Alcohol and Other Drug Services Counselor I

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Social Service
Posted on March 3, 2023
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Starting salary up to $36.55*/Hr. 
Plus, a cash allowance of approximately $600/Month* 
This is a continuous recruitment. It may close without notice, at any time, once a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. 

The County of Sonoma seeks candidates for full-time, part-time, and extra-help (intermittent) Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AODS) Counselor I positions. These positions may be filled at the I or II level. If you are interested in applying at the II level, you will need to apply to the separate, concurrent recruitment being conducted for that classification.

Please note: California Health and Safety Code Section 11833(b)(1) now requires AODS Counselors to be licensed, registered, or certified. A list of approved certification agencies recognized by the DHCS may be found at the following site:
Please see the "Minimum Qualifications" section of this job announcement for more information about this requirement.

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $850 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Engineers and Scientists of California Union Local 20 Memorandum of Understanding (ESC MOU).

About the Program Areas

The Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC) 
 Positions assigned to the TASC program provide advocacy, case management, assessment, treatment placement, and supervision services to adults currently involved in the criminal justice system and who are ready to participate in addiction treatment services. AODS Counselors working with the TASC program, provide counseling, aftercare and aid in transition from in-custody to substance use disorder treatment services, in addition to specialized case management. AODS Counselors collaborate with the Sonoma County Courts, Sonoma County Probation, and several community-based organizations, to provide clients with support and accountability after their transition.
 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program
 Positions assigned to the DUI program provide case management, counseling, consultation, education, and evaluations to individuals, groups, and families participating in the program. AODS Counselors also screen and assess clients, prepare court and client program reports, provide diversion services, and assist in planning and coordinating services. The DUI Program collaborates with the Court to provide services to both first-time and repeat offenders. The DUI Program is a state-mandated service that is governed by Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations, which requires ongoing monitoring for compliance.

Project HomeKey
Positions assigned to this program perform a critical role in supporting both County Project Homekey participants and individuals at non-County Homekey sites. It will combine County and substance use disorder expertise with city contacts to address high-level behavioral health and case management needs via a regionwide team. It will liaise regularly with city and community-based contacts to provide integrated care planning for comprehensive wraparound services. Additional responsibilities include providing essential support in stabilizing individuals with substance use disorders the assistance they need to obtain shelter, progress towards permanent housing, and maintain placements. It will take the lead on coordinating a full continuum of SUD related services.

Whole Person Care

Positions assigned to this program provide case management, counseling, education, and evaluations to individuals and groups participating in the program. In addition, AODS Counselors screen and assess clients and maintain documentation.

 The ideal candidates for AODS Counselor I positions will possess:

  • An AODS Counselor registration or certification
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • The ability to communicate effectively and work with individuals from diverse social, cultural, and economic backgrounds
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • A desire to work in a fast-paced, highly dynamic environment
  • The ability to develop rapport with clients and service providers and maintain cooperative relationships
  • An understanding of working with justice involved clients to reduce recidivism and increase access to services


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 multiple full-time, part-time, and extra-help (intermittent) positions in the Department of Health Services.  This employment list may also be used to fill future positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.



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:

One year of experience with responsibilities involving alcohol and drug treatment and education programs and academic coursework in sociology, psychology, alcohol and other drug services and other closely related fields.


Some experience with responsibilities involving alcohol and other drug treatment and education programs and possession of a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, alcohol and other services drug treatment or other closely related fields.

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; basic principles of individual and group behavior; socio-economic, environmental, and cultural factors affecting the behavior of alcohol and drug abusing persons; principles and techniques of group, family and individual counseling; laws, rules, regulations and department policies related to client confidentiality; counseling techniques related to the treatment of alcohol and other drug abusing clients; services and resources provided through other governmental agencies and community-based organizations.

Knowledge of: County program policies and procedures; court procedures and etiquette; County, State and Federal laws governing public alcohol and other drug abuse programs.

Ability to: understand and apply County alcohol and other drug program policies and procedures; provide consultative services in complex situations involving behavioral and physiological conditions of the alcohol/drug client; evaluate the behavioral and physiological conditions of the alcohol/drug client; 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.