DIRECT CARE COUNSELOR - D.A. Blodgett - St. John's

Job Details
Grand Rapids, MI

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Helping children and empowering families by providing safety, advocacy and support.





The Direct Care Counselor (Counselor) is responsible for providing direct care and supervision for children served by the Agency. The dimensions of this “direct care” responsibility are quite broad. At times, the Counselor acts in a parental role; meeting the basic needs of youth. The Counselor ensures that each child is healthy and safe, makes sure that each is properly clothed and fed and works to maintain a clean and orderly living space. Included in the parental role are the responsibilities to give praise, affection and encouragement to youth and respond appropriately to challenging behaviors when necessary.


At other times the Counselor is cast more in the role of a mentor, instructing youth in social skills, hygiene, basic values, spirituality, homework assignments and the like. The Counselor takes on the role of a trusted and patient adult friend, discussing a youth’s personal life, feelings and interpretations of the world.


Drawing all of these roles and responsibilities together is the Agency’s emphasis on relationships between staff and youth. DABSJ believes that all effective helping efforts begin with warm, caring, sound relationships. It is the Counselor’s responsibility to develop such therapeutic relationships with youth, and then to use and work through those relationships to stimulate and encourage growth.


At St. John’s Campus, Counselors are expected to work effectively and harmoniously as part of a team or teams within the agency. Specific work responsibilities and work schedules will vary according to team assignment.


Always remember that your primary responsibility is to provide a safe, secure, nurturing and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for the kids who live here.





  1. Developing and maintaining nurturing and sound relationships with all students.
  2. Ensuring the supervision, health and safety of students.
  3. Learning and consistently applying all agency, group and individual treatment programs.
  4. Effectively following and implementing Collaborative Problem Solving.
  5. Fully participating in a treatment team(s), learning from others and allowing others to learn from you.
  6. Providing positive, mature, adult role modeling for youth at all times.
  7. Providing effective written records and communications as required by the program.
  8. Providing for essential supplies, clothing and personal needs of youth.
  9. Ensuring the security, safety and cleanliness of the campus.
  10. Attending and successfully completing all required agency training sessions.
  11. Planning, organizing and effectively conducting therapeutic activities and recreational programs for students.
  12. Conduct yourself in a manner so as to positively reflect upon the Agency in the community both on and off duty.
  13. Abiding by all policies and practices of DABSJ.
  14. Completing other reasonable assignments, which may be made by a supervisor.





  1. Ability to communicate verbally and effectively to exchange information with coworkers, peers, the community, and others involved in your position.
  2. Ability to maintain a stationary position for extended periods of time.
  3. Ability to be physically mobile when working with students.
  4. Ability to determine and assess job related documents and visually utilize Agency equipment.
  5. Ability to physically handle and perform job related functions, including the operation of Agency equipment.
  6. Ability to physically position oneself to effectively interact with students.
  7. Ability to ascend/descend stairs safely and successfully.
  8. Ability to lift and transport 40lbs.





  1. High School Diploma or GED required by state licensing authority. Agency prefers a bachelor’s degree, or near completion, in a field related to the helping professions.
  2. Experience in working with children.
  3. Good oral and written communication skills.
  4. Good organizational skills
  5. Good computer skills
  6. Valid driver’s license, adequate insurance with a car available at all times.
  7. Ability to work with a variety of people both within and outside the Agency and must       promote a positive image for the Agency in the community and in relationship with other        Agencies and their personnel.
  8. Become familiar with and follow the code of ethics for your profession and agree to abide by the related Agency standards.
  9. Possess an understanding and sensitivity to the student’s cultural and socioeconomic characteristics.
  10. Positive acceptance of supervision in order to learn and be trained in job-related functions.
  11. Personal qualities of organizational skills, assertiveness, good judgment, conscientiousness, attention to detail and timeliness.
  12. Good moral character.
  13. Good health and physical condition. Free of communicable diseases.
  14. A personal commitment to the Agency’s mission, philosophy, and values.


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