, and this is great opportunity to start building a rewarding career home -- with advancement potential -- at a leader in community mental health services.
  • You'll find a strong family-like culture here; people enjoy working together to help some of the most vulnerable members of our communities improve the quality of their lives.

Your key duties will include:

Your responsibilities will depend on the program to which you are assigned, but in most cases, you will be part of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Your key objectives will include: 

  • Providing comprehensive counseling services for adults that address problems related to the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Case management activities  
  • Assessing, facilitating and documenting group and individual counseling sessions, addressing individual progress and outcomes, ensuring compliance with Agency, state licensing and other regulatory standards and guidelines.
  • Ensuring a safe, nurturing environment for clients that fosters a sense of hope, dignity and direction.


In this role you may:


  • Conduct/facilitate individual and group substance abuse prevention education and awareness, and counseling sessions and provide routine case management including assessment, intake, crisis intervention, and exit interviews for adults or adolescents with a history of substance abuse.
  • Interface with such agencies as the Department of Mental Health, Criminal justice services, Department of Public Health – Substance Abuse Prevention and Control and other related community agencies and resources to give and receive information relative to clients. You may also participate in outreach efforts.
  • Maintain documentation of all counseling sessions, substance abuse services and other services; ensure compliance with Didi Hirsch policies and procedures, contracts and other regulatory agencies.
  • Supervise program participants with conflict resolution and medication compliance as necessary.
  • Develop and refine program curricula and materials.
  • Develop and maintain counselor skills through seminars, workshops, or other forms of training/education.
  • Attend and actively participate in all team and staff meetings, community meetings and supervision/consultation       


To excel in this role you will respond to crisis situations with a cool head. You may work with clients who are suicidal, actively using drugs or symptomatic of various behavioral or emotional issues. You'll need to be calm in the eye of the storm, focusing on containing the crises and coming up with short and long-term solutions as appropriate.


You also will need to be flexible and versatile; no two days will be the same and you will wear multiple hats: service provider, case manager, client advocate, life skills coach and others. Our most successful team members bring high energy, a positive approach and dedication to our mission.


It's important enough that it bears repeating: Documentation and paperwork are a fact of life for this and many other jobs at Didi Hirsch. Some team members have described it as "intense." You should understand the importance of careful documentation, not only in meeting reporting requirements, but also in collecting valuable information to support client treatment.  


You must be able to successfully pass our pre-employment screening, including a background check and live scan fingerprinting.  For bilingual positions, you will need to pass a language assessment. You will also need to meet the following requirements for this role:

·  Registration in one of the state-approved certification agencies for substance abuse (CCAPP, CADTP); certification is preferred.

  • Experience working with adults in group presentations and process.
  • Knowledge of substance abuse prevention and community resources.
  • Working knowledge of case management and conducting/facilitating individual and group counseling sessions for appropriate clients to be served.
  • Current knowledge of all job specific skills to include mental health programming, psychiatric crisis intervention, documentation, group/individual counseling, and multi-cultural and socio-economic issues.
  • Experience with community organization, program planning and implementation.
  • Basic advocacy skills.
  • The ability to learn and comply with Didi Hirsch Agency policies and procedures, HIPAA, DMH, SAPC, Child and Family Services, policies and documentation guidelines, and other state, federal regulations relating to program.
  • Personal computer skills including Microsoft Office applications as well as electronic health record (EHR) systems.
  • The ability to utilize analysis, experience, and judgment to make decisions within policies and practices.
  • A current California driver's license, proof of insurance and a driving record acceptable to the Agency's insurance carrier.
  • Knowledge of Drug Medi-Cal regulations, ASAM multi-dimensional assessment, motivational interviewing and cognitive- behavioral therapy model is preferred (we will train you if necessary)                                


Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is an equal opportunity employer.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.


  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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Didi Hirsch is an Equal Opportunity Employer

We provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, religious belief (including dress or grooming practices), color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions (including breast feeding), age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identification and expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, family care, marital status, status as a veteran or qualified disabled veteran, or any other classification protected by law.

Didi Hirsch is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants for employment. We are an EEO/AA Employer.