Community Health Worker - Social Services Specialist

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Health Care Provider
Posted on June 14, 2022
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Public Health | Seattle & King County, Jail Health Services Division is seeking two Social Services Specialist-Community Health Workers (Community Connectors) to join our team in the Substance Use Disorder Program!

The purpose of JHS is to assure that basic health and human services are available to individuals who are incarcerated in the King County adult correctional facilities.  They offer a comprehensive set of services—including screening for substance use disorders, prescribing medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), distributing naloxone, and providing overdose prevention and response education.

The Community Connector will be working as a community health worker and will use their close understanding of the community to provide patient-centered, trauma-informed care and engage patients as they connect with health and social services.

This is a unique opportunity for someone who wants to be part of a multidisciplinary health team that works to remove barriers to medical, behavioral, treatment and social services and is committed to reducing stigma associated with people who use drugs.  

People with lived experience of substance use, incarceration, houselessness, and/or sex work; people of color, women, and members of the LGB/TGNC+ communities; and people living with HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C are strongly encouraged to apply.  

As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts.
Applicants should be committed to working with diverse populations throughout King County to provide excellent customer service to a broad range of cultures, in accordance with the King County Equity and Social Justice Ordinance and the King County Strategic Plan.
Who May Apply: 

 This full-time position is open to all qualified applicants.
Work Schedule: 

40-hour work week including weekend and evening shifts.

Some of the work associated with this position will be performed remotely.  Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities.  Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.
Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment.  

Job Duties

  • Active engagement with people who use drugs (including alcohol) and individuals who are living with, or at risk for, HIV/hepatitis C using a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction and trauma-informed practice.
  • Use brief assessment, active listening, and crisis response skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals to other health and support services. Coach clients in how to access community resources and facilitate linkage to care.
  • Schedule day of release appointments with providers that prescribe medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for patients releasing from jail.
  • Provide and coordinate transportation to community appointments as needed.
  • Distribute harm reduction supplies and provide accurate health and safety information using established messages on safer drug use and overdose safety planning. Adapt health information based on clients’ priorities, cultural beliefs, and value systems using accessible realistic language to convey pertinent, complex information.
  • Work in collaboration with partner agencies to provide a continuum of services within King County and surrounding areas. Maintain information on community resources.
  • Assist patients with applying for or reactivating Medicaid and insurance upon or prior to jail release.
  • Assist program manager with patient interviews and feedback surveys.
  • Act as patient advocate and liaison to clinical staff.
  • Use multiple computer programs in the provision of client-centered services, including electronic charting & complex scheduling systems.
  • Attend monthly all staff meetings.
  • Participate in program meetings, presentations, and continuing education on substance use disorders and other related topics with program manager and clinical staff.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with clients and coworkers, verbally and in writing.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Demonstrated skills, experience and knowledge of the principles and practices of harm reduction.
  • One-year, full-time experience working with community members or providing direct client services in a health or human service agency.
  • Post-hire WA State Department of Health Community Health Worker certification.
  • Post-hire CPR certification.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport, provide support and advocate for a diverse range of clientele including individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant health challenges.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of race equity, justice, health promotion and public health approaches and models of social support and health care.
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication.
  • Knowledge of social and health systems and resources in Washington and King County.
  • Knowledge of incarceration and substance use issues.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with all people, regardless of background or current circumstances.
  • Ability to maintain appropriate boundaries and supportive working relationships with patients.
  • Ability to refer patients to community services related to their health and safety needs.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft programs such as Outlook and the ability to use drop down menus, point and click software, and multiple screens.
  • Ability to summarize and document information from client interactions according to program requirements using electronic medical record.
  • Ability to engage professionally with community partners during outreach and patient advocacy.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and organize work while meeting deadlines; flexibility and ability to adapt to changing work environment.
  • Must possess valid Washington Driver’s License to drive a county vehicle
  • Ability to travel on a flexible schedule as needed
  • Ability to pass background check
Desired Qualifications:

  • Formal education in health or social services program or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and knowledge in the areas of addictions, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, mental health, etc.

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 your recruiter listed on this job announcement.
Application process:

Applications will be reviewed after the job posting closes. The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:
  1. An electronic application through or (use the "Apply" link) including work history and position duties.
  2. Responses to supplemental questions.
Please do not use "see resume" in your application or answers to supplemental questions as these will be considered incomplete.
Please do not copy and paste your entire resume, or copy and paste your entire job history, as your answers to the supplemental questions as these will be considered incomplete.
You may attach multiple documents if you wish:
  • Copy and paste one or more documents into the text resume section of the application.
  • Attach multiple documents/files in the resume attachment section.
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the standard information in the application. Providing information only in a resume will not be considered a complete application.
Your application materials must validate your answers to the supplemental questions. If your answers cannot be validated, you will not proceed to the next steps of the process.
The selected candidate will be required to pass a thorough background investigation. In the event the job classification requires an exam; an offer of employment will be contingent on passing a pre-employment physical exam and must maintain security clearance.
Supplemental Information:
This selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, testing and interviewing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to 
Public Health relies on office automation (Microsoft Office) and web-based enabled tools, therefore candidates must be proficient and comfortable with computer use to perform functions associated with on-going work.
Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing their mandatory trainings on time and obtaining required immunizations.
Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.
Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.
Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities and working hours.
If you need a disability accommodation in the application or testing process, please call the contact number listed on the job announcement.
Applicants from this job posting may be used to fill temporary or other positions in this classification for a period of up to a 6 months.
Union affiliation:

 Protec 17

For more information about the application process please contact Mark Lacy at

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.

Do you have at least two years of recent, relevant work experience?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "Yes" to question #1, please describe your experience. If you answered "No", then type N/A.
Do you have a valid Washington Driver's License and the ability to travel on a flexible schedule?
  • Yes
  • No
Describe your skills, experience and knowledge of anti-racism concepts and practices?
Describe how you approach your work with clients.
Describe your skills, experience and knowledge of harm reduction concepts and practices.
Describe some of the challenges faced by people experiencing legal involvement, housing instability, poverty, substance use disorders or mental health diagnosis, and trauma brought on by discrimination and systemic oppression. How do these challenges affect the behavior, responses, and opportunities of people leaving jail?
A very small percentage of people discharging from residential care actually start a new level of care. The same can be said about people leaving jail. Research shows that these situations require a smooth, or warm handoff. Describe your experience in facilitating warm handoffs? What concepts or strategies are needed to increase the chance of success?
What advice would you give to a colleague who is interested in working with someone with recent or ongoing criminal history?
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

Required Question