Options Counselors

Department: AAA
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Job Type: Full Time

JOB SUMMARY

Due to severe staffing shortages brought about by dramatically increased need in the community for services, we are just not able to meet continuously increasing need and thus many needy people are wait-listed for services. We have multiple full-time positions in all of the counties we serve, which includes Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties. Our Options Counselors are responsible for providing information and options to individuals when they access the ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center).  The professionals in these positions provide phone options counseling, face-to-face options counseling, service plan development and documentation, and assists with application for Medicaid.  The Options Counselors will provide decision support to inquirers while assisting them in making educated decisions about options that are available in their community to maintain independence.  Further, the Options Counselors will establish the initial care plan for in-home and community based services as appropriate.

Come join our growing team and make a real difference to the lives of those we serve to meet our mission of DIGNITY, INDEPENDENCE and STRENGTH.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Meet with individuals, families, and caregivers to provide comprehensive assessments and options counseling.
  • Screen clients for potential eligibility for funding sources and programs.
  • Assist in accessing home and community based services that would meet identified needs.
  • Conduct phone Options Counseling.
  • Assist individual with completing Medicaid application, gathering and submitting required documents, attending application interview, and follow-up until eligibility is determined by the Division of Family Resources.
  • Contact individual’s preferred vendors to secure provider.
  • Develop initial service plan and submit level of care documentation.
  • Complete PASRR Level 1, Level of Care Tools, and Options Counseling, as defined by the Division of Aging.
  • Assess individuals initially found not to meet nursing facility level of care.
  • Transition individual to long-term case management provide when applicable. 
  • Complete required documentation and reports in a concise and timely manner
  • Coordinate work flow and coverage with other agency staff members.
  • Attend staff meetings and training sessions as scheduled.
  • Train agency staff members.
  • Work with direct supervisor and/or other disciplines when additional consultation is required.
  • Serve clients in a manner that is empowering, patient, compassionate, and person-centered.
  • Practice Needs Based Service Model.
  • Provide an interactive experience and guidance in consult with the individual, their representative, and informal supports, as applicable. 
  • Identify the individual strengths, values, and preferences including identification of all current formal and informal supports.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Our ADRC Options Counselors are responsible for performing interviews with inquirers to assess their needs and seek out community resources to meet unmet needs.  ADRC Options Counselors complete screenings that determine eligibility for programs and make recommendations for community services or alternate living arrangements based on the needs of the individual. ADRC Options Counselors must be well versed in the various funding sources, as well as resources and programs available in the community that are beneficial to the inquirer. It is essential that work is completed in a quality and timely manner and in accordance with program standards and guidelines. It is sometimes necessary to use some analysis and judgment in determining the best procedure to follow or how to best communicate information to caregivers and inquirers who may be in stressful situations. Efficient and accurate work is critical to ensure initiation of services.

ADRC Options Counselors serve community members who contact REAL Services via phone, email, walk-in, web-inquiries, and electronic referral.  ADRC Options Counselors are responsible for conducting initial screens, completing initial in-home face-to-face assessments, performing PASRR, and Waiver Intake activities.  

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) from an accredited four-year college or university in social work, psychology, counseling, gerontology; or a license as a registered nurse with one year of experience in human services; or Bachelor’s degree  in any field with a minimum of two years, full-time direct services experience with elderly or disabled persons.  This experience must include assessment, plan of care development, implementation, and monitoring.  Or applicant may have a Master’s degree in a related field to substitute for the required experience.

  • Maintain ongoing Case Management certification.

KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. AND ABILITIES REQUIRED

  • Knowledge of in-home and community-based services, funding sources, and eligibility.
  • Knowledge of options, funding sources, services, resources, and information available through REAL Services and in the community.
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing with good interviewing skills.
  • Ability to assess specific needs both in person & on telephone; ability to develop rapport quickly and to empathize and understand individual behaviors.
  • Ability to organize information, prioritize assignments, complete tasks in a timely manner, and to use sound judgment.
  • Ability and attitude to work productively independently and cooperatively and relate to the needs of the staff, the individual, and the agency.
  • Ability to follow instructions and procedures, to interpret information, and to complete assigned tasks in accurate, concise, and detailed manner.
  • Ability to operate office equipment, including but not limited to phone, facsimile, copy machines, and computer equipment.
  • Ability to use Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, and other computer programs.

DIFFICULTY OF WORK

The work demands sound judgment be exercised in selecting the most tactful approach in communicating with callers.  All documentation must be accurate and timely.  The work is repetitive in nature inasmuch as the same tools, forms, and procedures are utilized routinely, but does involve variables and considerations when dealing with diverse situations.  Contact is telephonic and face-to-face in individuals’ homes*. Travel independently within Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in Indiana is required. May have to conduct appointments after normal business hours.

*Due to COVID-19, our Options Counselors are currently working 100% remotely. Until such time as the virus is behind us or controlled by vaccine, our Options Counselors will continue to work remotely and will NOT have face-to-face contact with our individuals.

PERSONAL WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

  • With various clients and their families, and caregivers
  • With community professionals and agencies
  • With providers
  • With Agency staff members

WORKING CONDITIONS AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is usually seated, standing, or walking at will in a typical office setting.

Very limited physical effort required. 

  • Valid driver’s license and a dependable vehicle required
  • Regular and reoccurring travel to meetings, training, and client visits

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

  • Must learn Vision Link or any other resource database utilized in the ADRC.
  • Must learn the State approved case management system.
  • Successful candidate must submit to a pre-employment drug screening, Motor Vehicle history check, National Sex Offender registry check and a limited criminal history check.
  • Must maintain a current auto insurance declaration with the Agency at all times.
  • Proof of educational credentials is required at time of employment.
  • This position has a 6 month probationary period.
  • Must sign non-compete and confidentiality agreement.

BENEFITS

  • Health insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Two-part retirement plan
  • Paid vacation
  • Paid personal days
  • Paid sick leave
  • After six months, eligible for Flexible work schedule within 4 or 5 day work week
  • 8 1/2 paid holidays
  • Plus a bonus paid floating holiday that you choose
  • 37.5 hours/week
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • iPad and other necessary tech equipment will be provided for home office use

Apply for this position

Thank you for applying for this position. Please remember to fill out and upload your Pre-Employment Application and resume.

Download the Pre-Employment Application at: https://realservices.org/app

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