The Crisis Counselor provides critical support to callers of the 24-hour crisis line, and support and assistance to residents of our emergency shelter. Crisis line tasks include assessing caller needs, conducting lethality assessments, comprehensive safety planning, screening for shelter eligibility, providing crisis counseling as needed, and referring callers to critical resources.
This position provides coverage for critical shifts including days, evenings, weekends, holidays and overnights to help ensure coverage 24/7. The full time role will cover Sunday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Crisis Counselor will work 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. The Crisis Counselor is a natural trouble shooter with strong emotional intelligence and communication skills and a demonstrated commitment to offering compassionate, trauma-informed support to a diverse group of callers and residents.
Crisis Line (60%)
- Provide 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.
- According to protocol, compassionately welcome new shelter residents and sensitively guide them through the resident directed in-take process.
- Warmly and proactively engage residents in a manner that reinforces our trauma-informed principles, and builds a supportive space.
- Take every opportunity to provide supportive comments that recognize the successes and strengths of residents.
- Provide information and resource referrals to residents as needed.
- Champion the principles and practices of trauma-informed care in all work with residents.
- Respond to resident questions and reinforce critical safety guidelines and resident rights and responsibilities as needed.
- Distribute 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 call police when serious safety issues arise.
- Overnight and on weekends, exercise 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%)
- Keep accurate service documentation including narratives, phone and supplementary intakes, contact book, accident report forms, etc.
- Review shelter, departmental, and organizational communication frequently.
- Maintain timely and accurate timesheets and other forms or documents as directed.
Facility Support (5%)
- Assist 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.
- Report to Residential Counselor when food and other supplies are running low and in need of restocking.
- Assist 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, conduct discharge room checks per agency protocol and report issues to the Residential Coordinator.
- Ensure compliance with emergency evacuation protocol as needed.
- Maintain a secure facility by adhering to related protocol.
- Support volunteers providing assistance or services to shelter residents.
- Provides and attends regularly scheduled departmental and organizational staff meetings and trainings and participate in organization committees as requested.
- Attend professional development as requested.
- Understand and adhere to all of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore procedures and policies as well as the YWCA Employee Handbook.
- Perform other duties as assigned by management.
Education: Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling or related field required.
Experience and/or Training:
Technology/Equipment: Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Outlook email.
- Previous experience working with children, youth, adults, and families who are in crisis situations and/or have experienced domestic violence is required.
- 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 is preferred.
- Bilingual in Spanish or other languages is a plus
- Successful completion of 40 hour domestic violence training (within 3 months)
- Successful completion of ICDVP exam (within 12 months).
Physical/Mental Demands and Environment:
- Weekends required
- Tolerance of prolonged and continuous stationary periods at a desk/computer
- Occasionally required to stand, walk, climb stairs, reach with hands and arms, and reach above shoulder
- 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
- Employee may be required to share office space and desk
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.