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San Diego Youth Services Juvenile Recovery Specialist in El Cajon, California

San Diego Youth Services


Juvenile Recovery Specialist

San Diego Youth Services seeks a Juvenile Recovery Specialist in the Bridgeways Program to be based in El Cajon. This is a full time & non-exempt position reporting to the Director of Services.

San Diego Youth Services: Who we are

San Diego Youth Services has helped improve the lives of more than 780,000 homeless, runaway and vulnerable youth since its beginning in 1970. We provide safe places to live and long-term solutions through shelter, foster homes, community centers and housing to more than 28,000 youth every year at 100+ community and school locations. Through prevention, early intervention and treatment, we also help youth before they need higher levels of care or become homeless.

We aim to:

  • Meet the basic needs of youth. Hunger, poverty and youth homelessness are on the rise for many youth and their families today. We help meet these basic needs for youth. What could be more vital than food and shelter? We provide safe places to live and long-term solutions through shelter, foster homes, community centers and housing.

  • Create positive connection. We help youth focus on positive life changes and healthy relationships as part of providing needed resources and services. San Diego Youth Services has long provided foster homes and adoption support services for families considering adopting a youth in the foster care system.

  • Help youth develop life skills. In addition to a range of safe and stable housing options, we offer support to help youth develop the independent living skills necessary to become self-sufficient and keep off the streets.

  • Promote overall health and well-being. Early intervention and care for the whole child are critical. We provide a broad continuum of services to help youth overcome trauma and challenges that put them at risk, including case management, counseling, mental health treatment and educational support and resources.

    SDYS has a staff of approximately 215 employees and 80 volunteers working across San Diego County and an annual budget of approximately $22 million.

    You can learn more about us at


    BridgeWays works with justice involved youth or youth at risk of justice involvement up to age 21 and full-scope Medi-Cal beneficiaries, low income or uninsured.


    The Juvenile Recovery Specialist performs comprehensive alcohol and drug assessments for youth and their families with Full Scope Medi-Cal or non-insured. Provide program-based alcohol and drug counseling, crisis intervention, family counseling and referrals to appropriate treatment and recovery services. Facilitate substance abuse groups and participate in all multi-disciplinary team meetings.

    Essential functions include:

  • Develop and maintain linkages with community referral including faith-based congregations.

  • Maintain accurate and timely records for each youth by documenting all contacts into CERNER.

  • Contact Supervisor weekly to update on current weekly schedule, concerns, etc.

  • Participate on a multi-disciplinary treatment teams to provide expertise regarding youth alcohol and drug services.

  • Provide screening, assessment, treatment, crisis counseling, and referrals.

  • Provide comprehensive outpatient, field and institutional, individual/family drug and alcohol education/relapse prevention counseling, group counseling and case management services.

  • Juvenile Recovery Specialist shall contact parents to encourage them to be fully in involved in program activities and to support SP in their sobriety.

  • Provide advocacy, and updated alcohol/drug linkage and information services to Service Partners.

  • Screen youth’s SUD risk level by utilizing the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI), reviewing drug test results, and individual sessions with the youth, to determine appropriate placement in SUD groups and level of treatment.

  • JRS will maintain up to date monthly statistical reports.

  • Submit accurate end-of-the-month reports to SDYS.

  • Attend staff meetings: agency and programs as directed.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably and CCAPP Alcohol and Drug certification, and two years’ experience in working with adolescents, in an alcohol or other drug setting or equivalent knowledge and experience.

  • Must have or be willing to obtain Alcohol and Drug certification, being registered within 6 months of hiring and gain certification within 5 years of hiring.

  • Experience in crisis intervention.

  • Familiar with the Juvenile Justice/Probation Systems.

  • Ability to pass Juvenile Probation clearance.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with multi-disciplinary team.

  • Good driving record and willing to use own, properly insured vehicle for the job. Able to obtain CPR/First-Aid Certificate.

  • Willing to go through clearance process including TB and drug testing. (Hire is pending the results of appropriate clearances).

  • Familiarity with all areas in the San Diego County area.

  • Must be willing to develop or possess working knowledge of trauma-informed care and dual diagnosis treatment; experience working in trauma-informed and dual diagnosis programs preferred.

  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends.


  • Adhere to and uphold the rigorous standards of SDYS as mandated by its mission, purpose, guiding principles and standards of quality.

  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy standards of service partner protected health information and other applicable information and material in accordance to agency and center policies, and applicable regulations and laws including HIPAA.

  • Welcome and support SDYS volunteers and assist them in accomplishing their services whenever applicable.

  • Effectively communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

  • Receive and give supportive feedback to foster equity and inclusion in working relationships.

  • Recognize, nurture, and learn from strengths in co-workers.

  • Maintain warm, welcoming and safe work environments.

  • Possess flexibility to accomplish job responsibilities in several work environments, whether it be from home, on the road , or in an office.

    Salary: $41,600/year

    To apply, please send resume and cover letter through job posting on SDYS website.

    SDYS offers a comprehensive benefits package to full time employees that includes generous PTO, personal holidays, health, vision, dental, life insurance, parental leave and a 403(b)-retirement plan with matching contribution.

    Candidates must be able to follow all the guidelines provided by the agency, government, and health authorities to maintain safety and health when the job requires physical presence and/or contact with others during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the submission of proof of vaccination as mandated by the California Public Health Order. The successful candidate will need to submit verification of vaccination or have a valid religious or medical reason not to be vaccinated.

    SDYS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status . Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. In compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended, all new employees must verify their eligibility to work in the United States.

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