Southern NH Services, Inc. is seeking a qualified, versatile Employment Counselor/ Program Specialist who can provide employment, training, & support services to TANF public assistance recipients, some of whom may require crisis intervention and barrier resolution. Responsibilities include assessment and case management of clients who may be experiencing family/domestic violence, mental health, or substance abuse issues; assessing client job skills, interests, & abilities; establishing Safety and/or Employment Plans; monitoring progress toward Plan goals; arranging community referrals, job training, & support services to remove barriers; and career planning. This full-time position is located in Concord, NH. Candidates require a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Education, Human Services, Family Counseling, or related discipline and 1 to 3 years of experience providing direct client & family counseling services, crisis intervention (e.g., domestic violence; substance abuse; mental health), or barrier resolution services and/or experience working in education/training programs that include vocational assessment, job placement, and career planning. Starting wage of $18.58 per hour; 37.5 hour work week.
The NHEP Employment Counselor/Program Specialist will provide case management services to selected client populations to include the following activities and services: employment, training, barrier resolution, education, job preparation, and support services for the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP). Services will be provided either face-to-face and/or via electronic methods including telephone, fax, text and/or e-mail, consistent with federal, state and program policy. Caseload assignment may include statewide travel and/or visits to client homes, Workplace Success Career Centers, or other community locations.
Works under the direct supervision of the SNHS NHEP Field Support Manager assigned to oversee SNHS contract staff performance statewide and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Administrator.
Minimum: Bachelor's degree from an approved college or university with a major study in social work, psychology, education, human services, sociology, counseling, behavioral science or a related field. One (1) year of experience as an ECS Trainee or three years in social work, counseling, family services, education, staff training, employee development, employment counseling, recruitment, or human resources.
Preference will be given to candidates with a minimum of one (1) year of experience in providing direct family counseling services, crisis intervention, mental health/substance abuse services or barrier resolution services to clients and families in domestic violence situations, and/or specialized training in domestic violence, mental health, substance abuse and safety planning.
License: Possession of a valid New Hampshire driver's license and/or have access to transportation for statewide travel.
Additional Skills, Knowledge, & Abilities: Ability to work as a team with co-workers. Ability to learn & apply TANF and NHEP procedures, rules and regulations in appropriate circumstances. Ability to assess personal characteristics, physical capacities, education, work background, abilities and interests of participants. Knowledge of the principles and methods of assessment and counseling. Knowledge of psychological and environmental problems arising in connection with case work. Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with low-income participants, employers, public and private community agency staff, co-workers, and the general public. Knowledge of common computer programs such as e-mail, internet, and word-processing.
1. Provides individualized, time-sensitive case management services to NHEP clients requesting the Family Violence Option good cause waiver or otherwise experiencing domestic violence issues including: conducting needs assessments, using standardized screening tools, providing program orientations, developing service plans, including a personal safety plan; developing and implementing employability plans; and coordinating referrals to domestic violence community agencies.
2. Provides time-sensitive crisis intervention services to TANF applicants or recipients who are in crisis and at risk of harming themselves or others, have mental health or substance abuse issues, or who are experiencing family safety and security issues. Includes contacting the client, conducting a crisis assessment, using standardized screening tools, providing program information, initiating follow-up communication with the referral source to provide case feedback and recommendations, and coordinating case actions and activities with the NHEP Team and/or the DHHS Family Services Specialist as needed.
3. Coordinates and provides individualized, timely case management services to NHEP clients in Level III non-compliance sanction status. Includes contacting clients to assess their intention and ability to comply with program requirements; informing clients of the consequences for continued non-compliance; providing information concerning the benefits of program compliance; and coordinating case action or on-going services with NHEP Teams. Facilitates participants’ rapid engagement with appropriate community resources to reduce or resolve identified barriers.
4. Interviews, assesses, and evaluates individual aptitudes, interests, abilities, work experiences, education, personality characteristics, and degrees of physical, social, or emotional limitations of assigned NHEP participants to identify individual service needs, strengths, and barriers, including learning disabilities. Includes administering, scoring, and interpreting standardized tests.
5. Develops and implements an Employability Plan for each assigned NHEP participant and provides subsequent counseling (up to 5 years) to resolve employment barriers and stabilize family functioning.
6. Documents and maintains accurate case notes and individual case records to track individual progress and comply with state and federal regulations and policies. Maintains confidentiality as indicated in Department policy and State Law.
7. Develops and maintains relationships with employers, service providers, educational institutions and community organizations to coordinate services to clients, develop employment opportunities, maximize available resources and promote community understanding. Additionally, acts as a representative for the Division of Family Assistance in coordination activities with domestic violence community agencies.
8. Identifies needed NHEP policy and procedure changes. Includes integration and application of these changing policies and procedures to maximize services to NHEP participants. Determines individual program compliance that could result in the loss or increase of TANF benefits.
9. Identifies the operational impacts of automated statewide benefit and service payment systems (New HEIGHTS and NH Bridges) on NHEP, and coordinates with other divisions and bureaus to ensure agency and program priorities and needs are represented and achieved. Includes statewide monitoring of employment and training service usage and resolving billing problems with HEIGHTS and Bridges staff. Requires review of exception reports and exercising override authority to ensure expenditures are accurate and financial risk to the agency is controlled.
10. Identifies and coordinates required response or actions from program monitoring and/or federal audit findings. Requires review of all aspects of NHEP operations to accurately identify issues and develop preliminary recommendations and corrective action plans to ensure federal participation requirements and service goals are continuously achieved.
11. Travels to NHEP Team locations statewide to provide NHEP case management services to clients during times of staff vacancies, heavy workloads and as assigned.
12. Provides NHEP services with a high degree of respect for participants, sensitivity to their circumstances, and in a manner that builds self-esteem and motivation.
13. Maintains the confidentiality of clients and staff in accordance with NHEP and SNHS policy and procedure.
14. Exercises reasonable judgment and appropriately applies NHEP policies and procedures to maximize services to participants according to the Precision Case Management - Field Worker’s Guide, training guides, policy releases, DFA Family Assistance Manual and clarifying memos.
15. Responsible for having adequate knowledge of all SNHS programs and will gather sufficient intake information to make referrals to other SNHS programs which are beneficial to the client and his/her family.
16. Attends statewide meetings and staff training sessions as requested by the Division of Family Assistance (DFA).
17. Abides with all SNHS & DHHS Safety policies and procedures.
18. Presents a professional and positive image as a representative of SNHS at all times.
19. Performs all other duties as assigned by appropriate DHHS and SNHS supervisors.
Southern New Hampshire Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer