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Outreach Specialist

City of Mount Venon

City of Mount Venon

Mt Vernon, WA, USA
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2024


Did you start your career wanting to make the world a better place? Is helping with the social justice needs of your community what motivates you?

We are seeking candidates who want to actively disrupt the behavioral health status quo by unabashedly developing and executing new ideas and practices for the citizens of Mount Vernon who are without homes; working side by side with Officers from the Mount Vernon Police Department to help our most vulnerable citizens achieve their goals. Communities across the state have asked for law enforcement agencies to help their citizens in new and different ways. The Mount Vernon Police Department has been doing that for five years and we’re ready to expand!

We are actively recruiting for an Outreach Specialist. Applicants that hold an MSW will perform additional duties as outlined below under Additional Functions for Outreach Specialist MSW.

Outreach Specialist $5,212 - $6,859
Outreach Specialist-MSW $5,863 - $6,859


A non-uniformed, non-sworn employee performing professional, social work functions. The Outreach Specialist responds to people with mental and/or substance use disorders, behavioral, housing, financial and other social service needs. Duties include considerable public contact and are intended to bridge the gap between law enforcement and/or emergency medical response and the social needs of people within this population. Work hours include variable shifts including nights, weekends and holidays.

Under supervision of the Outreach Supervisor, the Outreach Specialist engages with and assists the population of Mount Vernon struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and other social service needs.

Essential Functions

Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include any of the following representative duties, knowledge, and skills. This list is ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by incumbents of this class. Employees are required to be in attendance and prepared to begin work at their assigned work location on the specified days and hours. Factors such as regular attendance at the job are not routinely listed in job descriptions but are an essential function. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Works primarily with individuals who are generally self-sufficient however reticent to engage in services or are extremely reticent due to untreated behavioral health issues.
  • Provides first response to 9-1-1 police or fire/medical service calls where behavioral health or substance abuse appear the underlying factors and circumstances involving imminent risk of harm to others is not apparent.
  • Engages individuals that are displaying behavioral health conditions and intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substances; makes referrals to appropriate service providers and coordinates service delivery.
  • Responds to service requests from police, fire, EMS, or other first responders who encounter individuals who may benefit from social services as alternative to criminal justice actions; assesses individuals for immediate safety and stabilization needs and prepares assistance plans.
  • Assesses individuals for immediate safety and stabilization needs and tailors assistance plans to the individual’s need; coordinates with the City’s Case Manager as needed.
  • Develops a network of working relationships with voluntary outreach teams, Designated Mental Health Professionals, Skagit County Justice Center, Skagit County Crisis Center, behavioral health treatment providers, emergency housing providers, veteran’s services, and other social service providers.
  • Coordinates service delivery plans with Traditional Care Provider Managers, SCCJC Jail Alternatives, Skagit County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Professionals, Community Action case workers, Community Court Coordinators, and other system providers as deemed necessary.
  • Responds to requests for information about available services for the homeless, mentally ill, and substance abusing populations and those with other human and social service needs. makes referrals to appropriate service providers and coordinate service delivery; assists with relocations.
  • Provides outreach, engagement, and support to people seen on a reoccurring basis, which may require short term intensive case management; facilitates services for high-need individuals across all systems of care; consults with other agency professionals on difficult cases.
  • Meets with and interviews individuals, families, and other care providers to assess needs and eligibility of services; serves as a liaison between contact, caregivers, and service providers.
  • Assists the target population served with obtaining basic resources such as shelter, food, medical services, behavioral health treatment, and other social and human services as needed.
  • Develops and recommends procedures for identifying and screening people with social service needs.
  • Establishes and administers tracking systems for the target population and service providers; studies and analyzes program participation; collects and prepares data for outcome summaries.
  • Prepares correspondence, records, and reports related to social services activities.
  • Develops, recommends, plans, and organizes programs, policies, procedures, and projects that will assist in efficiently addressing the human and social service needs of the target population.
  • Provides training to Officers and other first responders related to social service resources.
  • May attend and testify at court hearings and other legal proceedings.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.
Additional Essential Functions for Outreach Specialist MSW
  • Complete mental health assessments when applicable to facilitate client referral and/or enrollment in treatment.
  • Construct court affidavits for involuntary related client holds and when appropriate provide the court professional opinions regarding observed behavior that may be useful in weighting against historical, provider treatment plans diagnosis.
  • Assist police officers or Designated Crisis Responders constructing affidavits or related legal processes that are intended to restrict actions based on behavioral health circumstances.
  • Create in-depth biopsychosocial for referral planning use, advocacy and linking to appropriate behavioral health services. Select clinical interventions/treatments/evidence-based practices as appropriate.
  • Supervise MSW interns following the standards of each university involved as assigned by the supervisor.


Education, Training, and Experience Guidelines


  • Associate of Arts with five years behavioral health related experience, which includes homeless outreach; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Recognized internship experience related to diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, substance abuse disorders and homelessness preferred.

  • Graduate degree in Social Work or closely related field
  • Two (2) years of professional experience in counselling and treating persons under the influence of controlled substances, intoxication and/or experiencing mental illness.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Applicable local, State, and Federal laws, codes, regulations, and ordinances.
  • General office policies, procedures, and equipment.
  • Applicable local, State, and regional resources and programs.
  • Customer service principles, practices, and etiquette.
  • Records maintenance and retention policies and procedures.
  • Behavioral health conditions.
  • Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) guidelines.
  • Assessment and social casework techniques.
  • Conflict resolution principles.
  • Principles, beliefs, and objectives for effective social service programming.
  • De-escalation and problem-solving techniques.
  • Interviewing and counseling practices and techniques relevant to the population served.
  • Special needs of homeless populations.
  • Presentation of mental illness related behaviors and appropriate clinical interventions.

Skill in:
  • Understanding and applying motivational interviewing practices.
  • Applying assessment and social casework techniques.
  • Maintaining accurate records and filing systems.
  • Observing, evaluating, and interpreting behaviors.
  • Interacting tactfully and professionally with City staff, outside agencies, and the public.
  • Organizing and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Recognizing presentation of mental illness related behaviors and determining appropriate clinical interventions.
  • Preparing and presenting reports and making presentations to various audiences.
  • Maintaining composure in stressful situations.
  • Completing multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Typing and entering data with speed and accuracy.
  • Preparing clear and concise communications, reports, and technical documents.
  • Analyzing complex issues and implementing appropriate responses.
  • Establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships.
  • Communicating effectively verbally and in writing.

Must possess a valid Washington State driver’s license.
SUDP certificate preferred.

  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurances
  • Life Insurance policy
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Department of Retirement Systems Retirement Plan
  • Paid vacation, holidays and sick leave
  • Gym Membership reimbursement
  • Deferred Compensation (voluntary)
Interested applicants must submit cover letter and resume with their application. The entire application process will include:
  • A written take home Assessment
  • Oral Board Assessment
  • Background Check
  • Polygraph Exam
  • Psychological Exam
  • Medical Exam
For additional information, or a complete job description, please visit https://secure.neogov.com/v4/ui/classspec
The City of Mount Vernon provides and enforces a drug free workplace
and maintains a smoke free work environment.
The City of Mount Vernon is an Equal Opportunity Employer.