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Mental Health Specialist II South Bay

Children Services – Head Start – Childcare | South Bay, CA | Full Time

Job Description
Helping Our Most Vulnerable Change Their Life Stories

Volunteers of America is a non-profit human services organization committed to serving people in need, strengthening families, and building communities. VOALA provides a variety of social services to Los Angeles area communities, such as Head Start programs, Upward Bound college prep programs, veterans’ services, homeless shelters, low-income housing programs as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Learn more at


For children aged three to five VOALA offers early education, child development, nutrition, parenting support and preparation for elementary school. All children receive educational experiences that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate. Literacy, numeracy, and social/emotional development are areas measured for growth and development. Through our Head Start and Early Head Start programs, we work with children (ages 2 – 5) and their families to provide the skills, confidence, and stable home life necessary for a smooth transition into kindergarten and beyond.


The Mental Health Specialist II is responsible for providing a broad spectrum of mental health services, including mental health promotion, harm prevention, early identification of mental health concerns, and referrals for treatment of children and families.

Reporting to and in coordination with the Mental Health Program Manager, the Mental Health Specialist II shall increase the quality of mental health services by assessing child mental health concerns, determining appropriate mental health care and follow-up, and provide clinical services to children and families with mental health needs in accordance with Head Start Performance Standards. Work in conjunction with program content areas as needed to ensure a holistic approach. Assists in strengthening trauma-informed care framework.

  • In coordination with the education personnel, support children’s emotional, cognitive, and social development toward the overall goal of social competence.
  • Provide all children with linkages to necessary mental health services to ensure that children and families achieve the full benefits of participation in the program. Be knowledgeable of community services and supports, including, but not limited to health care, child care, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, education, and/or employment services and self-help groups, and make this information readily available
  • Provide mental health education to parents of children enrolled in the program by participating in parent meetings, workshops, home visits, Health Advisory and multi-disciplinary Meetings, or other methods determined effective. Ensure face to face contact with each client at least 2 times per month
  • Plan and prepare mental health and trauma-informed care education training for staff or other appropriate topics as requested.
  • Assist with Mental Health Planning, intra-agency procedure formulation, staff development, and development of wellness promotion curriculum through evaluation process and training
  • Reporting to Mental Health Program Manager, participates in clinical supervision to consult on individual and group cases to explore the appropriate direction of clinical treatment. Provide life skills training which includes, but is not limited to, health education, money management, housekeeping, menu planning, meal preparation, and being a good neighbor
  • Attends all meetings required by the funding source and agency management; prepares and submits required reports promptly and accurately. (Note: Travel required.)
  • Accurately documents (i.e., assessments, treatment plans, clinical notes) all work with clients ensuring compliance with program policies and procedures. Maintains confidentiality and HIPAA compliance.
  • Identifies resources that are necessary to enhance program implementation; Maintain and monitors federal compliance with HSES Performance Standards in all content areas
  • Travel to all program sites to provide technical assistance
  • Other duties as required and may be subject to change

Proof at the time of hire TB clearance within 6 months prior Annual Influenza vaccination (between Aug 1 – Dec 1) Pertussis (whooping cough) and measles immunization Health screening at the time of employment Requires ability to interact with children in a busy environment, including, but not limited to: Able to lift up to 50 lbs. Frequently kneel and squat. Ability to move quickly

  • Must be able to pass a fingerprint clearance, background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment and education verifications
  • Master's degree in social work, psychology, or counseling from a fully-accredited college or university
  • Registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) or Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) (Must maintain registration in good standing as a condition of employment)
  • 2 years of experience working with children and families in a clinical setting
  • Understanding of Head Start performance standards
  • Working knowledge of case management ethics, HIPAA, Programmatic standards of operation and clinical engagement, clinical documentation methods, and client-focused ideology
  • Working knowledge of psychosocial treatment modalities, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy skills training (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), relapse prevention (RP), Seeking Safety
  • Basic knowledge of and ability to work with issues related to homelessness, substance abuse, mental health diagnosis, and history of trauma
  • Strong Microsoft operating system use, including Outlook, Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint; familiar with Database entry and use of web-based Electronic Health Record software
  • Strong skills in social services delivery
  • Demonstrated ability to perform under circumstances of possible emotional stress and conflict, including dealing with un-cooperative clients
  • Strong Communication Skills in oral and written English language
  • Ability to safely and successfully perform the essential job functions consistent with the ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, including meeting qualitative and quantitative productivity standards
  • Ability to maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with ADA, FMLA, and other federal, state, and local standards

  • Client-focused, with leadership qualities: Dependable, collaborative, prompt, positive mindset, flexible, organized, comfortable with conflict resolution/mediation


  • Client-focused, with leadership qualities: Dependable, collaborative, prompt, positive mindset, flexible, organized, comfortable with conflict resolution/mediation
  • Licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Experience working with the homeless population and participants from various backgrounds; particularly people with diagnosed mental health issues
  • Creative curriculum
  • Skilled with Childplus software
  • Bilingual: English and Spanish (oral and written)
  • Understanding of population being served and knowledge of culturally responsive evaluation methodology

    • Choice of 3 medical insurance plans
    • Choice of 2 dental insurance plans (one plan for employee only; has no premium)
    • Vision insurance plan
    • Voluntary Supplemental Coverage
    • Accidental Injury Coverage
    • Hospital Care Coverage
    • Critical Illness Coverage
    • Pet Insurance
    • Paid vacation time
    • Paid sick time
    • 10 company paid holidays
    • Company funded 401a retirement pension plan
    • Optional employee contribution to 403b retirement savings plan
    • Life and AD&D insurance
    • Programs to maintain your health and well-being
    • Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) – (No cost to employee and 100% confidential)
    • Company funded Short-term Disability Insurance (STDI) Insurance
    • Company funded Long-term Disability Insurance (LTD)
    Volunteers of America is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law
    This employer participates in E-Verify as required by the federal government and will provide the federal government with your Form 1-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.
    If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact the Department of Homeland Security (OHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment.