The Crisis Counselor provides critical support to callers of the 24-hour crisis line, and support and assistance to residents of our emergency shelter. They are the primary in-shelter staff person providing assistance to shelter residents and ensuring a safe and supportive environment.
This position provides coverage for 3 critical shifts including days, evenings, weekends, holidays and overnights to help ensure 24/7 coverage and works closely with the local police department offering resources and support to individuals encountering a domestic violence situation and providing assistance, as needed, to officers responding to a domestic violence situation. This role requires a natural trouble shooter with strong emotional intelligence, communication skills and a demonstrated commitment to offering compassionate, trauma-informed support to a diverse group of callers and residents.
Crisis Line (60%)
- Provides crisis intervention services and appropriately document all calls on the 24-hour crisis line. Services include crisis intervention, safety planning, lethality assessments, emotional support, information about legal rights and options, information about domestic violence, and referrals.
- Screens for shelter eligibility and makes arrival arrangements with eligible callers.
- Schedules clients seeking walk-in counseling and completes any back up documentation.
- Updates shelter status board to ensure accurate occupancy information for team members.
- Maintains accurate notations and reviews them to stay updated on shelter issues.
Residential Support (20%)
- According to protocol, compassionately welcomes new shelter residents and sensitively guides them through the resident directed in-take process.
- Warmly and proactively engages residents in a manner that reinforces our trauma-informed principles, and builds a supportive space.
- Takes every opportunity to provide supportive comments that recognize the successes and strengths of residents.
- Provides information and resource referrals to residents as needed.
- Champions the principles and practices of trauma-informed care in all work with residents.
- Responds to resident questions and reinforce critical safety guidelines and resident rights and responsibilities as needed.
- Distributes needed supplies to residents.
- Assists residents in navigating in-house conflicts, refer residents to client advocates as needed, and role model healthy boundaries, self-awareness, and self-care.
- Overnight and on weekends, independently assess security needs and calls police when serious safety issues arise.
- Overnight and on weekends, exercises discretion to assess serious safety violations that necessitate the need for emergency discharge and conduct the discharge process in accordance with agency protocol.
Record Keeping (10%)
- Keeps accurate service documentation including narratives, phone and supplementary intakes, contact book, accident report forms, etc.
- Reviews shelter, departmental, and organizational communication frequently.
- Maintains timely and accurate timesheets and other forms or documents as directed.
Facility Support (5%)
- Assists in maintaining a clean, safe, and orderly environment and by conducting walk-throughs as scheduled and reporting security or maintenance issues in a timely manner.
- Reports to Residential Coordinator when food and other supplies are running low and in need of restocking.
- Assists in ensuring kitchen remains in compliance with health and food sanitation regulations by conducting walk-throughs, assisting in minor cleaning tasks if needed, and reporting issues to the Residential Coordinator.
- Overnights and weekends, conducts discharge room checks per agency protocol and reports issues to the Residential Coordinator.
- Ensures compliance with emergency evacuation protocol as needed.
- Maintains a secure facility by adhering to related protocol.
- Supports volunteers providing assistance or services to shelter residents.
Other Duties (5%)
- Provides and attends regularly scheduled departmental and organizational staff meetings and trainings and participate in organization committees as requested.
- Attends professional development as requested.
- Understands and adheres to all of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore procedures and policies as well as the YWCA Employee Handbook.
- Performs other duties as assigned by management.
Education: Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, or Counseling is required.
Experience and/or Training:
- Previous experience working with children, youth, adults, and families who are in crisis situations and/or have experienced domestic violence required
- Bilingual in Spanish or other languages a plus.
- Three years counseling children, youth, adults, and families on issues related to domestic/intimate partner/family violence and offering support to individuals who have experienced trauma preferred
- Successful completion of 40 hour domestic violence training (within 3 months) or previously completed 40 hour domestic violence training.
- Successful completion of ICDVP exam (within 12 months) or previous successful completion of ICDVP exam.
Technology/Equipment: Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Outlook email.
- Weekends required
- Tolerance of prolonged and continuous stationary periods at a desk/computer/phone line
- Occasionally required to stand, walk, climb stairs, and reach
- Occasionally required to push, pull, lift and/or move up to 15 pounds
- Must be able to move about the facility
- Must be able to operate controls for computers and other equipment
The mental and physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by an individual to successfully perform the essential functions of this position.