Substance Abuse Counselor
Heartland Alliance - Chicago, IL

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Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights helps people living in poverty or danger improve their lives and realize their human rights. From a refugee fleeing violence and torture to a public housing resident trying to escape the cycle of poverty, Heartland Alliance helps people in the toughest of circumstances-who often have no place else to go. For more than 100 years, Heartland Alliance has provided hope, opportunity, and solutions-through both services and advocacy. Our work spans across four key areas, creating paths from crisis to stability and on to success: Housing, Health Care, Economic Opportunities, and Justice.


Substance Abuse 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. 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.
  • 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.

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.


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  • Please note that we do not consider resumes sent by email, fax or postal mail.

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Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to...