Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor

Summary: The Substance Abuse Counselor provides substance use counseling services to individuals and groups of individuals who are engaged in case management programs. The Substance Abuse Counselor also provides technical assistance and training to departmental staff, other Organization staff, and shelter providers. General case management and counseling may also be part of the position depending on program. Populations served will vary by program but may include: children; adults; families; immigrants; refugees; and individuals with mental illness and/or HIV/AIDS. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Interviews and evaluates the substance use issues of program participants by using a variety of assessment techniques and instruments.
  • Documents assessment information as required in the program participants' files.
  • Provides intensive individual and group counseling to program participants at their level of understanding and acceptance.
  • Coordinates referrals for alcohol and other drug treatment. Acts as a liaison to community treatment programs.
  • Acts as an on-site substance use expert concerning alcohol and other drug problems and treatment modalities.
  • Establishes on-going counseling groups, both on and off site, and trains staff to act as co-facilitators.
  • Assumes responsibility of alcohol and other drug education counseling components of program, and collaborates in the design and implements projects as necessary.
  • Provides consultations related to therapeutic needs for program participants to other staff, as well as other agencies that interface with program participants.
  • Informs program participants and staff about alcohol and other drug related issues in relation to vocational, educational and independent living goals of program participants.
  • Provides financial assistance to program participants consistent with Organization and unit policies and the treatment/service plan.
  • Meets on a regular basis with staff from Organization departments to provide input on substance use education and the treatment needs of program participants.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with social service and government agencies to enhance service delivery and the Organization's image. Interpret Organization programs to other social service and government agencies, and the public and civic groups.
  • Trains staff in alcohol and other drug issues as required.
  • Researches and coordinates the purchase of assessment materials and equipment.
  • Maintains current materials and knowledge in the area of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Assists participants with other case management and daily living skill needs.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), private funding sources, Organization plans and policies and Unit guidelines. Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and in-house and external staff training to ensure that he/she understands and continues to adhere to such standards. Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience: High school diploma or GED and five years of related substance abuse counseling experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: Certificate of Alcohol and Drug Counseling required.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Other: May require staff to have an IL driver's license, good driving record and the use of a personal vehicle for work.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee is frequently required to sit, talk and hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.


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