Behavioral Wellness Practitioner Associate

County of Santa Barbara
Full Time 24 per week $75,856 - $90,971 Per year CA 401 E Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436, United States



$36.35 - $43.59 Hourly

$75,856.38 - $90,971.30 Annually

Bilingual allowance when applicable. 

Special Duty Assignment allowance when regularly assigned to a Psychiatric Health Facility.

We are accepting applications to fill multiple full-time Practitioner Intern vacancies in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc.  The current vacancies are in the Behavioral Wellness Department (BWELL). The working title for these positions will be Practitioner Associate.
Location of Vacancies: We are accepting applications to establish one employment list for current and future Full-Time, Part-Time, and Extra Help (temporary) and *1414 vacancies for Practitioner Associate in multiple locations which include Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc. Therefore, you must check the Individual Location(s) on the application where you would be willing to accept an assignment for current and future employment.

*1414 vacancies may occur as a result of a leave of absence (Civil Service Rule 1414) and the duration of the appointment shall be subject to the return of the individual who is on leave. A person who is appointed to a position under Civil Service Rule 1414 may be able to transition into a regular position in the classification without re-application or re-testing, depending on the performance of the appointee and the needs of the department.
The selected candidate may need to travel between different sites within Santa Barbara County. The operational area includes: Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc, Los Olivos, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez.
The candidate selected for this position, under general supervision of a licensed professional, will assess, diagnose, counsel, and provide psychotherapeutic treatment, rehabilitation, and care coordination for seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, and seriously and persistently mentally ill adults; and perform related duties as required.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in these classes work within a system of interdisciplinary departmental teams and/or contract service agencies providing assessment, prevention, intervention, treatment, and related ancillary support services via an integrated service delivery system to people with alcohol and other drug-related problems, mental illness, and/or co-occurring conditions.
Founded in 1962, it is the mission of the Department of Behavioral Wellness to promote the prevention of and recovery from mental illness and addiction among individuals, families and communities, by providing effective leadership and delivering state-of-the-art, culturally competent services. The Department provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to 10,000 clients with mental illness and substance use disorders annually through its professional staff of over 400, in addition to its many contracted Community-Based Organization (CBO) providers.

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About the programs with current vacancies: 

Adult Outpatient Services – Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc 
These positions work as part of the treatment teams at the Santa BarbaraAdult Outpatient Clinic, Santa Maria Adult Outpatient Clinic, and Lompoc Adult Outpatient Clinic serving clients by providing assessment, therapy, and group as well as on-call/walk-in service needs. The practitioner works collaboratively across team disciplines and with community partners to address clients’ needs. The position works with adults living with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI); adults with severe, complex Co-Occurring disorders (SPMI and Alcohol/substance abuse); older adults; and provides case management linkage and advocacy for clients. Associates are supported with individual and group supervision weekly and all roles participate in daily team meetings to help coordinate the flow of information on mutual clients as well as delegation of duties across the team.
Bilingual (English and Spanish fluency) candidates are preferred at the Santa Maria Adult Outpatient Clinic and Lompoc Adult Outpatient Clinic.
Alternative schedule options are potentially available at the Santa Maria Adult Outpatient Clinic depending on clinic needs with the priority being sufficient coverage for standard business hours of M-F 8-5.
Children Outpatient Services 
These positions work as part of the treatment teams at the Santa Maria Children’s Outpatient Clinic, Lompoc Children’s Outpatient Clinic, and Santa Barbara Children’s Outpatient Clinic serving children, teens, and Transitional Age Youth by providing individual, family and or group rehab and skill training. They conduct screening, evaluation, and treatment planning.
SPIRIT Full Service Partnership 
The SPIRIT Full Service Partnership program in Lompoc provides services for children ages 6-15. This position provides Wraparound, family-focused, strength-based, individualized service to help children and their families meet needs through natural community supports and mental health services. The team includes a therapist, case manager, and parent partner. The medication services are offered by the clinic medication provider and clinic medication support staff. The parent partner is staffed by CALM. The SPIRIT team members provide services in a 24/7 rotation of clinic hours and on-call services.
Crisis Services Program 
The Crisis Services program in the County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness (BWELL) consists of three different roles: Mobile Crisis, Crisis Clinic and Access Screener.
The Mobile Crisis role involves responding in the community as a team with a partner to address behavioral health crisis situations in our community. As a member of the Mobile Crisis team, staff are trained to assist in de-escalation of the situation, conduct crisis evaluations, provide safety planning and referrals/linkage, and conduct follow-up outreach and engagement services to community members in need.
The Crisis Clinics are staffed with multidisciplinary teams who provide behavioral health support to community members who are discharged from hospital, discharged from inpatient psychiatric hospitals, or following an Emergency Department visit that involved a behavioral health crisis. As a member of the Crisis Clinic team, staff may be responsible for conducting mental health assessments, rehabilitation and therapeutic treatment, case management services and linkage to longer term services.
Access Line Screeners in Crisis Services are responsible for answering all calls coming into our departmental Access Line. As a member of the Access Line, staff are responsible for screening and determining the needs of the caller, whether community member is seeking mental health treatment, substance use services, requesting mental health or substance use information for a family member or friend, crisis de-escalation support, or dispatching a Mobile Crisis Team to respond to the community member in crisis. Access Line Screeners work a standard work week (M-F 8a-5p). Locations: Offices in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.  

As a member of the Crisis Services program, staff may be asked to cover any one of the three roles listed above depending on staffing and scheduling. All staff are cross-trained to work in any program. Vacancies in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc.Mobile Crisis is a 24/7 program so staff may be needed for weekend or overnight shift coverage. Mobile Crisis and Crisis Clinic staff typically work a 4/10 schedule that includes one weekend shift.
Mental Health Student Services Act Mental Wellness Education & Linkages Program
The Mental Health Student Services Act Mental Wellness Education & Linkages (MWEL) program is seeking a clinician in the Santa Maria. This position works in collaboration with Santa Barbara County of Education Office to support the school districts with prevention and early intervention for youth mental health. The clinicians work closely with navigators on referrals, provide education and outreach, groups, and crisis intervention for the schools and community. The clinicians will provide comprehensive screening and assessment for youth mental health referrals, groups, case managements, linkages, education for prevention and some direct behavioral interventions for families. The clinician will also work with Behavioral Wellness clinics to ensure linkage and smooth transition to services.
 The Ideal Candidate will:
  • Have experience in a psychiatric facility or community mental health program. 
  • Have excellent oral and written communication. 
  • Work with clients diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. 
  • Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. 
  • Have proficient computer skills in Microsoft Office. 
  • Have the ability to read, write, converse fluently in English and Spanish (preferred for some positions). 

Examples of Duties

  1. Interviews potential clients to assess needs for mental health services or referral elsewhere; counsels or provides psychotherapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals, couples, or members of a family to assist them in achieving productive social adjustments, reducing the impact of disabling disorders, and facilitating their achievement of living, vocational, recreational, and interpersonal goals.
  2. Develops treatment and service plans that include the client and family members.
  3. Documents clinical activity presenting diagnostic and interview findings, clinical evaluations, and recommendations for review by licensed staff.
  4. Keeps accurate and timely electronic medical records to meet departmental productivity standards.
  5. Confers with and advises clients’ relatives to secure their understanding of and cooperation in treatment and rehabilitation programs.
  6. Works within a multidisciplinary treatment team which may include other agencies and practitioners regarding mutual clientele.
  7. Educates clients and their families regarding their diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment and rehabilitation process.
  8. Manages the care of clients by assessing and referring them to public and private providers and monitoring their progress.
  9. Assists clients to obtain stable housing, physical health care, benefits and entitlements, and to attain basic living skills.

Employment Standards

Applicants must meet the employment standards (minimum qualifications) list below to be considered for this position. Detailed information should be included in the application.

  1. Valid registration with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT), Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW), or Professional Clinical Counselor Interns (PCC); OR
  2. Waivered Psychologist status within California.  Registration with Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). 
  1. For PCC:  a minimum of six (6) hours of continuing education units (CEUs) specific to marriage and family therapy during each license renewal cycle. 
  2. Driver's License:  A valid California Class C Driver's License is required at the time of appointment. 
  3. The ability to read, write, and converse fluently in English and Spanish may be required for some positions. Note:  You must self-certify on the application form that you are fluent in English and Spanish.  Hiring departments may test you on your fluency. 
Credentialing: Employees in this class must maintain a Credentialed status with the Department based upon its established standards and procedures for Staff Credentialing and Re-Credentialing in accordance with state and federal regulatory requirements.
Knowledge of:  assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, counseling, and psychotherapeutic treatment of marriage, family, and child relationship dysfunctions; methods of developing and implementing a treatment plan; human service delivery systems; basic math.
Ability to:  perform effective counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; develop and maintain cooperative relationships with clients' families, members of other professional disciplines, social service agencies, and co-workers; relate professionally to persons with serious mental disorders; identify and utilize community resources; prepare and present clear and concise oral and written reports.
Background Investigation: Finalists for positions in this class will be required to pass a pre-offer, job-related background investigation.