Community Support Specialist


McClendon Center

Washington, DC
Full Time
3y ago

Company Description

The McClendon Center, founded in 1980, is a certified community-based service provider operating under the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health.  As a leading not-for-profit organization in Washington, DC, the McClendon Center provides outpatient behavioral rehabilitation to the mentally ill by fostering creativity, promoting friendship, instilling independence, and providing an outlet for emotional growth and greater participation in the community.   

McClendon Center operates programs in two locations, a day program near Metro Center and an outpatient service clinic in the NOMA section of DC. The Center has revenues of approximately $9 million, with contracts from the Department of Behavioral Health, three Managed Medicaid Organizations, and grants from various foundations.

McClendon Center is a respected and highly rated agency in the District of Columbia. The Center is also the only independent mental health agency in the District to be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Job Description

Must have a valid drivers' license and an insured vehicle.

Community Support Specialists (CSS) assist consumers in defining their goals for recovery and assist them in meeting those goals, reflecting consumer choice and fostering consumer empowerment.  Much of this work involves linking consumers to services and professionals that can assist in the consumers’ recovery.  Forming trusting and respectful relationships, which are both therapeutic and supportive, is the manner in which community support specialists are able to be most helpful for consumers. CSS's are able to facilitate recovery and integration as they accompany consumers to appointments, visit consumers in their homes, and meet with consumers where they socialize, worship, and work.  The CSS will be supervised by the Team Leader.


•    Provide ongoing assessment of consumers’ wants and clearly identified needs.
•    Facilitates the development and updating of the service plan and life domains assessment as required.
•    Assist and supports consumers in crisis situations.
•    Assist consumers in applying for all benefits and entitlements, such as SSI, Medicaid, Section 8, energy assistance, and other eligible services. 
•    Assist consumers in locating and utilizing community resources, such as self-help groups and recreational centers.
•    Locate safe, sanitary and affordable housing for consumers that is appropriate for the level of care needed and provide support during transition from different types of housing.
•    Accompany consumers to critical services when necessary, especially medication appointments and Center psychiatric appointments.
•    Teach consumers to utilize public transportation and to apply for any reduced fares.
•    Assist consumers in symptom self-management, monitor consumers’ compliance with medication, and any response, side effects, or medication problems.
•    Assist consumers in accessing health-related services as needed.
•    Provide education, support and consultation to consumers’ families and support system as appropriate.
•    Document all services provided through proper billing and writing progress notes within required timeframe.
•    Review and update life domains assessments and service plans quarterly and provide written monthly progress notes as required.
•    Provide external monitoring and support when consumers are engaged in services with other agencies.
•    Participate in the on-call rotation system that will respond to consumers after hours and on weekends.
•    Provide advocacy and support for consumers as they navigate social, governmental and community systems.
•    Participate in staff meetings, case conferences and training sessions as appropriate, and work collaboratively with all collateral agencies demonstrating positive interaction.
•    Maintain billable average for each day worked.
•    Maintain the confidentiality of consumers at all times and operates within the Code of Ethics of the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.
•    Develop familiarity with JCAHO, Medicaid and Department of Mental Health standards and compliance requirements, and assists as needed in maintaining JCAHO accreditation, Medicaid compliance and DMH.
•    May perform other duties as assigned as directed by the Team Leader or Executive Director.


•    Bachelor’s Degree in a social science or related field.
•    One (1) to four (4) years of experience in a social services or nonprofit environment.  Experience in a mental health or similar agency is highly desired.
•    Ability to work flexible hours as required, including evenings and weekends.


•    Ability to coordinate with a multi-disciplinary team within an outpatient mental health agency.
•    A superior communicator, who shares information readily and concisely, listens as well as gives advice, and respects the abilities of others.
•    Knowledge of sound ethical practices and principles related to the care of mental health consumers.
•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
•    Excellent computer skills, to include operating Microsoft Office Suite programs.
•    Knowledge and ability to navigate an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), including data entry.
•    Ability to relate to adults diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness, using knowledge of concepts, principles, and theories related to mental health and mental illness.
•    Ability to perform amicably in an environment serving the seriously and persistently mentally ill adult population.
•    Ability to respect and uphold client confidentiality.
•    Ability to exhibit a high level of organizational skills and able to prioritize and multi-task without direct supervision.


Additional Information

At the McClendon Center you will find powerful resources for career-long success, including:

  • A competitive starting base salary of $42,900 - $50,5000 annually, based on experience.
  • Professional support and career development.
  • A package of comprehensive benefits including health and wellness, four weeks of combined sick and vacation leave, 403(b) retirement contributions, and life insurance.
  • The latest technology and work tools including a laptop and iPhone.

If you are ready for a new challenge in your professional career, submit your cover letter and resume online.

Resumes are reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Failure to attach a cover and/or a resume may disqualify you from further consideration. 

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the job and the general nature and level of work performed by job holders within this job. This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of qualifications, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position.

McClendon Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, marital status, religion, or disability.

No phone calls, please. Note: McClendon Center is not accepting resumes or referrals from agencies. If you are a recruiter, search firm, or employment agency, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if McClendon Center hires the candidate.


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