Assistant Mental Health Specialist

Title: Assistant Mental Health Specialist

Reports to: Mental Health Specialist

FLSA: Exempt

Job Responsibilities:

  • Learns and adheres to the philosophy and mandates of Head Start/Early Head Start as outlined in the Performance Standards, licensing requirements, and the Policies and Procedures of Greater Bergen Community Action, Inc.

  • Responsible for the coordination of mental health services while building collaborative relationships among children, families, staff, and mental health professionals, as well as the larger community.

  • Ensures that the Head Start Program is in compliance with the Head Start/Early Head Start Performance Standards in the area of mental health.

  • Observes, screens, identifies, and develops plans for children and families with mental health needs, including difficulty adjusting to the classroom and behavioral problems.

  • Completes mental health assessments

  • Provides in-class interventions to address behavioral and adjustment problems with identified children.

  • Provides social work counseling to assess needs, develop goals, and cope with the social environment.

  • Conducts parent workshops to provide relevant information about mental health.

  • Facilitates referrals to community mental health providers, as needed.

  • Participates in multidiscipline team meetings to provide social work consultation.

  • Provides in-service staff training.

  • Completes monthly report of services provided.

  • Takes part in Head Start Administrative meeting, if requested.

  • Assists with revision of mental health program plan.

  • Networks and advocates for clients and develops community partnerships with mental health and social service providers


  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work

  • Current New Jersey state certification in social work

  • Preferred experience and knowledge in service young children and families

  • Experience working with a culturally diverse community

  • Basic computer skills

  • Spanish speaking skills a plus

Knowledge of:

  • Social work theory and principles, including social work assessment, client-centered advocacy, and social work consultation.

  • Current trends in the field of social work

  • Principles of interviewing for the purpose of assessing needs and establishing goals

  • Public social service programs on the federal, state, and local level

  • Applicable federal, state, local and agency laws, policies, regulations, and program related contact guidelines within the area of responsibility

  • Local community and mental health resources

  • Various social, economic, cultural, and ethnic trends, conditions, and expectations

  • Public relation principles and practices

Ability to:

  • Organize, set priorities and exercise sound independent judgment within areas of assigned responsibility

  • Interpret, apply, explain and reach sound decisions in accordance with regulations, policies and procedures

  • Organize and maintain specialized documentation

  • Comprehend and apply laws, regulations, policies and procedures relative to the provision of social services

  • Appropriately identify, assess, diagnose and effect appropriate treatment plans utilizing community resources meeting the needs of families

  • Exercise tact, objectivity, sensitivity, strategy and judgment in dealing with a variety of people in a variety of situations

  • Communicate effectively with people of various educations, social, economic and cultural backgrounds

  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, families, community agencies, staff and others encountered in the course of work

Physical & Mental Demands:

The physical and mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by employees to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with a disability to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit or stand for long periods; talk or hear, both in person and by telephone, use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate standard office equipment, reach with hands and arms; and lift or move up to fifty pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Mental Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, employees are regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; read and interpret data, information and documents; analyze and solve problems, observe and interpret situations; learn and apply new information or skills; perform work on multiple, concurrent tasks; and interact with program management staff, volunteers, representatives of public agencies and community organization and others encountered in the course of work.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee may have occasional contact with abusive and/or physically violent clients. If the employee works in typical office conditions, the noise level is generally quiet. If the employee works in a classroom setting, the noise level could be above a standard noise level.

To Apply Contact:

GBCA Inc., Human Resources 392 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 or



Email along with resume to or Fax to (201) 342-9339

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Equal access to programs, services and employment is available to all persons.


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Greater Bergen Community Action is a 501(c) (3), not-for-profit Community Action Agency. Established in 1967, Greater Bergen is part of a nationwide network of poverty-fighting enterprises which were established as part of the nation’s effort to address the intractable and persistent problem of poverty in America.

Contact Us

GBCA Headquarters
392 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601


Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 22-1818014