Family and Individual Counsellor

About the company:

PLEA is an accredited, not-for-profit, charitable community services agency that has operated throughout BC for more than 30 years. We deliver residential and non-residential services to children, youth, adults and families facing significant challenges in their lives. We continually adapt our programs to suit each individual’s diverse strengths, needs and circumstances. As a result, we have a strong reputation for helping those we serve overcome the challenges they face and lead fulfilling lives in their communities.

We are currently seeking a Regular Full-Time Family & Individual Counsellor for our Tri-Cities Program. The proposed start date is December 1, 2018. This position requires union membership.

Tri-Cities is our community based intensive counseling services that are provided to youth and their families/caregivers who are referred by the MCFD. The incumbent is responsible for working with them on an outreach basis to develop and implement an individualized and comprehensive plan to develop their strengths, improve their functioning, and establish effective systems using specific interventions that integrate behavioral strategies with a systems perspective. The goal of all counseling services is to reduce the multiple risk factors known to contribute to antisocial behavior and out-of-home placements and strengthen family relationships and their connections to community supports and services.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Develops strong collaborative relationships with families/caregivers to encourage their active participation in developing goals that address their concerns, and are sensitive to their cultural values and socioeconomic circumstances.
  2. Provides clinical services that include: ongoing assessment of family functioning, relational systems and environmental constraints and resources; developing and implementing specific interventions that recognize their unique characteristics and strengths, and target risk factors; and support positive behaviour changes that are sustainable.
  3. Addresses the complexity of youth needs by providing family-based support and counselling, conflict mediation, and assistance in strengthening the families/caregivers connections to natural support systems, accessing community supports and specialized services through in home sessions and consultation.
  4. Teaching parenting, communication, problem-solving, anger management, conflict resolution skills that are constructive and sensitive to sociocultural values and traditions. Works with families/caregivers individually, and in groups when appropriate.
  5. Facilitates access to community resources and specialized services when required by youth and their families/caregivers to ensure they receive services that are integrated, timely and meet their identified needs.
  6. Participates in integrated Case Management planning processes, functions as the key worker on a team of professionals when required, and provides ongoing coordination of services to youth and their families. Works closely with Ministry social workers to ensure the safety and well-being of youth served, and that all case management objectives are met.
  7. Develops collaborative relationships with cultural and faith groups in the community to learn how to adapt services and resources so that they are sensitive to their beliefs and needs.
  8. Provides conflict mediation services for families/caregivers and youth who are in crisis, including follow-up support to address outstanding issues.
  9. Responds to critical incidents, implementing crises intervention strategies that address the specific health and safety issues of those involved, and informs the manager when such situations arise.
  10. Establishes strong connections to the community, including maintaining close working relationships with all formal and informal service providers.
  11. Maintains necessary participant and program reports and statistics. Ensures that all records, reports, files and documentation pertaining to service delivery are accurate, complete and in compliance with PLEA’s policies and procedures.
  12. Performs other related duties as required.


  1. A Master’s level university degree in counseling, psychology, social work or a related discipline is preferred; alternatively, an undergraduate degree and equivalent work experience will be considered.
  2. Two (2) years recent experience working directly with youth who are deemed to be high risk, and their families/caregivers.
  3. At least one (1) year providing both individual and family counselling with regular and ongoing clinical supervision.
  4. Demonstrated skills working with families in crisis, providing individual and group counselling, parent teen mediation, and conflict management.
  5. Demonstrated ability to organize and facilitate groups designed to teach a wide variety of participants – personal, and family management skills.
  6. Experience in the community social services sector with demonstrated working knowledge of community-based programs and specialized services.
  7. Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and familiarity with database programs.

Job Skills and Abilities:

  1. Excellent interpersonal communication, counseling, and conflict management skills, including the demonstrated ability to prepare accurate and comprehensive reports.
  2. Demonstrated ability to develop supportive relationships with youth and their families/caregivers who may be reluctant to engage, and to be sensitive and understanding of their social realities including issues of race, culture, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, poverty and lifestyle.
  3. Strong foundation in multi-systemic, strength-based and functional approaches to working with families, youth and communities.
  4. Demonstrated ability to promote behavior change through strategic and structural family therapies, behavioral parent training, and cognitive behavioral strategies.
  5. Demonstrated proficiency in facilitating other’s learning using diverse approaches and the ability to work collaboratively with youth, families/caregivers and other service providers in the community.
  6. Demonstrated ability to develop strong collaborative relationships, work effectively as part of a team, use good judgment, manage conflicts constructively, work with a high degree of independence, and be accountable for results.
  7. Excellent organizational, time and general management skills.
  8. Sound knowledge of theory, principles, standards and best practices with respect to providing counselling services to youth who are high risk and have complex needs, and their families and caregivers.
  9. Good understanding of relevant Criminal Justice Legislation and policies, the role of Youth Court, Child Welfare Legislation and policies including the Child, Family and Community Services Act; and applicable government legislation, regulations and accreditation standards.


  1. Satisfactory Criminal Record Clearance.
  2. Must possess a valid Occupational First Aid Level 1 Certificate or be willing to obtain one prior to hire.
  3. Use of Personal Vehicle. This position requires travel in the Tri-Cities area.
  4. A valid B.C. driver’s license and suitable driver’s abstract.
  5. Flexible hours outside of normal working hours and/or hours of work includes days, evenings, weekends on a rotational schedule as directed based on working 35 hours a week.
  6. Documentation that applicant is legally approved to work in Canada.

How to apply:

Please submit resume and cover letter referencing the competition number online. The position will remain open until filled.