Community Support Specialist
The Community Support Specialist (referred to as “CSS”) provides direct care and case management services in a respectful manner to residents in the CHS Residential programs. Key services to be provided include but are not limited to guidance and supportive counseling with life issues, assistance with issues of daily living, housing assistance, encouragement with goal attainment, encouragement with community involvement, administering prescribed medications.
The CSS is also expected to work with and communicate directly with other staff members supportively and cooperatively, complete required documentation, manage crisis situations, and attend required training programs. The CSS may also be required to assist with regular upkeep of the work site. The CSS is cross trained on all residential programs to include but not limited to DOM/CRR care, Enhanced Supported Housing, Supported Housing, Atypical shelters, and Wood Street Commons programs.
CHS uses the Housing First and Harm Reduction service delivery models, assisting clients with housing as the immediate need without requirements to abstain from any harmful behavior prior to being housed.
The Community Support Specialist will:
- Develop a professional and therapeutic relationship with individuals. Maintain and model appropriate personal boundaries.
- Provide supportive counseling to residents regarding their needs, interests, and goals. Provide individuals with guidance regarding decision making. Help individuals gain insight into attitudes and ways of behaving. Monitor goal progress and evaluate outcomes.
- Encourage individuals to participate in social, recreational, and community activities and develop an informal support network.
- Follow communication protocol and address complaints, incident reports, behavioral problems and other situations promptly.
- Address medical and psychiatric emergency situations, including but not limited to 302 procedures, crisis management, de-escalation strategies, and other non-life threatening emergencies with clients as needed in a calm and respectful manner. Implement appropriate county and program emergency procedures. Seek appropriate outside support when necessary.
- Follow proper medication administration or assistance procedure and documentation for the respective program
- Maintain occupancy for programs by participating in referral, interview, move-in, and enrollment procedures.
- Complete required written documentation in a timely manner. This includes incidents reports, progress notes, goal record sheets, and other case record forms. Ensure that progress notes include the individual behaviors, activities, goal progress, any changes, daily interactions, needs, strengths, etc. to provide a thorough overview and on-going log.
- Complete data entry of information into the agency database and any funder-specific site for reporting purposes in a timely basis.
- Understand and be responsible for performing all duties in accordance with the agency and program policies and procedures. Identify appropriate procedures for various situations.
- Maintain the physical site by assisting consumers or performing household duties and report any needed house-related repairs. Assist in cleaning the staff office and common spaces as needed. Ensure health and safety standards are met and maintained. Maintain an inviting and comfortable atmosphere in the office and common spaces.
- Analyze and adjust services to ensure they are responsive, effective and driven by excellent customer service.
- Provides schedule coverage for cashier shifts on a regular basis.
- Complies with all fiscal procedures, including but not limited to invoicing, cash handling and documentation. Collects meal income and reports it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
- Attend necessary trainings and professional development sessions to enhance agency- wide knowledge. Attend a minimum of 15 hours per calendar year of training.
- Complete all job duties in accordance with the mission and values of CHS.
- Bachelors in Social Work, Psychology, or related field, two years’ work experience, or combination of work, education and life experiences approved by the agency and funder.
- Completion of all required training including CPR/First Aid and medication monitoring within first year and maintain afterward.
- Pre-employment physical and TB screening with results stating person is free from communicable disease, at hire and every two years thereafter.
- Agency approval of current background check, Act 34 Criminal, Act 33 Child Abuse, and FBI Criminal clearances.
- Must have valid PA driver’s license, have driving record acceptable to agency’s insurance review, and pass internal driving test.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Exceptional customer service communication.
- Culturally competent, being able to work effectively with all backgrounds.
- Prefer certification or training in crisis management, mental health, and behavioral health education.
- Experience and ability to de-escalate mental and behavioral health crisis situations
- Strong organizational, phone and computer skills.
- A working knowledge of the social service system through life or job related experience.
- A willingness to work both independently and collaboratively.
- Strong ability to navigate the Internet to familiarize and access various resources.
- Ability to work and travel independently.
- Ability to walk up and down steps and physical activity related to cooking, cleaning, and general household maintenance.
- Ability to lift up to 25 pounds.