Mental Health Counselor
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for DC - Washington, DC

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A FEDERAL CAREER LIKE NO OTHER!!! Are you ready to increase public safety, prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and support the fair administration of justice in the District of Columbia? The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA) has an opening for its Mental Health Counselor in the Re-Entry Sanctions Center, Office of Co-occurring Disorders. The successful candidate provides the full range of assessment and counseling services to offenders/defendants with a confirmed co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. The successful candidate will join a dedicated team of professionals and gain invaluable experience working in the public interest to improve public safety in the District of Columbia. CSOSA presents our nation's capital with a unique opportunity to create a new model for effective community supervision of offenders and provide a safer environment for our citizens. This vacancy announcement may be used to fill future vacancies for identical positions within the next year.

Mental Health Counselor, GS-0101-09/11:
Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency applicants. Even if you have already developed a resume in USAJOBS, you will need to access this on-line system to complete the application process. To obtain information about this position and TO APPLY, please click on https://www.avuecentral.com/casting/aiportal/control/toVacancy?referenceCode=ZUUDH .
    KEY REQUIREMENTS
  • See Other Information.

DUTIES: (The duties described reflect the full performance level of this position)

The incumbent is a Mental Health Counselor on the Re-Entry and Sanctions Center's unit that provides the full range of assessment and counseling services to offenders/defendants with a confirmed co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. The incumbent facilitates group modules, observes offenders'/defendants participation in groups led by others and conducts initial intake interviews and evaluations of offenders/defendants.
Conducts initial interviews with offenders/defendants to obtain and record accurate information concerning the offender/defendants substance abuse history, past mental history and current mental health condition. Provides orientation for the offender/defendant in the facility, conducts searches of the offender/defendant and the offender/ defendants belongings, and secures offender/defendant's property. Assists offenders/defendants with paperwork and enrollment procedures for community based treatment and support programs. Performs preliminary screening of offenders/defendants and observes offender/defendant s behavior on an ongoing basis to identify symptoms of decomposition.
Responds to offenders'/ defendants' needs by securing appropriate medical services to promote stabilization (i.e., emergency psychiatric assignment, detoxification, etc.) Delivers and participates in individual and group counseling that supports the offenders and defendant's mental and emotional stability and level of functioning; and promotes treatment readiness. Assures offenders'/defendants' compliance with recommended interventions including medications, dietary and nutritional requirements, disciplinary actions and program needs.

Attends meetings or provides vital information used in interdisciplinary team setting to assess the offenders'/defendants' needs. Demonstrates cultural competencies in providing services to a diverse group of offenders/defendants. Delivers psycho-educational modules that focus on substance abuse and substance abuse treatment readiness for offenders/defendants with diagnosed mental health conditions. Maintains accurate progress notes that detail offender/defendants observed behaviors, and participation and progress in Re-Entry and Sanctions Center programs and activities. Assists the unit manager in maintaining unit safety, security and order.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: (The KSAs below may not apply at all grades)

Knowledge of the social and psychological needs, problems, attitudes, and behavior patterns for offenders/defendants with acute psychiatric or emotional disorders sufficient to provide basic counseling.

Knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse, and terminology of mental health services sufficient to review and report offender/defendants' substance abuse history and service requirements.

Skill in oral communications with a variety of audiences, including combative, defiant and sometimes unwilling participants sufficient to provide crisis intervention and methods to deescalate threatening situations.

Ability to communicate in writing to create and develop records/notes that detail the offender's/defendant's program progress, needs, and referral recommendations.

Ability to provide direct substance abuse services to dually diagnosed adult offenders/defendants and/or offenders/defendants with co-occurring mental health disorders.

MINIMUM FEDERAL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Grade 09: BASIC REQUIREMENTS

A. Successful completion of a full four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in the behavioral or social sciences, or in a related discipline that included at least 24 semester/36 quarter hours in the behavioral or social sciences.

OR

B. Combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

OR

C. Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have had either specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown below. Education and experience may be combined to meet the total experience requirements.

1. The applicant must have completed two (2) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's or equivalent graduate degree when it provided the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of the position.

OR

2. One (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least GS-7.

Specialized experience is experience which is in or related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the positionas a Mental Health Counselor and must provide copy of valid certificate to practice. Specialized experience at the GS-09 level includes facilitates group modules, observes offenders'/defendants participation in groups led by others and conducts initial intake interviews and evaluations of offenders/defendants.

Grade 11: BASIC REQUIREMENTS

A. Successful completion of a full four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in the behavioral or social sciences, or in a related discipline that included at least 24 semester/36 quarter hours in the behavioral or social sciences.

OR

B. Combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

OR

C. Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have had either specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown below. Education and experience may be combined to meet the total experience requirements.

1. The applicant must have completed three (3) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree when it provided the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of the position.

OR

2. The applicant must have one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least GS-9.

Specialized experience is experience which is in or related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position as a Mental Health Counselor. Specialized experience as a Mental Health Counselor at the GS11 level includes performing work to assess the needs of adult offenders/defendants with co-occurring disorders to determine the seriousness or urgency of the situation. Specialized experience includes observe offenders'/defendants behaviors on an ongoing basis to identify symptoms of decomposition or acute mental illness. Respond to offenders'/defendants needs by securing appropriate services that promote stabilization. Specialized experience includes assures offenders'/defendants' compliance with recommended interventions including medications, dietary and nutritional requirements, disciplinary actions and program needs.

See Other Information for further requirements.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience and training you report relative to this position which shows that you possess the knowledges, skills and abilities required. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.

BENEFITS: See Other Information.

OTHER INFORMATION: LOCATION: Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), Office of Community Justice Programs, ReEntry Sanctions Center, Washington, DC.

AGENCY BACKGROUND INFORMATION: If you would like to learn more about Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) mission, strategic goals, employment opportunity, and other information we encourage you to visit our website at WWW.CSOSA.GOV.

Applicants must submit a complete application package that is received or postmarked by the closing date of this announcement.

Basis of Rating: Agencies have a number of flexibilities in selecting candidates. Your application may be rated under any the following method: Category Rating Procedures - this method has been recommended to agencies for use as part of the President's Memorandum on Hiring Process Improvement. In Category Rating, an agency will have no fewer than two rating categories - usually three. They may be named differently but are generally representative of the Most Highly Qualified, Well Qualified and Minimally Qualified. You will be placed in one of the categories based on your answers to the experience and ranking questions and other factors such as:

Breadth and scope of competencies/KSAs Increased levels of difficulty or complexity of competencies/KSAs Successful performance on the job Level of the job With the exception of positions which are professional and scientific at the GS-09 (or equivalent) and above, qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 30-percent or more (CPS) and those with a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10-percent but less than 30-percent (CP) move from the category in which they would otherwise be placed to the top of the highest quality category. For professional and scientific positions GS-09 (or equivalent) and above will be placed at the top of the category in which their rating otherwise places them.

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

This appointment requires completion of a one-year probationary period. During this time period, employee's conduct and performance will be monitored in order to determine if employee will be retained.

Bargaining Unit Status: Eligible - Not Covered.

How to Apply: The primary method of applying for this vacancy is online via the Internet at www.avuedigitalservices.com/csosa/applicant.html. If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment commission, or a commercial establishment that provides Internet access to apply online. If you are unable to apply online, you may call the contact phone number listed on this announcement to obtain a copy of the vacancy announcement, applicant qualification form (Form No. F-15566-AVUE), and instructions for completing the form. No other form of application will be accepted.

Applicants submitting proof documents can electronically attach them, or scan and attach them, to the employment application. If this is not possible, copies of documents can be faxed to 253-573-9869, or mailed to the following address: CSOSA, c/o Avue Technologies Corporation, ATTN: Direct Services, 1145 Broadway Plaza, Suite 800, Tacoma, WA 98402. All faxed or mailed proof documents must be identified with applicant's name and vacancy announcement number.

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration.

Applicants who apply online will automatically receive email acknowledgement of receipt of their application.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism.

CSOSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities and will reasonably accommodate those needs. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the CSOSA Office of Human Resources. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. The Agency is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized.

BENEFITS: A variety of health insurance plans; retirement system with investment options; paid holiday; paid sick and annual (vacation) leave; life insurance; subsidized transportation, alternate work schedule, Telework, training and development opportunities, family/worklife program, etc.

A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation, drug testing, and favorable adjudication.

Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Selective Service Registration: As a condition of employment, all male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the selective service. If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.

Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments directly deposited into a financial institution of their choosing.

U.S. Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals.

Generally, preference is granted to veterans who entered military service prior to October 14, 1976; or served on active duty during the period from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, and who are otherwise eligible; or who served on active duty during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or who have served in a military action for which they received a Campaign Badge or Expeditionary Medal. This includes the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) awarded to those who participated in Operation Joint Endeavor or Operation Joint Guard. Also, you may be entitled to veterans' preference if you are a disabled veteran; you have received a Purple Heart; you are the spouse or mother of a disabled veteran; or you are the widow, widower, or mother of a deceased veteran. You will need to submit a Standard Form (SF) 15 and proof of your claim.

If you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, or you are applying for consideration under the Veteran Employment Opportunity Act or Veteran Readjustment Authority, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" or other proof of eligibility. If you are applying for consideration under the 30% or more Disabled Veteran Authority, you must attach a SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.

If you are an eligible Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicant, you may apply for special selection over other applicants for this position. Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the CTAP or ICTAP must be well qualified for the position. To be well qualified, applicants must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and meet the mid-level of the crediting plan for all factors or the established cutoff score. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) documenting separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.

Appointment may require completion of a one-year probationary period.