Alcohol and Other Drug Services Assistant I - Extra-Help

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Social Service
Posted on May 26, 2023
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Join the Department of Health Services as an extra-help
Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AODS) Assistant I!

Starting salary up to $25.55/hour, plus $1.50/hour for bilingual positions

Please note that California Health and Safety Code Section 11833(b)(1) requires AODS Assistants to be licensed, registered, or certified. Applicants who do not meet this qualification will not be considered qualified for this position. 

A list of approved certification agencies recognized by the DHCS may be found on the DHCS website.
The County of Sonoma Department of Health Services is seeking qualified candidates to fill non-bilingual (English) and fluent bilingual (English/Spanish) Alcohol and Other Drug Services Assistant I positions for their Drug Testing Program in Santa Rosa.  These positions may be filled at the I or II level. If you are interested in applying at the II level, you must submit a separate application to the recruitment currently being conducted for that level. 

As an extra-help AODS Assistant I, you will learn to perform alcohol/drug screening through urinalysis, retinal scan, and breathalyzer testing and provide paraprofessional services and clerical support for the Behavioral Health Division's Drug Testing Unit. Additional responsibilities will also include:

  • Ensuring consistent Chain of Custody handling procedures are observed in the transfer of client urinalysis specimens from client to the testing staff
  • Packaging client urinalysis samples for daily pickup by testing laboratory couriers 
  • Learning to and operating a Passpoint retinal scan machine and breathalyzer for client drug and alcohol screening, and running reports at end of shift to capture data of clients screened
  • Accurately entering the client encounter screening data into the Sonoma Web Infrastructure for Treatment Services (SWITS) database and performing daily accurate updates and corrections to testing records
  • Collecting and recording client fee payments and reconciling daily payments collected
  • Completing and verifying a daily Urinalysis (UA) count sheet
  • Providing email reports to case managers regarding client absences, refusals/inability to provide specimens, and when a client is uncooperative with testing procedures
  • Conducting client transports for programs as needed

As the ideal candidate you have experience handling and processing urine samples for alcohol and drug testing and be familiar with Chain of Custody procedures. You also possess:

  • Experience working with AODS clients in an AODS program
  • The ability to communicate effectively and work with individuals from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to ensure accurate data entry, recordkeeping, and documentation
  • An aptitude for developing rapport and maintaining cooperative relationships with clients, service providers, and partner agencies
  • Knowledge and experience in data entry and database management and intermediate Microsoft Office skills and knowledge of virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom and WebEx
  • The ability to work a flexible schedule, as needed, including some evening and weekend shifts


Extra-help employees relieve or augment permanent staff. Intermittent, extra-help employees are not in the classified civil service and do not have property rights to permanently allocated positions. In addition, they do not receive most regular employee benefits such as long-term disability insurance coverage; accrual of vacation; participation in the County retirement program; or eligibility to take promotional examinations. Intermittent, extra-help employees are limited in their employment to a maximum of 1,380 hours within any twelve-month consecutive period. Extra-help employees who meet the eligibility requirements may qualify for a County contribution toward medical coverage.

This recruitment is being conducted to fill intermittent, extra-help Alcohol and Other Drug Services Assistant I positions in the Department of Health Services. This employment list may also be used to fill future extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of this list. 





Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be either: six months of experience either paid or volunteer working with alcoholics and/or drug addicts in a treatment and/or recovery program that would provide basic understanding of the needs of alcohol and other drug abusing persons.


Related coursework, training, conferences and workshops that would provide basic understanding of the needs of the alcohol and other drug abusing person.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including necessary special endorsements, as required by the State of California to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Special Qualification
: All employees of this class must register, obtain, and maintain a Counselor Certification as defined by the California Code of Regulations, Chapter 8: Certification of Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors. Upon appointment to this class, employees will have six months to register and five years to obtain Certification from an ADP approved certifying organization whose curriculum includes a minimum of 240 hours of formal classroom training. Human Resources will waive the Counselor Certification requirement for licensed professionals (or registered interns) who successfully pass a written examination similar to that administered for Certification. This examination will be administered by the Sonoma County Human Resources Department, and will be designed to measure those areas included in the curriculum required for certification.

Additional Special Qualification: Some positions may require the ability to fluently speak and write a language other than English.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working Knowledge of: the needs, problems, attitudes and behavior problems of the alcohol and drug abusing person.

Knowledge of: Basic principles of individual and group behavior; Socio-economic, environmental, and cultural factors affecting the behavior of alcohol and drug abusing persons; Services and resources provided through other governmental agencies and community-based organizations.

Ability to: learn how to interpret and apply County Alcohol and Other Drug Services Program policies and procedures; learn informal/peer counseling techniques; work irregular hours, different shifts, weekends and holidays; understand and follow oral and written instructions; stand for long periods of time, stoop, lift clients, and lift heavy articles in accordance with accepted safety standards and perform physical tasks as required; learn how to evaluate the behavioral and physiological conditions of the alcohol/drug client; learn how to coordinate the delivery of alcohol and other drug abuse services; analyze situation accurately and adopt an effective course of action; recognize problems which call for the use of public and private community resources; effectively listen, mediate and resolve complaints; read, interpret, apply, and explain complex regulations and reports; communicate effectively with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds; establish and maintain effective work relationships with all types of persons encountered in the course of work; develop rapport and maintain cooperative relationships with clients and service providers; read, understand, apply and explain regulations and procedures governing job training programs; work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team; use computers and related equipment as necessary for job assignments.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all your employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application and should be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.