State of Washington - Lakewood, WA

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Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Our Vision is:
Safe, healthy individuals, families and communities

Our Mission is:
The Department of Social and Health Services will improve the safety and health of individuals, families and communities by providing leadership and establishing and participating in partnerships.

Our Values are:
Excellence in Service
Collaboration and Partnership

Western State Hospital is located on 264 acres on the original site of Fort Steilacoom, amid 100 year old stately lined avenues, near the town of Steilacoom and the city of Lakewood.
The hospital mission is to promote recovery and well being in partnership with those served. The personal worth and dignity of every individual is highly regarded in an environment where diversity, culture, and individual choice is respected and valued.

Western State Hospital is recruiting for an Institution Counselor 2 position, day shift 6:45 a.m. to 3: p.m. located in the Habilitative Mental Health (HMH) Department, Ward 1 North.

If you have questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the recruiter listed in the "Supplemental Information" section of this publication.

This position under the minimal supervision of a Program Specialst 5, interviews, provides counseling, and provides competency restoration and mental health education to forensic patients with severe, persistent mental illness in a highly secure area.

Facilitates or co-facilitates active treatment groups;

Completes required documentation and documents patient treatment hours;

Attends treatment plan conferences;

Implements and documents safety strategies;

Performs non-Clinical nursing tasks;

Participates in Therapy Center In-Service presentations;

Other duties as required.

One (1) year as an Institution Counselor 1.

OR A Bachelor's degree preferably involving major study in sociology or other social science; or satisfactory completion of two (2) years of college, preferably with emphasis in one of the social sciences and two (2) years' experience in mental health, mental retardation or social casework. AND

(1) year of social service experience.


A Washington State Nursing Assistant Registered Certification or Above.


A Food Handlers Card or can obtain one within 14 days of hire.


Should an offer of employment be made, the candidate MUST either have or obtain a current Registration as an Agency Affiliated Counselor Credential (or equivalent) with the Washington State Department of Health prior to the start date of employment.

DESIRED EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Education with a major study in psychology or rehabilitation;

Knowledge of the positive behavior support model;

Knowledge of the group process;

Knowledge of psychiatric symptoms;

Two (2) years of experience in caring for patients in a hospital, school, or mental health facility.

Supplemental Information:

You may NOT reapply to this posting for 30 days

Please note that initial screening will be solely based on the completeness of application materials submitted and the contents and completeness of the “work experience” section of your application in NEOGOV. A resume will not substitute for the “work experience” section of the application. The information provided in the work experience section must support your selected responses in the supplemental questions. Responses not supported in the work experience and/or education section of the NEOGOV application will disqualify you from consideration for employment in this position. All information will be verified and documentation may be required. All higher education must be accredited and recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) and/or the United States Department of Education (USDE) All job applicants must prove authorization to work in the United States at the time of job offer. Background inquiries of convictions and pending criminal charges shall be completed on applicants prior to appointment in DSHS positions which are directly responsible for the supervision and care or treatment of children, developmentally disabled persons, vulnerable adults, or mentally ill persons. Information obtained from background inquiries will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's character, suitability, and may result in denial of employment. This position is designated as “emergent” under the DSHS Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. In a recognized emergency, any employee in this position may be required to report for duty on short notice, work outside the regular schedule including days off, perform duties beyond those normally assigned, and/or report to an alternate work site This is a hospital environment. Employees must comply with health screening requirements by undergoing tuberculosis skin tests and providing documentation of immunity to rubeola (7-day measles) and rubella (German measles) and varicella (Chicken Pox). Immunity may be documented through immunization or serologic immunity. Compliance is a condition of employment.

Criminal background check clearance, which may include fingerprinting, is required of all employees and applicants.

Employees in this classification are included in a union shop. Employees must comply with all health screening requirements.

Employees in these positions may be required to work overtime and/or holidays. Employees in these positions must be able to participate as an active member of the treatment team for patients who have behavioral, social, and/or medical problems and who may exhibit non-compliant behavior.

DSHS has a restricted smoking policy.

Other Information

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the recruiter at (253) 761-3347. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388. If you have any questions about this recruitment, please email: Western State Hospital HR, Anette Dotterer @

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