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Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) Substance Use Specialist

Pathways Vermont’s Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team is an evidence-based forensic adaptation of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) with over 40 years of research and evaluation. FACT is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to be a promising practice that blends criminogenic risk management, substance use and mental health management, with a focus on improving social determinants and health equity. The goals of FACT are to reduce return to incarceration; increase time spent in the community; increase the time in-between returns to incarceration; decrease frequency and intensity of violations; decrease criminogenic risk and needs; reduce victim violence contacts/harassments; increase engagement in treatment/healthcare plan; reduce utilization of crisis services and hospitalization; and improve social determinants (e.g., employment, stable housing, prosocial social connection).  This Chittenden County Based team will support 40-60 individuals under the supervision of the Department of Corrections in collaboration with Burlington Probation and Parole. 

 

The Role: Substance Use Specialist will bring expertise in the areas of harm reduction and substance use counseling to the FACT team.  The substance use specialist will engage individuals in the program in substance use support in individual and group settings. The substance use specialist works as a member of the team to provide flexible, compassionate, community based services that are designed to promote the stability, recovery, and community reintegration of individuals who experience mental health challenges, histories of incarceration, substance use challenges, and histories of community instability. Specialists function as integral members of Pathways’ Forensic Assertive Community Treatment  (FACT) team which utilizes an interdisciplinary staff to serve a combined caseload of clients. 

 

Service Area: Chittenden County

Full time: 35- 40 hours per week 

Supervised by: FACT Team Leader

 

Responsibilities:

  • Engage participants in the program in substance use support via individual and/or group counseling
  • Provide education to Pathways and probation and parole staff around best practices as it relates to substance use support
  • Network with other community providers and provide coordinated care 
  • Engage in relationship building/rapport building with clients and provide service from a “Choice” perspective as well as client centered, harm reduction, and strengths based approaches.
  • Assist with maintaining stable housing; employment; disability benefits; transportation coordination; linkage to community behavioral  health services and recovery supports; and learning new skills. 
  • Assist with maintaining adherence to conditions of supervision and satisfying criminal justice system requirements and conditions
  • Help to relinquish attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors learned as survival mechanisms in criminal justice settings 
  • Meet with clients in jail if returned to incarceration and/or prior initial re-entry
  • Provide pro social interaction opportunities and community connections post incarceration
  • Provide support with technical training to those individuals who experience a radically new world due to technological advances which have occurred while incarcerated.
  • Share employment and housing resources having had to overcome similar challenges due to their own criminal histories.
  • Collaborate with clients in the formulation and maintenance of a comprehensive, Medicaid-compliant service plan that is reviewed and modified with the client on a regular basis
  • Maintain written and computerized records, compile reports and complete other program documentation (including case notes, face sheets, statistics, letters, petty cash receipts, etc.).
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

Qualifications:

  • At least one year training or supervised clinical experience providing substance use treatment
  • Understanding and integration of harm reduction principles 
  • Lived experience of having been incarcerated, under supervision and/or in the criminal justice system will be considered an asset 
  • Lived experience of mental health, substance use, homelessness and/or other life challenges will be considered an asset 
  • Patience, creativity, flexibility, compassion, and sensitivity to persons with disabilities and other minority populations.
  • Prior experience working in a mental health and/or harm reduction agency, preferably in community services preferred.
  • A good understanding of the issues facing persons with mental health challenges or substance use issues, particularly as related to meeting basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and advocacy. In particular, knowledge of the criminal justice system and how it impacts individuals with mental health challenges is valuable
  • Excellent communication, writing, and computer skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, sound knowledge of supportive counseling skills and the ability to form relationships with a diverse group of people
  • Ability to structure time, develop work priorities independently, and meet program expectations with regard to documenting interactions
  • Excellent independent problem solving skills and demonstrated ability to intuitively approach challenging situations
  • Knowledge of community resources for exiting incarceration, mental health and substance use
  • Valid driver’s license, a reliable personal vehicle available for work purposes and current automobile insurance required

 

Physical Requirements:

  • Regularly driving to visit individuals in geographic area. Visual acuity to operate a motor vehicle required.
  • Often meeting with persons in the community in inside or outside environments.
  • Extending and/or grasping with hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction at times when collecting paperwork, assisting with applications, completing hand-written forms, etc.
  • Ability to ascend and descend stairs occasionally required (in instances when businesses and/or meeting places do not have an elevator)
  • Regular operation of a laptop computer and other office machinery including frequent typing and extensive reading.
  • Frequent oral communication through spoken word for sharing of ideas and giving or receiving detailed information.

 

Compensation: 

  • Full time, non-exempt employee 
  • 35-40 hours per week
  • $25.00 per hour 

 

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to employment@pathwaysvermont.org.