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Douglas County  7370
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Pay Range GC21


This classification performs complex investigative psychological social work for both voluntary and involuntary clients for the mental health division of the health and social services department. Employees serve as professional mental health treatment specialists in a broad range of program areas including: 1) outpatient service to mentally and emotionally disturbed, 2) treatment of the severely and persistently psychiatrically disabled, 3) developmentally disabled, 4) service for other behavioral health disorders, and/or 5) as division resource manager.

This classification is distinguished from the mental health specialist 2 by the increased depth of interviews and case research conducted, the assignment of the more severely disturbed/handicapped clients and the increased emphasis on individual judgment and discretion in interacting with clients, families and other pertinent contacts. This classification is distinguished from the mental health specialist 4 who serves as staff supervisor of lower classifications and as a program manager.


(Duties assigned to this classification include, but are not limited to, the following examples. Any one position may not perform all listed duties.)

1. Provide psychosocial assessment and group, individual, and family treatment of emotional disturbed children and adolescents, mentally ill adults, individuals with intellectual handicaps and/or individuals with dysfunctional behaviors. Plan, coordinate, advocate, implement, refer, monitor, evaluate and follow up treatment of clients within assigned program area.

2. Intake and assess individuals who voluntarily apply for treatment or who are ordered through the Courts, for treatment or evaluation; interview allegedly mentally ill clients and significant others involved in court commitment process to determine if person has a mental disorder of sufficient severity for commitment to state hospital or if an alternative treatment would be appropriate; perform pre-commitment investigations.

3. Serve as primary or co-therapist in specialized program area to provide treatment rather than more severe alternatives such as prison for clients where sexual mistreatment has occurred or residential/hospital treatment for clients with alcohol and drug problems.

4. Provide a variety of resource and utilization management activities. This includes authorization of hospital admissions for Jefferson Behavioral Health (JBH) members and other County residents, authorization of treatment by contracted practitioners for JBH members, assure credentials of contractors, concurrent or post-authorization review of division crisis and intake services, provide screening and intake assessment of selected applicants, refer clients to community support unit, liaison to provider panel and hospitals authorized to serve JBH clients.

5. Provide mediation in child custody and visitation disputes as referred to the court system.

6. Consult with and advise department professionals with assessment and diagnosis on treatment of clients.

7. Serve as liaison/consultant between mental health division and other health divisions, state hospital, schools, state agencies, other service agencies, judicial and law enforcement agencies and various committees/councils. Coordinate and consult regarding treatment plan or referral.

8. Provide emergency mental health and/or behavior support services; perform crisis intervention as necessary.

9. Perform protective services investigations involving alleged client abuse or neglect.

10. Monitor and coordinate specialize client caseload such as psychiatric security review board cases, "medication only" cases, dysfunctional behavior cases, jobs program participants, etc.

11. Provide training in specialty areas for staff, other county staff, professionals, agencies and the public; develop, modify and/or obtain training programs and/or materials; attend staff meetings, training, workshops and seminars.

12. Assist with needs assessment, planning, developing, coordinating and implementing activities or programs of a specialized program area of mental health; assist in developing, implementing conducting and attending activities/programs for promoting community interest and involvement in mental health and behavior support programs.

13. Maintain and complete required records, reports, clinical evaluations and correspondence as required by departmental policy and state law; may serve as program manager in their absence.


Knowledge of: Thorough knowledge of psychological/psychosocial theory, principles and practices of mental health treatment including assessment, diagnosis and treatment of specific client population; thorough knowledge of human behavior/development as it relates to crisis situations and problems of client population; thorough knowledge of behavior intervention, management and support strategies and principles; considerable knowledge of the laws relating to mental health and services provided to client population; considerable knowledge of community resources and the functions and procedures of other social service agencies and service providers; considerable knowledge of psychological and personality testing and application to diagnosis and treatment of mentally ill persons; considerable knowledge of DSM IV and ICD-9 diagnoses; considerable knowledge of psychoactive medication and treatment applications; reasonable knowledge of and ability to participate in program planning, implement and evaluating mental health programs to meet specific objectives; thorough knowledge of sound case management; considerable knowledge of substance abuse and addictive behaviors as it pertains to client population. Skill in: Writing clear and concise correspondence, records, treatment plans, legal documents, reports and statistical data; interviewing, counseling, listening, negotiating and therapeutic techniques and principles; family and group dynamics; assessment, diagnosis, coordination, mediation and treatment of client population. Ability to: Communicate effectively in both written and oral form; plan/consult/coordinate with source agencies, physicians, families of clients and the community; work within inter-disciplinary team; establish and maintain records, reports and statistical data; work with and relate to a diverse population of people with mental and physical handicaps; assess, diagnosis and treat clients; develop treatment plans; conduct thorough interviews, assessments and evaluations and to deal effectively with target population; make decisions independently in accordance with established policies and procedures, establish new policies when applicable, and use initiative and judgment in completing tasks and responsibilities; utilize problem identification and resolution techniques; work independently, efficiently organize time and meet established deadlines; remain calm and use good judgment during confrontational or high pressure situations; courteously meet and deal effectively with other employees, clients, families, hospitals, schools, state agencies, judicial and law enforcement agencies, physicians, other service professionals and agencies, service providers, committees, advisory councils and the public.

Education, experience and training: Master's degree in psychology, social work or related field and three years experience in mental health counseling and psychotherapy or an equivalent combination of graduate education and relevant experience. At time of appointment, must possess a valid Oregon driver's license.

Certifications: LCSW preferred. Some positions may require additional professional licensing or certification in specialized areas and/or experience with specific target population which must be obtained within one year of appointment.


Work is performed under the general direction of a mental health specialist 5 or division director. Recurring routine assignments are independently performed by employee on basis of past experience. The employee receives general instructions regarding the scope and approach to projects or assignments, but procedures and problem resolution are left to employee discretion and interpretation. Capacity for independent judgment is expected in the diagnosis and treatment of clients at this level. Direction, assistance and review will be given for difficult cases. Employee estimates and manages time efficiently. Work is reviewed periodically to ensure determinations and decisions made are in compliance to department policy and procedures.


Work is performed within departmental policy and procedure, federal, state and county statutes, rules, regulations, guidelines and ordinances; mental health, alcohol and drug and counseling reference materials, corrections guidelines, application of clinical ethics of social work; physical restraint procedures. Available guidelines may not completely apply to every situation encountered, so the mental health specialist uses considerable judgment in interpreting and adapting to individual situations.


Regular and consistent attendance is required.  Work is performed in an office environment and in the field; may involve bending, hearing voice conversation, keyboarding, lifting up to 34 pounds, sitting, standing and walking. Considerable attention is given to personal safety when in contact with potentially aggressive clients. Employees must maintain a positive mental attitude and a tolerance for pressure situations. Some positions may require a considerable amount of driving.

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