Careers at Human Services Association

Mental Health Specialist - Early Childhood Education Department

Posted: April 10, 2023

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Position Type

Full-Time Employee

Salary Range

$70,000 - $80,000 per year

Job Description


STATUS: Full Time - Exempt

REPORTS TO: Department Director

HOURS PER WEEK: 30- 40 (depending on Program Need)

TERM: 12 months

The Organization:

Human Services Association (HSA) is a private nonprofit agency whose principal mission is to provide families with compassionate and comprehensive care to promote wellness and build strong communities. HSA was founded in Bell Gardens in 1940 and today, HSA serves over 20,000 clients annually on a non-sectarian basis with a range of services that addresses the unique and shared needs of clients of all ages.

Program Overview:

Our Early Childhood Education Department provides services to 800 children over three distinct programs (Early Head Start, Head Start and State Preschool) at ten school sites. The California State Preschool Program provides a pre-school experience for children ages 3 to 5 in the cities of South Gate and Huntington Park. The Early Head Start Program is a federally funded program that provides a home based and center based program for pregnant women and children ages 0-3 that reside in zip codes of 90201 and 90280. The Head Start Program offers a comprehensive child development program for low-income preschoolers ages three to five years old that reside in zip code 90280.

Position Summary:

Under the direction of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department Director, the Mental Health Specialist will perform a full range of social casework and administrative tasks related to Early Head Start, Head Start and State Preschool families. These tasks may include Consultation in classrooms, Training and coaching staff, Screening, assessment, and referral services, Parent trainings, and Collect data, maintain records, and support compliance within all aspects of head start performance standards, state regulations, and agency policy. The Mental Health Specialist provides consultation and training to empower and build the capacity of staff and families to cultivate positive and inclusive environments, support the social-emotional health and development of all children in the classroom or home, and work effectively, responsively and collaboratively with children and families with mental health concerns, challenging behaviors and individual developmental differences. The Mental Health Specialist’s aim is to enhance all relationships involved in the care setting, create nurturing and emotionally responsive environments, strengthen staff effectiveness in interactions with young children and families, and build strong school/home alliances.

Duties And Responsibilities:

• Assume management responsibility for all mental health services and monitor all activity of the EHS/HS and State Preschool programs in accordance with Head Start Performance Standards and Best Practices.

• Provide screenings, referrals and crisis intervention as needed.

• Review screenings for development, sensory and behavioral concerns.

• Provide case consultation and crisis intervention supervision; coordinate referrals to outside agencies; assure principles of case management and integration of services are applied to programs and services offered to families.

• Responsible for compiling and analyzing the information for areas of concern.

• Ensure that Family Advocates obtain all needed documents from families.

• Provide information to families about community resources.

• Conducts classroom, home and socialization observations to provide recommendations for evaluations and referrals.

• Work in collaboration with the Management Team to plan and implement the EHS/HS/State Preschool trainings and other trainings for staff and parents to maintain compliance with EHS/HS Performance Standards and State policies.

• Establish formal and effective flow of communication between all staff.

• Responsible for ongoing monitoring, including regular site visits, to assure each enrolled family receives the support and services required by Performance Standards.

• Assist with annual Program Self-Assessment and follow-up reporting information to complete the assessment in a timely manner.

• Establish and maintain formal communications with public and private mental health agencies.

• Discuss concerns with parents and provide education regarding mental health issues that affect children.

• Report to work at scheduled times and maintain good attendance.

• Participate with a positive attitude and behavior in all program activities.

• Model the Standard of Conduct Policy when interacting with parents, community members and Colleagues

• In accordance with our “team” philosophy, the person filling this position may occasionally be required to carry out or assist with other tasks in addition to the duties listed on this job description

• Staff must believe in and act in accordance with both the Agency’s and the program’s mission/vision statements, adopted theoretical frameworks, and philosophy.

• Identify and report any suspected incidents of child abuse (following the Mandated Reporter Guidelines)

• Communicates with children, families and other staff in respectful and culturally sensitive manner

• Maintains confidentiality of children, families and employees of HSA

• Works as member of agency team by promoting the mission and philosophy of HSA

• Represents HSA at community and professional functions, as needed.

• Attend department, agency, and community meetings and trainings, as assigned. Continue professional growth by participating in classes, training programs, workshops and/or conferences, as the budget allows.

• Willing to work evenings, weekends and to travel locally and out of the service area for trainings.

• Performs other duties as assigned by supervisor and/or Department Director

Knowledge, Skills And Abilities:

• Organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs; principles and practices of case management and crisis intervention programs.

• Ability to train and provide presentations to large and small groups as well as individuals.

• Ability to collaborate with, and have working knowledge of, local community resources.

• Ability to communicate (verbal and written) effectively and appropriately with others.

• Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.

• Attention to detail and accuracy.

• Ability to prioritize and manage a complex workload with deadlines.

• Excellent diagnostic and problem-solving skills.

• Ability to meet the needs of all families, specifically those with special needs, and with culturally diverse populations.

• Possess flexibility with regards to driving to sites and/or conducting home visits.

• Must meet HS Performance Standards by attending trainings (local and out of state) to acquire or increase professional skills required to fulfill the job responsibilities.

Education/Experience Requirements:

• Master’s degree in Social Work or Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy or related field

• Minimum of two years’ work experience in a position that directly relates to service delivery to low income families

• Minimum of two years’ work experience with children 0 months to 5 years’ old

• Knowledge and experience working with Head Start Performance Standards, Title V, Title 22, CACFP Regulations and other State and Federal Regulations

Licensing/Certification Requirements:

• Licensed in Clinical Social Work (LCSW)/ Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or related field by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, active status and in good standing

• Occasional driving is required.

• Must provide own vehicle, valid California driver license and proof of full insurance coverage.

• First Aid certification, Child CPR certification.

• Health screening:

o Physical

o Negative tuberculosis screen (TB)(required).

o TDAP or DTAP clearance (required)

o MMR Clearance (required)

• Must pass criminal background check including Live Scan (fingerprinting)

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job or that an employee encounters while performing the essential function of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The Mental Health Specialist’s work location can be in any one of the following cities: Bell Gardens, Huntington Park or South Gate, CA. The majority of the job duties are performed within the Huntington Park office (Gage office). These tasks require the following physical demands which include but are not limited to: constant walking, bending; occasional lifting (25 pounds), pushing, squatting and climbing stairs (as needed) in the office, at one of the preschool sites or outside locations such as a park. Documentation will be completed in the office, a location with moderate noise levels, peanut free food items, and that is a non- smoking facility.


In accordance with CA law, the expected pay range for this CA position is posted with this position. The actual compensation will be determined based on experience and other factors permitted by law.

Application Process

Thank you for your interest in Human Services Association.

To apply for this position, please click the button below, which will open a prepared email in your default email program. Simply attach your resume in .PDF or .DOC format to the email and click "send."

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If the position you are applying for has specific education, licensing, or certification requirements, please submit your unofficial transcripts and credentials alongside your resume.

If you experience difficulties sending your email via the button below, please send your resume to and include 23EC15 Mental Health Specialist - Early Childhood Education Department in the subject line.

We will review your background, and if the role is a match to your skills and experience, we will reach out to you to discuss next steps.

Any questions regarding this position or the application process should be directed to Human Resources at

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Human Services Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to complying with all applicable laws providing equal employment opportunities. In addition, we complete criminal background checks via Live Scan method (fingerprinting) on all new hire employees.

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Contact Us

Human Services Association (HSA) is a private nonprofit agency whose principal mission is to provide families with compassionate and comprehensive care to promote wellness and build strong communities.

HSA Headquarters
Address: 6800 Florence Ave. Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Tel: (562) 806-5400
Fax: (562) 806-5394
For program-specific locations please click here or go to