BHOP Social Services Specialist

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Social Service
Posted on September 2, 2022
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The Department of Community and Human Services values diverse perspectives and life experiences. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with lived experiences.

King County's 
Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides equitable opportunities for people to be healthy, happy, and connected to community.


The Behavioral Health Outreach Program (BHOP) consists of teams that respond to behavioral health crises that occur in assigned patrol areas within King County. The teams provide assistance and/or intervention to persons who are experiencing crisis, homelessness, and/or behavioral health issues. Interventions include community engagement, outreach, de-escalation, screening by visual inspection and brief conversation to determine the need for services, and referrals for service.


There are three sites within this program:

  • City Hall Park Neighborhood Outreach: City Hall Park/King County Courthouse and the surrounding area
  • Transit Station Outreach: Downtown light rail stations
  • Transit Center Outreach: Burien Transit Center and Aurora Village Transit Center

WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. These positions are not represented by a union. The first candidates will be reviewed by September 15, 2022. This posting will be used to recruit similar positions over the next six months.


REQUIRED MATERIALS: Candidates who wish to be considered for this position must submit an online King County application and respond to the supplemental questions. Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the requested and relevant information in the online application and supplemental questionnaire. Applications and/or supplemental questionnaires that state, “see my resume” are considered incomplete and will not be considered to be competitive.


WORK SCHEDULE/CONDITIONS: These are Term-Limited Temporary (TLT) or Special Duty positions anticipated to end December 31, 2023, but subject to change dependent on operational need. We are recruiting for several positions. Positions are .80 FTE positions and full-time (32 to 40 hours a week). Work schedules may include nights (graveyard), weekends, and holidays. Shifts are typically 8 hours/day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These positions meet the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is overtime eligible with prior supervisory pre-approval.


RECRUITER: Susan Churchill,

Job Duties

  • Patrol assigned areas on foot and provide outreach and engage with individuals in the light rail stations or on the trains.
  • Assist transit security in responding and engaging with individuals who are experiencing behavioral health crises.
  • Provide peer support and intervention services.
  • Offer service information and linkage to shelter, housing, behavioral health, medical, and employment services.
  • Develop trusting relationships with individuals through respectful outreach and client centered engagement practices in order to assess their service needs and respond with appropriate referrals and linkages to resources.
  • Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with community partners, shelters, direct service providers, and other service or resource organizations to ensure continuity of care for individuals.
  • Perform job responsibilities in a manner that respects and promotes individual dignity at all times even when challenged by others.
  • Monitor and intervene using de-escalation techniques which includes the use of least amount of physical force when physical or verbal altercations occur.
  • Maintain the safety and security of individuals by using visual and auditory cues that indicate whether or not individuals are stable and safe during outreach services.
  • Complete paper written reports with handwriting that is legible, grammatically correct, and complete.
  • Enter electronic data by typing and saving data via computer to record information as needed.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • The incumbents in these positions will have a personal history of recovery from mental health, substance use or co-occurring disorders.
  • Minimum of 2 years as a peer support specialist or equivalent experience.
  • High School diploma, GED or five years equivalent education and work experience in a behavioral health setting.
  • Enthusiasm for peer support and the belief that recovery is possible for everyone.
  • Experience serving populations impacted by extreme poverty, behavioral health conditions, and mental illness from a harm reduction model of care.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, clients, and outside contacts from a wide variety of ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Skills in de-escalating verbal aggression, hostile or violent behavior.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Effective problem-solving skills using conflict resolution techniques which result in positive outcomes, and the ability to apply patience and common sense as needed.
  • Effective interpersonal skills in working with and promoting positive teamwork.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team that displays sound decision making in the absence of on-site supervisory oversight.
  • Current CPR card or attainable within 90 days.
  • Current Basic First Aid card or attainable within 90 days.
  • Basic knowledge of signs and symptoms of behavioral health conditions.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License, or the ability to travel around the County in a timely manner.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check on a post offer/pre-employment basis.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
How many years of experience do you have providing peer support services?
  • Less than one year
  • 1 - 2 years
  • 3 - 5 years
  • Over 5 years
How many years of experience do you have engaging or intervening with persons who are experiencing homelessness?
  • Less than 2 years
  • 2 - 4 years
  • 5 - 6 years
  • Over 6 years
What days are you available to work?
  • Weekdays only
  • Weekends only
  • Any Day
What times are you available to work? Please select all that apply.
  • 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • 6:00 PM - 2:00 AM
  • 12:00 AM - 8:00 AM
  • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Describe your experience working or interacting with persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness.
Describe your familiarity with local programs that give access to shelter, housing, behavioral health, medical, and employment services.
King County has transformed its work on equity and social justice from an initiative to an integrated effort that applies the principle of "fair and just" intentionally in all the county does in order to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities. What is the most important equity or social justice issue to you and why?

Required Question