Harm Reduction Counselor at Harlem United

Job Description

The Harm Reduction Counselor at the Harlem United Community AIDS Center is responsible for providing an array harm reduction services to marginalized communities including people living with HIV, people who actively use and inject drugs [Hep C] and people who engage in sex work. This position provides individual and group counseling, substance use and sexual health assessments, and additional services as needed. Additionally, the Harm Reduction Counselor is responsible for data entry for several contracts. Data entry into various databases as required by funders, is an essential component of accounting for the services offered.

Essential Job Functions

  • Conduct a range of supportive services to vulnerable communities, as described above, including but not limited to the following:
    • Individual alcohol and other drug (AOD) interventions with HIV+ clients; these are client-centered harm reduction interventions to help initiate and maintain positive behavior change, and to empower clients with the information necessary to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing;
    • Group-level interventions with HIV+ clients; these are client-centered harm reduction interventions in which we seek to provide a safe space for clients to share and reflect with their peers, on topics related to their substance use practices and experiences living with HIV;
    • Intakes and reassessments with HIV-positive clients; intakes and reassessments include substance use screenings as well as service plan development; service planning requires the counselor to help the client identify S.M.A.R.T. goals and the steps they need to take in order to achieve those goals;
  • Make referrals as needed to primary care, mental health services, drug treatment and detoxification programs, case management, housing services, food pantry, benefits, emergency needs and other services;
  • Provide relevant, accurate, and appropriate risk reduction information via counseling, distributing literature and outreach supplies, safer sex supplies, and explaining how supplies may be used to reduce risks;
    • Identify programs in the agency whose clients could benefit from Harm Reduction services; take initiative to create partnerships throughout agency in order to expand reach of program;
    • Complete data entry assignments by entering the services listed above in addition to other services offered by the program, into the appropriate databases within required timelines.

Other Responsibilities

  • Maintain all paperwork, with the highest regard for confidentiality practices, and submit on-time to Harm Reduction Coordinator
  • Attend trainings and other activities to ensure the provision of the most up-to-date and culturally competent services
  • Maintain the highest level of professionalism at all times
  • Participate in data-driven supervision, clinical supervision, and continuous quality improvement (CQI) meetings, as well as departmental, divisional, and staff meetings
  • Other related duties as assigned

Education and Certification

  • High School Diploma or GED required
  • Bachelors preferred

Special Skills and Knowledge

  • Experience working with street-based and marginalized communities, such as people who inject drugs and/or engage in sex work
  • Knowledge of harm reduction and the risks associated with substance use, injection drug use and sexual health for people living with HIV
  • Ability to assess a client’s motivation to make behavioral change based on the Stages of Change model
  • Knowledge of Motivational Interviewing techniques and ability to use appropriate interventions based on clients’ Stage of Change
  • Ability to listen to and communicate clearly and respectfully with active drug users, community members and coworkers
  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus
  • High level of self-motivation
  • Commitment to working as a member of a team
  • Flexibility and willingness to work a flexed schedule including evening hours, with potential for some weekend hours
  • Ability to write progress notes and document occurrences with clients, essential
  • Excellent time management skills

How to Apply

Harlem United is an equal employment opportunity provider. To apply, email resume and cover letter to recruiting@harlemunited.org include “harm reduction couselor” in email’s subject line.

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