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Social Worker NY Harm Reduction Educators

Posted on: February 7, 2013

Posted by: New York Harm Reduction Educators

Full listing:

From its activist beginnings as an underground needle exchange, New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) is now New York’s largest syringe exchange program, serving over 5,000 low-income drug users and street-based sex workers each year in the Bronx and East Harlem using a unique street-side, low-threshold model. Rooted in social and economic justice, NYHRE provides integrated educational, supportive and substance use services in a non-coercive, grass roots manner that help participants empower themselves, improve the quality of their lives and have a positive impact on our communities.

NYHRE encourages a collaborative environment where staff are expected to be proactive in their work and encouraged to actively participate in the improvement of service delivery and the development of programs.

Position Summary:

The Social Worker will provide individual and group mental health services to individuals who are using drugs, engaging in sex work or who have a history of drug use and have recently been released from incarceration. NYHRE’s service model is based on educating and empowering individuals to advocate for themselves and make their own change in their lives. Consistent with this philosophy, the Social Worker helps participants identify their strengths, their goals and the barriers to making positive change. Service provision takes place at the mobile syringe exchange sites as well as in the office.


  • Provide non-judgmental, low-threshold and culturally relevant individual and group counseling to NYHRE participants.
  • Conduct street outreach for mental health services and the NYHRE program in and around the mobile sites.
  • Conduct “inreach” among participants in the waiting area and in the area immediately outside the permanent office locations.
  • Make referrals to appropriate external services.
  • Maintain proper documentation, including audit worthy participant files and up-to-date mental health log.
  • Assist Director of Mental Health and HIV Services in monitoring compliance with contractual agreements of funders, including data submission, maintenance of files, and general quality assurance.
  • In the absence of the Director of Mental Health and HIV Services, act as Task Supervisor for the social work interns. This will include assigning and monitoring tasks, managing workload, fielding questions and concerns, following up on documentation issues, and providing clinical guidance as needed.
  • Work collaboratively as part of a team and across departments to provide relevant and integrated services.
  • Participate in clinical supervision, social work team meetings, staff meetings, and agency-wide case conferences.
  • Represent NYHRE as required in the community, at conferences and with other service providers.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience/Additional qualifications:

  • Must have LMSW or have an MSW and be able to pass the licensing exam within three months of hire.
  • 1-3 years direct-service experience preferred.
  • We are specifically looking for candidates with an active commitment to harm reduction, syringe exchange and social justice as it pertains to individuals who use drugs or engage in sex work.
  • We are also looking for a candidate who is interested in unconventional and alternative models of mental health service delivery.
  • Must be an organized, self-motivated team-player, with strong interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability and willingness to be hands-on and solve problems as they arise.
  • Must be willing and able to work outdoors at our street sites as well as offering in-office services.
  • Basic computer skills necessary, including MS Office, Excel, and use of the internet for research.
  • Bilingual (Spanish) highly preferred.


Reports to: Director of Mental Health and HIV Services

Status: Full-time, some evening and weekend hours may be required.

To apply: Send a resume, a cover letter that effectively addresses the responsibilities and salary requirements to Brian Murphy at Subject line should read, “Social Worker position – last name“. The attachments should be entitled “Lastname, Firstname CoverLetter”, and “Lastname, Firstname Resume”. No calls please.

NYHRE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals who have personal experience with drug use, PLWHA, women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and the formerly incarcerated are strongly encouraged to apply.


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