Children's Residential Care Counselor I - Extra-Help

  • Sonoma County, CA
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Dec 17, 2023
Variable Shift Clerical and Administrative Support Human and Social Services Legal Services
  • Salary: $30.88 - $37.53 Hourly USD

Job Description

Position Information

Make a difference in a child's life.
Join us at Valley of the Moon Children's Home and become a Children's Residential Care Counselor I - Extra-Help!

Starting salary up to $ 37.53 /hour* depending upon experience.

This is an excellent opportunity to serve our community's youth and work with some of Sonoma County's finest trauma informed youth counselors.

The County of Sonoma Human Services Department (HSD) is currently recruiting to fill multiple extra-help Children's Residential Care Counselor I positions. HSD is also currently recruiting to fill multiple full-time and part-time Children's Residential Care Counselor I positions. If you are also interested in full-time and/or part-time positions, please apply to the separate concurrent recruitment here !

About the Positions

The Valley of the Moon Children's Center (VMCC) is a part of the Human Services Department's Family, Youth, & Children's Services Division. The Center provides temporary, emergency shelter for children ages newborn through 17 who have entered compassionate care placement due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or from parents/guardians’ inability to care for them.

As a Children's Residential Care Counselor I - Extra-Help, you will carry out the mission of the Department to provide trauma-informed care philosophies and approaches in the day-to-day operations of VMCC. This includes direct supervision of youth, to ensure their safety and well-being, by monitoring program participation and setting limits as appropriate. Additional duties include:

  • Participating in Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings to provide feedback on youth behaviors, engagement, and progress towards goals
  • Providing positive and nurturing experiences to children and youth, while maintaining care and supervision
  • Teaching, coaching, and providing feedback to youth to help them develop a self-regulation skill set
  • Providing transportation to and from school and coordinating recreational activities
  • Documenting youth participation in activities, as well as their strengths, challenges, behaviors, interactions, and application of therapeutic skills
  • Counseling youth to help minimize the trauma associated with separation from family members and/or guardians
  • Planning and implementing small and large group activities, study support, and field trip activities
  • Providing coaching, mentoring, and teaching of life skills, social skills, and coping mechanisms using established Trauma-Informed Care methods
  • Utilizing Therapeutic Crisis Intervention techniques to de-escalate youth in acute crisis
  • Administering medication to individual children per written instruction from medical providers
  • Building relationships with a variety of youth and their caregivers as they transition out of VMCC
The ideal candidates will possess:

  • A strong youth development and experiential learning background
  • Experience in Trauma-Informed Care practices
  • Multiple years' of experience working in a children's/youth group home, wilderness program/camp, or other environment, requiring strong supervisory facilitation skills, interactive support, and coaching
  • The ability to develop positive connections with youth while utilizing role-model problem solving and conflict resolution practices
  • An aptitude for monitoring and intervening in high-risk behaviors, handling crisis situations, and providing consistency and behavioral limits through relationship-based interventions
  • Expertise in teaching and modeling the Department's mission, vision, and values
PLEASE NOTE: VMCC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, therefore the ability to work evenings and weekend hours is required. Applicants must be willing to undergo a thorough background investigation, psychological evaluation, fingerprinting, criminal history, and a medical and physical abilities examination prior to employment.

EXTRA-HELP EMPLOYMENT 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.

The Human Services Department is currently recruiting to fill 10 intermittent, extra-help positions. This employment list may also be used to fill future extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range.


Minimum Qualifications

Education: Completion of sixty semester units at an accredited college with at least nine semester units in child development, sociology, behavioral and social psychology, social casework, social welfare, counseling and guidance, child psychology or a closely related field in behavioral science would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed.

Two years of full-time experience in a position equivalent to the level of Counselor I with Sonoma County may be substituted for thirty semester units of coursework.

Experience: Experience as a group or youth counselor or other experience related to working with children or youths would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed.

License: Possession of a valid California 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.

Additional Requirements: Candidates certified for employment must be willing to undergo and successfully complete an in-depth background investigation, including a psychological evaluation, finger printing, criminal history check and a medical examination.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of: sociology, behavioral and social psychology; social casework, social welfare, counseling and guidance, child development, behavioral and related sciences; relationship to personality development, behavior patterns, motivation and group and family dynamics; psychological, sociological, behavioral cultural factors and child development as they relate to dealing with dependent, abused or neglected children; typical child and youth behavior patterns and methods of guidance, counseling and modification of behavioral patterns.

Learns working knowledge of child care services; daily care and nurturing of infants, young children and youth; personal hygiene, grooming; the ability to teach hygiene techniques to children; record keeping; departmental policy, regulations and functions; first aid and CPR; child abuse reporting laws; recreational activities for children and youth; food preparation and service. The Valley of the Moon Children’s Home uses a specific method of interacting with children. Staff is expected to learn and use the prescribed method.

Ability to: effectively communicate orally and in writing, and to listen actively; read and comprehend instructions and standards and apply them to a variety of situations; make and record detailed observations. Write descriptive narratives, including incident or observation reports. Relate to a wide variety of individuals from varied socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and experiences. Establish and maintain appropriate relationships with children and youths. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, supervisors, health and social service providers, parents, volunteers, foster parents, guardians, and family, law enforcement agencies, other County Departments and the public.

Learns to guide, teach and supervise children and youths; apply basic first aid; bathe, dress, feed and provide recreation where appropriate for infants, children and youths; perform light janitorial and maintenance tasks; direct groups of children and youths during work, meal and leisure time activities; manage aggressive behavior; restrain children for the safety and protection of themselves and others. Supervise children while in a school setting, working in collaboration with school staff to help children achieve their current educational goals. Work different shifts, weekends and holidays.

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 employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. 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.
Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the hiring process, including the application process, examination steps, and department selection process.


The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:

An Application and Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (pass/not pass) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant's combination of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities that relate to this position to ensure satisfaction of the minimum qualifications for this position. Candidates who possess the minimum qualifications for the position will be placed on an extra-help employment list and referred to the department. The department may contact candidates from the employment list who possess the most appropriate job-related qualifications for further consideration.


A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer is contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


Applications are accepted online at . Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Continuous recruitments may close without notice at any time that a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The County of Sonoma values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.

HR Analyst: EE
HR Technician: EV

IMPORTANT NOTE: Benefits described herein do not apply to Extra Help positions.


These are some of the excellent benefits the County offers:

Paid Time Off :Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and may be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment.

Health Plan :Choice of five health plans (a PPO, EPO, HMO, and two deductible HMOs) with a County contribution towards the premium (the contribution amount varies by bargaining unit.For specific details, please refer to the applicable MOU).A County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement is available for some bargaining units.

Retirement :Fully integrated with Social Security.For more information regarding eligibility, retirement contributions, and reciprocity with prior public service, please visit .

IRS 457 Plan :Pre-tax employee contribution up to the IRS annual maximum.

Retiree Medical : County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits.

Plus excellent dental, vision, disability, life insurance, professional development, and more.

For answers to specific questions regarding the employment process and more details about benefits or retirement, please contact Human Resources at (707) 565-2331.Additional details about benefit and compensation packages can be found in the MOUs located at . For specific information about health and welfare benefits including plan options, coverage, and premium amounts go to or, contact the Human Resources' Risk Management-Benefits Office at or (707) 565-2900.

*IMPORTANT NOTES: Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Base Pay


Job Address

Santa Rosa, California United States View Map