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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 348O
Category: Social Services

Class Series Concept

See Psychiatric Child Care Counselor 1


As a shift lead, directs staff on assigned shift and aids in the programming for severely emotionally, behaviorally, and psychologically disturbed children and adolescents in a psychiatric hospital setting serving mental health and forensic admissions.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Incumbents serve as a shift lead and direct, assign, and monitor the performance of lower-level staff. Incumbents assist with activities of daily living, and model and implement evidence-based practices and provide situational counseling.

Typical Work

Has decision-making authority on shift when the team is not in agreement, consults with clinical treatment team and medical staff when needed;

Monitors baseline staffing levels throughout the campus and contributes to overall staffing activities;

Acts as a liaison to other departments, (i.e., school, recreation therapy, etc.) and assists in hiring activities;

Performs quality reviews of documentation (i.e. security logs, progress notes, incident reports, and other forms) to ensure compliance with documentation standards;

Intervenes and provides oversight in psychiatric crisis situations in order to de-escalate dangerous and/or assaultive situations utilizing basic de-escalation techniques and advanced crisis intervention strategies;

Collaborates and assists in coordinated activities off-campus, such as community transition activities and off-campus transportation;

Ensures both individualized and continuous therapeutic interventions are maintained, when clinically necessary;

Performs the duties of the lower levels in the series;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: age-specific care and familiarity with evidence-based approaches.

Ability to: relate to a broad spectrum of emotionally, socially, and behaviorally disturbed children and adolescents; function as an integral part of a team, deal with stressful situations in a positive and nonpunitive manner; be aware of the possibility of highly volatile situations and be able to intervene in psychiatric crises quickly and appropriately, plan and supervise both on and off campus activities; communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

The incumbent must possess and maintain a current Agency Affiliated Counselor or higher counseling related credential from the Washington State Department of Health.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree with a major study in Social Sciences, Education, Recreation, Psychology, or related field and one year of social service experience.


Two years as a Psychiatric Child Care Counselor 1.


Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New class: 1-24-75
Revised definition: 6-10-77
Revised definition: 5-28-86
Revised definition: 5-13-94
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 7-1-99
Revised minimum qualifications: 2-11-2000
Revised minimum qualifications: 3-12-04
New class code: (formerly 56080) effective July 1, 2007
Base range salary adjustment (from 48 to 52): adopted June 29, 2022, effective July 1, 2022
Created distinguishing characteristics, revised definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities, and legal requirements: adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.