DSHS CSTC Youth Counselor

US Government, Dept. of Social and Health Services

Psychiatric Child Care Counselor 1: Youth Counselor
DSHS Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood is looking for caring, dedicated people who have a strong interest in helping adolescents who have behavioral health diagnoses to work our on-call shifts.  You will provide counseling services to residents in one of the “cottage” settings for a particular age group at DSHS’s CSTC.  

These are great opportunities for you to gain valuable evidence-based counseling experience working with children in an in-patient setting. Additionally, on-call shifts

  • Can give you a great foot-in-the-door to state employment,
  • The ability to earn supplemental income, or
  • Allow you the flexibility in your schedule for work-life balance. 

When scheduled for on-call, you usually know your schedule a month in advance and can expect up to full-time hours during the week(s) scheduled. 

CSTC offers a rewarding career and the opportunity to learn and grow. We currently have multiple on-call vacancies  at the Orcas, Ketron, San Juan, and Camano Cottages available.  Shift and cottage information is available within the Supplemental Questions.

Opportunities performed on site at this work location at least three days a week may be eligible for an additional 5% premium pay in addition to the advertised salary. Pierce County employees are eligible to receive an Orca Card for transportation needs.

Working alongside teachers and instructional assistants in a school setting, you will implement developmentally appropriate approaches to provide treatment, counseling, and supervision to children and youth. In this role, you will serve with a multi-dimensional care team assisting the development of appropriate social skills, including the development of problem-solving and decision-making skills that they will use when they return to their communities.  
Some of what you will do

  • Assist the treatment team in providing services to youth and families with a complex range of diagnoses and treatment needs, while maintaining a safe, comfortable, therapeutic learning environment 
  • Provide situational counseling, mentorship, and individualized behavior plans to adolescent and pre-adolescent children 
  • Facilitate the development of social skills, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
  • Assist and escort youth with activities of daily living, education, recreation, and appointments and provide the abilities to be able to manage their relationships, life events, and daily activities
  • Provide mentoring and crisis management for parents/guardians
  • Lead therapy groups to improve growth and social skills
  • Provide patients with abilities to manage their relationships, life events, and daily aspects of living to successfully transition back into the community

What we are looking for

  • Professionals who have a Bachelors degree with an emphasis in Sociology, Education, Recreation, Psychology, or related Social Science field
  • Or, 2 years of college with emphasis in Social Sciences, Education, Recreation, Psychology, or related field and 2 years of social service experience.
  • Or, 4 years of social service experience in substitution of degree
  • Ability to complete WA DOH’s Agency Affiliated Counselor credentialing process within 60 days of hire

Preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities: 

  • Work as a team member to deescalate behavioral health issues in a calm, non-threatening manner
  • Comprehend normal and abnormal growth and development, dynamics of interpersonal relationships, mental health concepts, and community resources
  • Understand and apply behavioral approaches such as Positive Behavioral Support, Life-Space Crisis Intervention, and Developmental and Dialectical Therapy techniques
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills

Want to know more about the Child Study and Treatment Center*?  Click on the videos below to meet staff, take a virtual tour, and explore your career.  

*Patients live in one of 4 cottages determined by age where they have individual bedrooms and a shared day area. Each cottage has its own kitchen and dining room. Admissions are due to forensic issues or CLIP referrals. Information on all four cottages and age groups is available here.
Interested?  Apply today, and select the shifts you are interested in being considered for within the Supplemental Question section.
Questions? Email audrey.adams@dshs.wa.gov or call the main Talent Acquisition line at 360-725-5810 and reference 05207. 
Our Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) mission to Transform Lives requires that we come together with a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared values and meaningful work. It is crucial to our agency’s mission that you bring an equity, anti-racism, and social justice commitment to your work with DSHS. We strive to create greater access and affirming representation of the communities we serve, including Black, Indigenous and People of Color, people with physical, behavioral health, and intellectual disabilities, elders, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants and refugees, and families building financial security.

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