We're Hiring: Harm Reduction Counsellor - Victoria

To Apply: Please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org by 5pm on Thursday, September 5, 2019. 

Wage: $27.29/ hour

Work Location: AVI Victoria, 713 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1M8

Hours of Work:  37.5 hours/ week – Monday through Friday, hours are negotiable

Start Date: September 16, 2019    

End Date: Janaury 10, 2020, or the return of the incumbent

Job Summary:

The Harm Reduction Counsellor works closely with the client services teams to identify and provide counselling and referral services to individuals struggling with substance use, mental health, and chronic health issues.

The Harm Reduction Counsellor will carry a caseload of clients and will be responsible for ensuring supportive case management services are offered within a harm reduction and health promotion framework. The Harm Reduction Counsellor works in consultation with the client to assess needs and develop client directed goals.

The Harm Reduction Counsellor provides supervision for the Daytime Harm Reduction Workers and support and coordination for the other members of the Overdose Outreach Team.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Identifies clients who are seeking access to harm reduction counselling and referral supports.
  2. Actively engages new clients in care by providing basic harm reduction information and access to harm reduction supplies.
  3. Provides intake and assessment, brief counselling, crisis counselling, harm reduction counselling, advocacy, and referral.
  4. Provides a range of therapeutic counselling interventions as requested and appropriate (capacity building education, motivational interviewing, trauma informed care and support)
  5. Provides advocacy to clients by working with them on issues such as housing, medical, legal and other support agencies.
  6. Conducts individual or group information sessions, and develops educational materials to meet clients’ needs, as required.
  7. Provides onsite support and staffing for the evening harm reduction drop-in program, including overdose recognition and response, as required.
  8. Provides information related to harm reduction, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C to other service providers, such as government and community-based agencies, and within medical and educational settings.
  9. Provides program development and staffing support to AVI’s women’s programs.
  10. Provides supervision and support to the day time harm reduction workers and acts as a key staff person responsible for the ‘front of house’ during the hours of 10am and 3pm, including responding to emerging incidents, and monitoring the reception area.
  11. Provides mentorship and models best practices to the other AVI Harm Reduction staff.
  12. Provides support for the Overdose Outreach Team, including; the provision of workshops, team scheduling, and reporting.
  13. Maintains both paper and electronic confidential client files.
  14. Participates in ongoing supervision, client services team meetings, community partner meetings, etc., as required.
  15. Performs other duties as assigned.


Education, Training, and Experience:

University degree (Masters level preferred) in Health or Social Services, Counselling, Social Work, Psychology, etc.), or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Counsellors will have a minimum of four years’ relevant work experience and will demonstrate the following minimum requirements:

  • Direct service delivery experience in the community social services sector with a demonstrated working knowledge of community-based programs and related provincial and community support services systems
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport with a diverse range of clientele including individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant health challenges
  • Knowledge of code of ethical conduct and standards of clinical counselling practice
  • Knowledge of relevant formal counselling and assessment techniques (for example, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Stages of Change, etc)
  • Case Management skills including treatment planning, advocacy, and referral
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques. non-violent diffusing techniques
  • Excellent organizational, time and general management skills
  • Demonstrated knowledge of group process and facilitation techniques
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, clients, community, and other service providers
  • Ability to problem solve with creativity, flexibility and assertiveness in dealing with complex issues
  • Knowledge of the issues surrounding addiction, illicit drug use, sex work, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other co-infections
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices
  • Understanding of health promotion and client-centered/harm reduction focused models of social support and health care
  • Demonstrated written communication skills including the ability to document and report
  • Valid Class 5 Driver’s License, preferred

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to work independently and in cooperation with others
  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize
  • Ability to supervise
  • Ability to analyze and resolve problems
  • Leadership skills

We encourage applications from, but not limited to, Indigenous Persons, persons of colour, persons living with disabilities, persons who use/d illicit drugs, persons with experience of sex work, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.