Peer/recovery Assistant

County of Santa Barbara
Full Time 24 per week $52,722 - $62,743 Per year CA 401 E Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436, United States



$25.26 - $30.06 Hourly

$52,722.74 - $62,743.00 Annually

Bilingual allowance when applicable

Special Duty Assignment allowance when regularly assigned to the Psychiatric Health Facility

We are accepting applications to establish one employment list to fill full-time, part-time, extra help and 1414* Recovery Assistant vacancies in multiple locations including but not limited to Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc for the Behavioral Wellness Department and Public Defender’s Office. Therefore, you must check the Individual Location(s) on the application where you would be willing to accept an assignment.
The selected candidate may need to travel between different sites within Santa Barbara County.  The operational area may include: Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc, Los Olivos, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez.
*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. 
Under general supervision, assists professional staff in the delivery of mental health, medical, and community services to persons with severe and persistent mental illness; and performs related duties as required.

Incumbents in this class 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.
The candidate will also assist in planning, organizing, implementing and documenting individualized client/patient care for individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Client/Patient Care programs include direct client care, indirect client care and/or administrative coordination, and support of behavioral health and related activities.  
The candidate may have occasional contact with hostile and violent clients and may be required to drive long distances under varied weather conditions and work irregular hours (shifts may be up to twelve (12) hours, rotating days, nights, weekends and holidays).
To be considered for a Peer Recovery Assistant position, please select the "Peer Support Services" program in the Supplemental Questions.
The Ideal Candidate will have when working with the Behavioral Wellness Department:
  • Individuals with lived experience, OR who are the parents, guardians, caregivers and/or family members living with individuals with a behavioral health, alcohol and/or substance use disorders.
  • Willingness and ability to effectively disclose that experience to consumers in order to establish credibility and empathy and provide examples of recovery and real-life strategies for dealing with mental illness
  • Develop and maintain sound working relationships with diverse people and personalities 
  • Successfully work with and interact with all levels of staff and contract service agencies 
  • Work independently, organize and prioritize work, and meet critical deadlines 
  • Handle multiple tasks with competing priorities 
  • Be open to change and new information, and adapt behavior and work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, and unexpected obstacles. 
  • Have the ability to prepare and write clear and concise documents (e.g., memoranda, and correspondence)
  • Exercise appropriate judgment in answering questions and releasing information; analyzing and projecting consequences of decisions and/or recommendations 
  • Contribute to and document initial and ongoing biopsychosocial client/patient evaluations and assessments 
  • Contribute to development and revision of written plan of care
  • Demonstrate computer literacy for electronic health record documentation 
  • Recognize and communicate abnormal findings to RN's 
  • Recognize and communicate observations related to effects and side effects of medications and signs of substance intoxication or withdrawal 
  • Provide client/family education regarding client/patient's disposition
  • Incorporate discharge planning into client/patient care 
  • Implement agreed-upon plan of care 
  • Perform routine care for clients 
  • Have experience providing services to persons with severe and persistent mental illness
  • Have Bilingual skills in English & Spanish and/or Mixteco; desired, but not required
The Ideal Candidate will have when working with the Public Defender’s Office:
  • Empathy and compassion for the lived experience of those from different cultural backgrounds, capacities, and expression  
  • Have the ability to work within a team and understand the need for confidentiality within the client’s defense team
  • Ability to work independently, organize and prioritize work, and meet critical deadlines
  • Ability to multi-task, handle high stress situations, thrive under pressure and adapt to change
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to handle difficult situations with tact and diplomacy
  • Have Bilingual skills in English & Spanish and/or Mixteco desired, but not required 
Founded in 1962, it is the mission of the Department of Behavioral Wellnessto 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. The Department’s decisions and service delivery are guided by the following values:
  • Quality services for persons of all ages with mental illness and/or substance abuse
  • Integrity in individual and organizational actions
  • Dignity, respect, and compassion for all persons
  • Active involvement of clients and families in treatment, recovery, and policy development
  • Diversity throughout our organization and cultural competency in service delivery
  • A system of care and recovery that is clearly defined and promotes recovery and resiliency
  • Emphasis on prevention and treatment
  • Teamwork among department employees in an atmosphere that is respectful and creative
  • Continuous quality improvement in service delivery and administration
  • Wellness modeled for our clients at all levels; i.e., staff who regularly arrive at the workplace healthy, energetic and resilient
  • Safety for everyone
For more information, please visit:  

Public Defender’s Office
The County of Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office represents people living in poverty and who have been traditionally marginalized from a holistic and client-centered perspective. We stand with our clients every day in many courtrooms  across Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc. Standing with our clients includes bringing to bear resources of lawyers, legal office professionals, investigators, social workers, IT professionals, and other professionals to craft the best defenses and most successful reentry plans that elevate our client’s needs. Public Defenders in Santa Barbara County work every day with people living on the street, living with a lack of appropriate services, and living with a host of complex needs. We use the tools of litigation, trial, negotiation, diversion, and services-based solutions to assist our clients every day. We walk with adults and children into arraignments, misdemeanor, felony, trial, and advocate in mental health, veterans, and drug specialty courts to avoid the potentially lifelong and crushing aftermath of criminal cases, involuntary commitment, or unresponsive probate or conservatorship situations. We enhance public safety by holding the legal system to uphold the constitutional and statutory rights of our community and honor their spaces, stories, and struggles. We are an organization that grapples with issues of racial justice and equity to heal the past injustices that influence our community daily.  Further, we work alongside community-based organizations to create more opportunities for restoration, healing, and the future success of our clients.

The Public Defender’s Community Defender Division (CDD) continues to provide compassionate and tireless advocacy and services for our clients while simultaneously seeking long-term systemic changes to improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.  CDD combines the knowledge and expertise of social workers, housing advocates, resource specialists and attorneys to address the entire person and all of the underlying causes for involvement with the criminal justice system. 

Examples of Duties

  1. Provides transportation for clients, within and out-of-county, to destinations such as mental health and medical care facilities, board and care facilities, and court; delivers medications, documents, or personal belongings of clients. 
  2. Assists clients by explaining the need for and value of services; accompanies and supports clients in performing daily living activities such as shopping or banking. 
  3. Observes and reports verbally and in writing to professional staff the behavior and physical state of clients; documents observations of clients and activity with clients in medical charts by utilizing the electronic health records system. 
  4. Speaks on behalf of clients in interactions with medical service providers and staff at various organizations or businesses; assists clients in completing online forms and applications.

Employment Standards

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must provide detailed information on their application to demonstrate how they meet the employment standards (minimum qualifications) listed below: 

  • One (1) year of experience providing services to people with psychiatric, physical, or developmental disabilities; OR
  • A combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities. 
Additional Qualifications: 
Driver's License:  A valid driver's license is required at the time of applications. A valid California Class C Driver's License is required at the time of appointment.
Knowledge of:  basic English grammar and usage; characteristics of human behavior; and safe driving practices.
Ability to:  observe clients, recognize behavior changes, and take effective action; respond supportively, empathetically, and professionally to persons with severe and persistent mental illness; make appropriate decisions within limits of authority; learn basics of behavioral health treatment systems and common signs/symptoms of acute mental illness; learn various community-based services; understand and follow oral and written instructions; interact with a wide range of people; prepare narrative reports and forms; work irregular hours and weekends; read a map; safely drive a vehicle; work independently; use a computer; and learn software programs.
 Working Conditions:  Incumbents will have occasional contact with hostile and violent clients. Incumbents will be required to drive long distances under varied weather conditions, and work irregular hours. 
Background Investigation:  Finalists for positions in this class will be required to pass a pre-offer, job-related background investigation.