Community Social Worker

General Statement of Duties:

This position works in conjunction with the Community Paramedics at Harrisonburg Fire Department and is housed in the Public Safety Building HFD office.  This co-responding team will work in the community to build partnerships with community members and ultimately utilize resources to keep individuals served in their home. The Community Social Worker will support the overall goal of reducing low acuity calls for EMS services and creating positive results in the community by identifying needs related to mental health, substance use, and chronic disease management in potentially underserved or at-risk populations.  This team will work to not only address a current need but assess for underlying needs that may offer an opportunity for longer term improvements which reduce the need for future use of 911.

The role of the Community Social Worker will be to provide crisis intervention services aimed at determining the underlying needs contributing to the crisis.  As part of the co-responding Community Team, the social worker will provide the necessary time and referrals needed while Community Paramedics are able to assess and determine necessary medical response (immediate or otherwise).  The interventions will be varied and may include, but are not limited to: providing resources related to caregiving, providing healthcare resources, connecting with mental health treatment, providing resources to rehabilitate living conditions.  The Community Social Worker will collaborate with the individuals natural supports, medical and mental health providers, social service providers, and other community resources as needed (at the discretion of the client).

This position requires a multifaceted skill set that embraces the whole person perspective of treatment.  The individual must be able to engage an individual in crisis and meet that person where they are to assess and determine the underlying needs, knowledge of area resources, ability to create an accessible plan of care, and diligent follow-up to ensure efficacy.

This position is classified non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Major Essential Functions:

  • Provides goal directed interventions and training to provide resources to individuals who have mental illness or a substance use disorder so that they can remain independent in their communities in the least restrictive environment.
  • Provides face-to-face services to individuals referred to community paramedic program with a focus on assessing needs, identifying resources and linking the individual to said resources.
  • Coordinates and facilitates referrals with community providers as appropriate.
  • Provides supportive counseling to persons with serious mental illness, and their family members as appropriate.
  • Provides support to clients and families during times of crisis, and links clients to appropriate crisis stabilization services.
  • Provides consultative services to the Community Paramedic on possible community resources as needed and as appropriate.
  • Coordinates with Co-responding Community Paramedics to assist consumers in developing medication compliance and adherence skills.
  • Helps consumers understand and connect with resources to acquire basic skills in symptom management and adherence to psychiatric and medical services.
  • Assists consumers with skills for improved personal hygiene, connects with available resources.
  • Assists community paramedics as needed to coordinate community medical and mental health services to facilitate prescription, administration, dispensing, and potential short-term monitoring of medications through co-responder paramedics. Coordinates delivery of medications to consumers’ natural environment, as appropriate.
  • Maintains detailed documentation that is commensurate with requirements.
  • Makes effective use of available technology, including, but not limited to, voice mail, e-mail, electronic medical record system, and other computer resources.
  • Maintains effective relationships with co-workers and customers based on courtesy, compassion, and respect.
  • Assures compliance with agency policy, client rights, confidentiality, licensure regulations, and other regulations as applicable.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Maintains trauma-informed treatment perspective.
  • Good assessment, evaluative, resource identification, and crisis intervention skills.
  • Knowledge of systems of mental health and substance abuse disorders.
  • Ability to function calmly in stressful situations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and with private and public agency personnel.
  • Knowledge of and adherence to basic ethics appropriate for a helping relationship; ability to write concisely and effectively.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse individuals, including consumers, professionals, and family members Ability to work as part of a team to assist in providing administrative and clinical supervision.

Minimum Education and Experience:

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in any Human Service related field.

Additional Requirements:

  • Mandt Training
  • CPR Certification
  • Trauma Informed Training
  • First Aid Certification
  • AED Training