Job Opportunity: Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf at DARS – Fort Worth

Job Opportunity: Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf at DARS – Fort Worth

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Job Description: v

The Counselor I performs work in support of the mission, goals and values of DARS, and applies critical thinking skills and sound decision making in performance of routine rehabilitation work in one or more program areas: Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) including transition from high school to adult VR services, and or Independent Living (IL) and/or Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services (CRS).  Work is performed using the DARS electronic case management system. The Counselor I is hired by the Area Manager (AM) with the approval of the Regional Director (RD), and works independently, with moderate supervision by the AM. The Counselor I will require substantial coaching and mentoring.
Work performed supports employment or other defined outcomes for people with disabilities by:  Developing and maintaining relations with community referral sources, businesses, employers and schools as applicable.• Collecting and analyzing all information necessary to make an accurate eligibility decision (e.g. medical, psychological, school records, employment records, etc.)
Assisting the consumer in choosing an appropriate employment or other rehabilitation goal by analyzing information to determine the consumer’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities and interests, and matching that information to the current job market, as appropriate.  Working collaboratively with the consumer to develop a plan of services designed to achieve the consumer’s identified goals.  Ensuring timely, cost-effective provision of services and consumer progress toward achievement of their goal.  Developing and implementing a process leading to successful job placement or other planned outcome.
The Counselor I applies best value purchasing practices and uses available comparable benefits and services to ensure effective use of public funds.  
During the first year of employment, the VRC I participates in a number of mandatory training activities.
Performs other duties as assigned and required to meet the mission and goals of the department and division.
Essential Job Functions:
Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.
1. Accurately determines eligibility for DARS services. (5%)
2. Demonstrates quality standards throughout the eligibility assessment process. (5%)
3. Provides counseling and guidance to support consumer informed choice. (10%)
4. Demonstrates quality standards in counseling and guidance by maintaining active and meaningful partnerships with consumers throughout their cases. (10%)
5. Supports the consumer through the assessing and planning process to identify an appropriate rehabilitation goal and services. (10%)
6. Demonstrates quality standards by engaging the consumer in the assessing and planning process to identify consumer needs and strategies to address them. (5%)
7. Provides reasonable and necessary planned services and appropriately closes cases, or transitions cases to adult VR. (10%)
8. Demonstrates quality standards in implementation of the consumer’s plan. (10%)
9. Accurately determines and documents level of significance of consumer’s disability. (5%)
10. Contributes to the success of the unit by meeting individual performance goals, and establishing and maintaining productive relationships with businesses and/or school, as applicable. (15%)
11. Applies sound decision making and best value purchasing principles to consumer purchases. (10%)
12. Serves as a team leader to technicians and/or other staff working together toward a common goal. (5%)
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to performance in this position:

• Ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to barriers encountered throughout the rehabilitation process.
• Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
• Ability to plan, organize and achieve goals.
• Ability to understand and apply policies and procedures.
• Ability to conduct consumer interviews.
• Ability to engage the consumer in an active and meaningful partnership throughout the rehabilitation process.
• Ability to apply the rehabilitation process.
• Ability to gather, evaluate and analyze information used in the rehabilitation process.
• Skilled in using a computer in a windows environment.
• Knowledge of counseling techniques as used in the rehabilitation process.
• Knowledge of vocational and other assessments (e.g. Independent Living) of rehabilitation needs.
• Knowledge of assistive technology for people with disabilities.
• Knowledge of job placement techniques.
• Knowledge of available community resources and comparable benefits.
• Knowledge of occupational requirements and labor market trends.
• Knowledge of vocational aspects of physical and mental disabilities.
• Knowledge of communication strategies for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
• Knowledge of aspects of deaf culture.
• Ability to communicate in a conversational mode utilizing various forms of manual communication (ASL, PSE, English).
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Minimum preferred education/certification qualifications for VRCs are:
• A master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, or a closely related field with specific coursework; or
• Other master’s degrees or Ph.D. with specific coursework; or
• current Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certificate from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC); or
• Current licensure for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).
Applicants hired without these credentials will be required to meet standards within the timeframe agreed to at employment.
Initial Selection Criteria:
Masters degree with major in Rehabilitation Counseling from an accredited college or university OR Masters degree with major in counseling or counseling related degrees, Education, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Human Services from an accredited college or university plus one (1) year related work experience, OR Other Masters degree plus two (2) years related work experience, OR Bachelors degree with a major in vocational rehabilitation from an accredited college or university plus one (1) year related work experience, OR Bachelors degree with major in Counseling, Education, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, or Public Health from an accredited college or university plus two (2) years related work experience OR other Bachelors degree plus three (3) years related work experience. Related work experience is defined as case management, counseling, job placement and general knowledge of disabilities.
Additional Information:
This is a career ladder position, and, depending on required qualifications and experience, may be filled at any level from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor I to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor IV. The starting salary range is $2,852.75 to a maximum of $5,881.41. Salary and position level will be based on the qualifications of the selected applicant as they relate to career ladder promotion eligibility requirements. Factors such as education, credentials and experience should be considered when establishing the starting salary. The starting salary for current agency employees and employees transferring directly from another HHS agency will be based on Chapter 7 – Compensation, Section D – Starting Salaries, Subsection Salaries for Certain Inter-Agency and Intra-Agency Transfers. A demonstration of writing skills will be required during the interview. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability.
If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.

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