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Behavioral Wellness Practitioner I/II

County of Santa Barbara
See Position Description
medical insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, vacation time, paid time off, paid holidays, sick time, long term disability, retirement plan, relocation assistance
United States, California, Santa Barbara
1226 Anacapa Street (Show on map)
December 29, 2023


This recruitment will be closing on Friday, December 29, 2023 at 4:59 pm PST.
Practitioner I: $83,031.89 - $99,728.85 Annually
Practitioner II: $86,509.04 - $103,976.14 Annually
Bilingual allowance when applicable
Special Duty Assignment allowance when regularly assigned to a Psychiatric Health Facility.

We are accepting applications to fill multiple full-time vacancies in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc. The current vacancies are in the Behavioral Wellness Department.

We are accepting applications to establish one employment list to fill full-time, part-time and Extra Help Practitioner I vacancies at each location . You must check " All Locations" on the application and must be willing to accept an assignment at any location. The selected candidate may need to travel between different sites within Santa Barbara County. The operational area may include: Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc, Los Olivos, Santa Mara, and Santa Ynez.

Founded in 1962, it is the mission of the Department of Behavioral Wellness to promote the prevention of and recovery from mental illness and addiction among individuals, families and communities, by providing effective leadership and delivering state-of-the-art, culturally competent services. The Department provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to 10,000 clients with mental illness and substance use disorders annually through its professional staff of over 400, in addition to its many contracted Community-Based Organization (CBO) providers. The Department's decisions and service delivery are guided by the following values:
  • Quality services for persons of all ages with mental illness and/or substance abuse
  • Integrity in individual and organizational actions
  • Dignity, respect, and compassion for all persons
  • Active involvement of clients and families in treatment, recovery, and policy development
  • Diversity throughout our organization and cultural competency in service delivery
  • A system of care and recovery that is clearly defined and promotes recovery and resiliency
  • Emphasis on prevention and treatment
  • Teamwork among department employees in an atmosphere that is respectful and creative
  • Continuous quality improvement in service delivery and administration
  • Wellness modeled for our clients at all levels; i.e., staff who regularly arrive at the workplace healthy, energetic and resilient
  • Safety for everyone
For more information, please visit: .

THE POSITION: The candidate selected for this position will, under direction, assess, diagnose, counsel, and provide psychotherapeutic treatment, rehabilitation, and care coordination for seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, and seriously and persistently mentally ill adults; and performs related duties as required.

Candidates may be appointed at the I or II level, depending on the candidate's qualifications and the needs of the department.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in these classes work within a system of interdisciplinary departmental teams and/or contract service agencies providing assessment, prevention, intervention, treatment, and related ancillary support services via an integrated service delivery system to people with alcohol and other drug-related problems, mental illness, and/or co-occurring conditions.

NOTE: For program details refer to the supplemental questionnaire.

The Ideal Candidate will:
  • Have excellent oral and written communication.
  • Work with clients diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Have proficient computer skills in Microsoft Office.
  • Have experience with electronic health records.
  • Have the ability to read, write, converse fluently in English and Spanish (preferred for some positions).
Have experience in a psychiatric facility or community mental health program (when applying for a position at the psychiatric health facility).

Examples of Duties

  1. Interviews potential clients to assess needs for mental health services or referral elsewhere; counsels or provides psychotherapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals, couples, or members of a family to assist them in achieving productive social adjustments, reducing the impact of disabling disorders, and facilitating their achievement of living, vocational, recreational, and interpersonal goals.
  2. Documents clinical activity presenting diagnostic and interview findings, clinical evaluations, and recommendations; as a member of an interdisciplinary team, reviews diagnosis and treatment plans of clinical staff; may act as a case manager by coordinating appropriate types of service.
  3. Provides crisis counseling in the field, int the office for individuals experiencing acute episodes; evaluates patients, and arranges for voluntary or involuntary admission to facilities for observation and treatment.
  4. Confers with and advises clients' relatives to secure their understanding of and cooperation in treatment and rehabilitation programs.
  5. Cooperates and works with other agencies and practitioners regarding mutual clientele.
  6. Educates clients and their families regarding their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and rehabilitation process.
  7. Manages the care of clients by assessing and referring them to public and private providers and monitoring their progress.
  8. Assists clients to obtain stable housing, physical health care, benefits and entitlements, and to learn basic living skills.
  9. Participates in quality assurance and program evaluation studies.

Employment Standards

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must provide detailed information on their application to demonstrate how they meet the employment standards (minimum qualifications) listed below:

  1. Possession of a valid license as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) issued by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Professional Licensure: Applicants must possess licensure in their profession from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences at the time of application.

LPCC Applicants: A minimum of (6) hours of continuing education (CE) specific to marriage and family therapy during each license renewal cycle.
  1. Driver's License: Independent travel is required for some positions in this class. A valid Driver's License is required at the time of application. A valid California Class C Driver's License is required at the time of appointment.
Knowledge of: assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, counseling, and psychotherapeutic treatment of marriage, family, and child relationship dysfunctions; methods of developing and implementing a treatment plan; human service delivery system; current trends in the field of mental health; laws and regulations applicable to mental health; and basic math.

Ability to: perform effective counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; develop and maintain cooperative relationships with clients' families, members of other professional disciplines, social service agencies, and co-workers; relate professionally with persons with serious mental disorders; identify and utilize community resources; prepare and present clear and concise oral and written reports.

  • Fingerprinting for the purpose of a criminal record check as authorized by Section 16501 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code and Section 11105.3 of the California Penal Code may be required for some positions.
  • Finalists for positions in this class will be required to pass a pre-offer, job-related background investigation.

Supplemental Information


  • Review applications and supplemental questionnaire to determine those applicants who meet the employment standards.
  • Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking: Candidates' response to the required supplemental questionnaire will be evaluated and scored. Candidates' final score and rank on the employment list will be determined by their responses to the supplemental questionnaire. This process may be eliminated if there are fewer than sixteen (16) qualified candidates.
Applicants must receive a percentage score of at least 70 on the supplemental questionnaire to be placed on an employment list. An adjustment may be made to raw scores based on factors listed in Civil Service Rule VI. Those candidates who are successful in the selection process will have their names placed on the employment list for a minimum of three months. At the time the employment list is established, all candidates will receive written notice of their score on the exam(s), rank on the employment list, and exact duration of the employment list.

  • Live Scan and Background Check: Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, the selected candidate's appointment is contingent upon successful completion of a Live Scan and background check which includes a conviction history check, and satisfactory reference checks. A Live Scan is electronic fingerprint scanning that is certified by the State Department of Justice. Further instructions about when and how to complete the Live Scan will be included in the offer letter. Appointee will be subject to a post-offer medical evaluation or examination.
  • The appointee must satisfactorily complete a one-year probationary period.
Veteran's Preference Points: Veteran's preference credit is applicable for this recruitment (5 points for veterans, 10 points for disabled veterans). To be eligible for this credit, you must be applying for this position within five years from your most recent date of: (1) honorable discharge from active military service; or, (2) discharge from a military or veterans' hospital where treatment and confinement were for a disability incurred during active military service; or, (3) completion of education or training funded by a Federal Educational Assistance Act. No time limit exists for veterans with 30% or more disability. To receive veteran's preference points, you must: (1) check the Veteran's Preference Points box on the employment application form, (2) submit a copy of your Form DD214 to the Human Resources Department on or before the application date, and (3) pass all phases of the examination process. The preference points will be added to your final test score.

Recruiters will communicate with applicant by e-mail during each step in the recruitment process. Applicants are reminded to check spam filters continuously during the Recruitment & Selection Process steps listed above to ensure they do not miss required deadlines.

BENEFITS: For more information on County of Santa Barbara benefits click or visit the Benefits Tab above. Additionally, applicants from other public sector employers may qualify for retirement reciprocity and time and service credit towards an advanced vacation accrual rate.

The County of Santa Barbara is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining an environment that exhibits equity and inclusion everywhere, and at all levels of our organization. The County believes equity is a fundamental principle that must be imbedded in policies, institutional practices and systems. The County recognizes the negative impacts of systemic racism and is committed to eliminating the barriers affecting our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian community members, as well as people of other diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. We envision a world where society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and health care, housing the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential.

We celebrate community and employee diversity, strive for inclusion and belonging, and promote empowered participation. We aspire to build a workforce that is reflective of these values and the communities we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will resolutely uphold federal, California state law and/or Santa Barbara County ordinances.

We believe equity and inclusion are vital to fulfill the County's mission and to embody a culture of "One County, One Future." Expanding the full range of employee talent allows the County to deliver our best to all our community members.

We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people. We strive for a healthy and prosperous society that promotes all people having equitable access and opportunity.

Disaster Service Worker: Pursuant to Governmental code section 3100, all employees with the County of Santa Barbara are declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service. Activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.

Vaccination Verification and Testing: This position may be subject to State Health Officer Orders (SHOOs) or County policy regarding vaccine verification and/or testing. Please contact the hiring department for more information.

APPLICATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE: Friday, December 29, 2023 at 4:59 pm PST. Applications and job bulletins can be obtained 24 hours a day at .

Amaris Tang, Employment Analyst -