HIV/Hep C Field Coordinator / Senior Harm Reduction Counselor

Field Coordinator/ Senior Harm Reduction Counselor
Harlem United

New York, NY

The Field Coordinator/ Senior Harm Reduction Counselor has specific responsibilities relating to the development and delivery of mobile-based harm reduction services. The ideal candidate will be responsible for providing an array harm reduction services to marginalized communities including people living with HIV, people who actively use and inject drugs and people who engage in sex work. These services include but are not limited to individual counseling to people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS, rapid HIV testing, syringe exchange, service plan development, referrals, and street outreach. Additionally this position requires supervision and development of peer educators’ skills, and knowledge of data entry.

Services are conducted utilizing a harm reduction approach that supports the client in identifying his or her own goals around substance use and safer sex. While some clients choose abstinence as a goal, others may choose to reduce their use, or to use or engage in sexual practices more safely. We support clients who are actively using, those who use occasionally and those who are in recovery. Our clinical skills are heavily based in the concepts of Motivational Interviewing, which help to facilitate the clients’ exploration of their own motivation to make change. We are continuously assessing clients for their Stage of Change and match that Stage with an appropriate Motivational Interviewing intervention. While candidates should possess and be ready to offer a plethora of knowledge on safer sex and substance use practices, an understanding for and appreciation of the value of active listening is of critical importance to this work.

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;
    • 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;
    • Support syringe exchange services in accordance with state, city, and agency regulations that include monitoring disposal of used syringes; distributing safer injection supplies; adhering to needle stick prevention guidelines; and providing HCV education, overdose education, and buprenorphine education;
    • Conduct a range of outreach activities to community members to foster good community relations and lessen fears of program activities in the neighborhoods served by the program;
    • 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 inside and outside of the agency whose clients could benefit from Harm Reduction services; take initiative to create partnerships throughout agency in order to expand reach of program;
    • Conduct surveys to assess relevant trends in the community so the program may be adapted to meet the continually changing needs of the community;
  • Supervision of Peer Educators who volunteer with IHRP by conducting outreach at our mobile sites, assisting syringe exchange efforts, engaging new clients, and assisting with administrative needs of the program. Peer supervision includes:
  • Individual monthly meetings in which peers’ volunteer assignments are reviewed, successes are celebrated and areas for improvement are identified; facilitate peers setting S.M.A.R.T. goals related to their professional aspirations and the areas for improvement identified by supervisor; monitor goals over time;
  • Model professional behavior and demeanor for peers and other staff; provide feedback in the field to peer educators about developing and maintaining professional boundaries and communication;
  • Knowledge of data entry processes for various program contracts and ability to assist in data entry completion as needed;

Other Responsibilities

  • Maintain all paperwork, with the highest regard for confidentiality practices, and submit on-time to Program Coordinator
  • Attend trainings and other activities to ensure the provision of the most up-to-date and culturally competent services
  • Drive agency vehicles as needed and adhere to guidelines of vehicle usage protocol by reporting to supervisor any problems with the vehicle (i.e. leaks, oil, break flasher) in a timely manner; completing daily vehicle logs; returning vehicle to parking lot in clean condition and with a full tank of gas; and by ensuring vehicles are sufficiently stocked with program supplies and paperwork
  • 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
  • Flexibility and willingness to work primarily outdoors, including (but not limited to) working in inclement weather conditions and on weekends (Saturdays) when needed
  • Other related duties as assigned

Education and Certification

  • Bachelors degree preferred; field experience may substitute for education
    • 2-3 years experience in community health service delivery; knowledge of NYC resources for marginalized communities; a strong understanding of harm reduction principles; experience working with at-risk clients; experience supervising or working closely with peer educators
    • Valid New York State driver’s license

Special Skills and Knowledge

  • Experience working with street-based communities, such as injection drug users, active drug users and sex workers
  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus
  • Knowledge of harm reduction and the risks associated with injection drug use and sexual behaviors
  • Ability to listen to and communicate clearly and respectfully with active drug users, community members, and agency staff
  • High level of self-motivation
  • Commitment to working as a member of a team
  • Ability to write progress notes and document occurrences with clients is essential
  • Excellent time management skills

How to Apply:

Harlem United is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To apply, please email resume and coverletter with salay requirements to include “Field Coordinator” in email’s subject line.

Last Updated on May 17, 2020 by HepFree NYC


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