Residential Counselor

**UMFS is seeking full-time Overnight Youth Counselors for the Centreville location.  Bilingual is preferred, but not required.***


Participate as a member of a treatment team in the therapeutic residential program to meet the social, recreational, behavioral, and educational needs of youth exhibiting acute emotional and behavioral difficulties or youth on the autism spectrum. Plan, implement, and participate in social and recreational activities for youth. Provide a safe and therapeutic milieu that meets the physical and emotional needs of our clients. Implement treatment protocols established by a multi-disciplinary team.  Attend to the administrative functions, including attending treatment meetings, completing required documentation, and actively participating in professional development opportunities offered at UMFS.



  • Provide supervision to youth in close proximity to hear and see them at all times.
  • Show an interest in clients by interacting with them regarding their day, and have a working knowledge of their background, family and community.
  • Actively engage with youth in cottage and recreation activities.
  • Assist clients with homework and school related activities.
  • Supervise and monitor youth and activities in accordance with applicable regulations, polices and procedures.
  • Maintain and promote a positive, constructive and therapeutic environment by maintaining a harmonious environment that facilitates constructive group activities throughout the treatment milieu.
  • Serve as a role model for youth in the areas of ethics, morals, appearance, spirituality, lifestyle principles, and by using techniques outlined in Foundation and Mandt Training.
  • Understand treatment and program philosophy and implement when interacting with youth.
  • Effectively follow recreation schedule.


  • In the event of an immediate threat, use appropriate Mandt techniques to intervene and deescalate including physical restraint if necessary.
  • Responsible for contacting nurse and on call if a physical restraint has occurred including completing any required documentation and notification of guardian.


  • Provide crisis intervention for residents, to include the use of approved verbal and physical intervention techniques. Implement the agency’s Positive Behavioral Support practice according to policy and procedures. Practice healthy conflict resolution
  • Respond adequately to emergencies and potentially unsafe situations with clients.
  • Responsible for contacting nurse and on call if a crisis or emergency has occurred including completing any required documentation and notification of guardian.


  • Teach and role model social skills including effective interpersonal skills, appropriate feedback, boundaries, dress, language, conversation skills, impulse control, good manners, reliability, respect, and honesty.
  • Teach youth to advocate getting their needs met by using “I” statements.


  • Responsible for administering medication as prescribed to clients and documenting medication doses.
  • Responsible for contacting nurse or on call with any medication issue.


  • Provide positive behavior support through identifying strengths and strategies to support youth such as encouragement, clear and consistent limit setting without power struggles, redirection, indentifying appropriate options, and group management skills.
  • Use Collaborative Problem Solving techniques to help clients with challenging behaviors and to build helping relationships.
  • Collaborate with the Team and the client to find creative strategies and alternative solutions to socially inappropriate or awkward behavior.


  • Teach and role model independent living skills including effective personal hygiene, cleaning chores, laundering, money management, and cleanliness of personal living areas (PLAs).


  • Responsible for meal preparation and food inventory in the cottage.
  • Teach, coach, role model, and involve youth in all aspects of meal preparation including portion control, table setting, meal etiquette, kitchen clean-up, sanitary food handling, and food storage according to health standards.


  • Learn and understand the four quadrants of the Circle of Courage™.
  • Facilitate and document a variety of therapeutic interventions designed to support group development the youths’ treatment plans including but not limited to daily goal setting, evaluation of daily expectations, and conflict resolution.


  • Responsible for documenting Serious Incidents on the correct form stating only facts about the situation and not opinions; complete by the end of the shift.
  • Responsible for informing appropriate personnel as directed by Serious Incident Report procedure and communicating the SIR to Team via Changeover email.


  • Provide client transportation safely to appointments, shopping visits, and recreational events.
  • Maintain valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record of better than -5 points and no violations of DUI or reckless driving.


  • Provide support to the team by being solutions focused.
  • Attend and participate in weekly team meetings.
  • Work closely with Treatment Team to support client’s treatment goals.
  • Assist with training new staff.
  • Display dependability by arriving to shifts or meetings on time and prepared.
  • Practice prudent notification and use of sick time.
  • Complete required training within the mandated time-frame.
  • Promptly identify maintenance issues and report it to Cottage Manager. 


  • Provide guidance and direction to youth in an age appropriate manner that develops and nurtures social norms.
  • Build positive, caring relationships with youth based on respect, trust and appropriate boundaries.
  • Empathically listen to clients and reflect back the content and emotions to ensure they are heard and understood. Use “I” statements when appropriate.
  • Demonstrate good interpersonal skills and teamwork by working amicably and effectively with coworkers.
  • Provide constructive and positive feedback to youth and coworkers.
  • Interact effectively and professionally with client’s family, social worker, and referring agency.
  • Use respectful communication skills at all times being aware of body language, tone, and word choices.
  • Communicate respectfully and effectively with staff and clients of all cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and faith or religions.


  • Read emails at the beginning of each shift and respond if appropriate.
  • Use computer accurately clock in and out.
  • Ability to use a variety of agency software technologies to access forms and policies/procedures, complete documentation, e-mail, manage security system codes, and complete time card.


  • Accurately complete and maintain documentation such as Daily Treatment Intervention (DTI) logs, USDA forms, Serious Incident reports (SIR), inventories, Changeover email, Client Phone & Letter logs, Fire/Disaster Drill form, and editions to Team Minutes if applicable.
  • Complete forms related to vehicle use, human resources, and payroll as required.


Provide emergency coverage for sickness, vacations, and during times of special need.

Other duties as assigned.


Customer focus – Must demonstrate that customers including but limited to DSS, FAPT, resource families, birth families, and clients are a high priority. Must effectively manage difficult or emotional customer situations. Respond to requests in a timely and effective manner. Provides quick resolution to customer issues and solicits customer satisfaction feedback. 

Interpersonal skills – Establish and maintain positive effective relationships with a variety of diverse groups/individuals. Offer assistance and support to colleagues. Respects the dignity and worth of every person and is sensitive to the needs, feelings and capabilities of others including their viewpoints. Resolve conflict by interacting in a non-threatening, respectful and calm manner. 

Teamwork – Coordinates with and informs treatment team members of plans and actions, follows through on commitments, and accepts personal accountability for results. Exchanges ideas and provides supportive contribution to move the team forward.  Willingly volunteers to assist team members. 

Feedback – Listens to feedback without being defensive and keeps an open mind. Acknowledges feedback and commits to using suggestions to improve. Is willing and able to present supportive and direct feedback suggestions to others for the purpose of improving.

 Accountability & Reliability – Takes ownership and responsibility for decisions, actions and results, delivers on commitments. Completes job duties with minimal supervision. Acknowledges and learns from mistakes, takes appropriate action to fix problems and reduce future errors. Demonstrates regular and punctual attendance including to all scheduled meetings. 

Initiative – Displays a sense of urgency to effectively and efficiently complete a varying workload in a timely manner. Initiates actions without being told, handles unexpected situations, and volunteers to assist others. Is proactive vs. reactive. 

Self awareness – Ability to identify and regulate the impact of one’s emotions on others and identify and manage the emotional reactions of others. Accepts constructive feedback and makes appropriate changes. Ability to remain focused under stress, exhibiting professional conduct and appropriate boundaries. Projects a realistic self-confidence of abilities. 

Adaptability – Ability to adapt to change and respond to setbacks positively and with minimal disruption. Is able to manage a variety of different tasks appropriate for the position. Can learn new processes/systems quickly, willing to experiment with new technologies, and embrace the challenge of unfamiliar tasks. 

Problem Solving – Ability to proactively identify issues and take action by analyzing all the information skillfully to persistently pursue possible solutions. Can think of “out of the box” alternatives to meet service or client needs. Uses sound judgment about when to take action and when to seek guidance.   

Compliance & Quality – Must ensure accuracy, meet established deadlines of work, produce a quality product/service and show commitment to continuous improvement efforts.  Able to learn, understand, and comply with all program, agency, licensure, and COA policies, procedures and regulations.

 Communication skills – (Verbal & Written) Verbal skills: organizes, expresses and disseminates information clearly and concisely. Conducts or contributes to effective meetings. As needed, conducts presentations and trainings to UMFS staff and/or community organizations Written: read and interpret a variety of clinical documentation, professional periodicals, or licensing regulations.  Ability to interpret therapeutic and treatment data effectively and accurately to document home visits and other applicable situations. Ability to accurately complete a variety of documentation as required for the position using correct grammar and the appropriate content.

Cultural Sensitivity – Maintain and support a discrimination free environment. Display sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural differences present in all professional contacts. 

Engagement – Personally connects and demonstrates passion for Agency mission, vision and values. Ability to inspire others by positively interacting and recognizing others accomplishments. Establishes collaborative relationships throughout the agency and externally to improve service delivery, create opportunities, and build community support to multiply impact or achieve Key Performance Indicators.


This position has been designated as an Essential Personnel position by the Agency.  This means that the duties and responsibilities of your position are essential to the safe and secure operation of the agency or the program in which you work.  As an essential employee, you shall be responsible for getting to work or remaining at work as needed during times of buildings and grounds breakdowns, extreme weather conditions or natural disasters.


Any use of profane, abusive, threatening, degrading, or humiliating remarks or language used with clients or coworkers.

Allowing client’s access to prohibited areas such as offices, building, etc.

The use of corporal punishment or observing others use corporal punishment. Corporal Punishment is defined as the infliction of physical or emotional pain upon or the physical restraint of, an individual for disciplinary purposes. Corporal Punishment includes, but is not limited to, paddling, slapping, hitting, punching, striking, shaking, grabbing, screaming, swearing, name calling, derogatory sarcasm or any other activity that could be harmful to a person’s physical or psychological well being.

Behavior or therapeutic interventions that are in violation of established agency prohibited practices and or client rights (refer to program specific prohibited practices policies and procedures).

Releasing or discussing confidential client or family information except with authorized agency personnel and those specifically authorized by the legal custodian.

Crossing professional boundaries as outlined in Agency and Program policies and procedures. Personal, non-professional relationships are prohibited with clients in care, and for a minimum of two years following a client’s discharge from the program. No staff member can engage in a non-professional relationship including communication (social networks, emails, phone calls, meetings, letters, etc.) with any client.

Any act or threat of violence that includes, but is not limited to, intimidating, threatening or hostile behaviors, physical assault or abuse, vandalism, arson, sabotage, use of weapons, carrying weapons, or any other act that is inappropriate to the workplace. In addition, verbal comments, emails, or written threats regarding violent events and/or behavior are not tolerated.

Arrest and/or conviction of a criminal action that prohibits staff from working with children.

Violations of Prohibited Practices will result in severe corrective action, usually termination, and may result in a regulatory agency investigation such as Human Rights and/or Child Protective Services.


Bachelor’s degree in related field and six months of experience working with youth with behavioral and emotional issues or Autism Spectrum Disorder or the equivalent combination of education and experience. 


Valid driver’s license with acceptable driving record and proof of auto insurance. First Aid, CPR, and manual restraint certification.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  The employee must be able to participate in and be certified in a manual restraint technique, and perform First Aid and CPR. Additionally, the employee must be able to participate in recreational activities and crisis interventions using manual restraint techniques. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to talk and or hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; bend; sit; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel.  The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. Repeated hand-wrist movement required.  Corrected vision to normal range; normal hearing and talking is required for verbal communications.  Ability to use a variety of office equipment and machines as referenced.  Driving short and long distances is frequent. Good memory and recall is necessary for the accurate and timely transfer of data/information.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Exposure to conflict and/or hostile situations. . Participation in cooking, household chores, recreational and outdoor activities, and transport of clients to community activities required.  Some overnight travel may be required. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud.  This is a drug free work environment.