Job Opening: Sonoma County Alcohol and Drugs Counselor apply by October 12.

Make a positive difference in the lives of others in your community!

An additional ninety cents ($.90) per hour for bilingual positions!

The County of Sonoma is seeking qualified candidates to fill two regular extra-help (intermittent) and multiple bilingual (English/Spanish) extra-help Alcohol and Other Drug Services Counselor (AODS) positions in the Behavioral Health Division of the Department of Health Services. The current open positions will be filled at either the AODS Counselor I or II level.

Note: If you are interested in applying at the I level, you will need to apply to the separate, concurrent recruitment being conducted for that classification.

An AODS Counselor II is a non-licensed professional who works under general supervision in providing case management, counseling, education, and evaluations to individuals, groups, and families participating in AODS programs. In addition, AODS Counselor II’s screen and assess clients, prepare court and client program reports, and provide diversion services.

Please note: California Health and Safety Code Section 11833(b)(1) now requires that any individual who provides counseling services in a licensed or certified AODS program, except for licensed professionals*, must be registered or certified with an organization approved by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).  Individuals must be currently licensed, registered, or certified to be considered to meet the minimum qualifications for these positions.

*Licensed professionals include a physician licensed by the Medical Board of California; or a psychologist licensed by the Board of Psychology; or a clinical social worker or marriage and family therapist licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, or an intern registered with the California Board of Psychology or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Acceptable certification agencies are those accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and recognized by the Department of Health Care Services. The three certification agencies are:

  • Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California
  • California Association of DUI Treatment Programs
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals

The state also mandates 40 hours of continuing education every two years.

For more information, please visit:

Basic (conversational) Spanish is required for some positions.  Applicants who do not indicate they possess this skill will not be considered for bilingual positions.  An examination will be conducted prior to employment to confirm level of skill in this area.

What You Bring to the County

The ideal candidates for AODS Counselor II positions will:

  • Have two years of experience as an AODS Counselor
  • Possess an AODS Counselor certification
  • Communicate effectively and work with individuals from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds
  • Work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Possess a desire to work in a fast-paced, highly dynamic environment
  • Develop rapport and maintain cooperative relationships with clients and service providers


Extra-help employees relieve or augment permanent staff. Intermittent, extra-help employees are not in the classified civil service and do not have property rights to permanently allocated positions. In addition, they do not receive most regular employee benefits such as: long-term disability insurance coverage; accrual of vacation; participation in the County retirement program; or eligibility to take promotional examinations. Intermittent, extra-help employees are limited in their employment to a maximum of 1,380 hours within any twelve month consecutive period. Extra-help employees who meet the eligibility requirements may qualify for a County contribution toward medical coverage. This employment list may also be used to fill future regular and bilingual (English/Spanish) extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of this list.

Minimum Qualifications
Education and Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be either: Two years of experience equivalent to the Sonoma County class of Alcohol and Other Drug Services Counselor I with responsibilities involving alcohol and drug treatment and education programs that directly relate to the knowledge and skills listed above and academic coursework in sociology, psychology, alcohol and other drug services and other closely related fields.


One year of experience equivalent to the Sonoma County class of Alcohol and Other Drug Services Counselor II with responsibilities involving alcohol and other drug treatment and education programs and possession of a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, alcohol and other services drug treatment or other closely related fields.

License: Possession of a valid driver’s license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Special Qualification: Current registration and the ability to obtain and maintain a Counselor Certification as defined by the California Code of Regulations, Chapter 8: Certification of Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors. Employees will have five years to obtain Certification from an ADP approved certifying organization whose curriculum includes a minimum of 240 hours of formal classroom training.

Additional Special Qualification: Some positions may require the ability to fluently speak and write a language other than English.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Working Knowledge of: the needs, problems, attitudes and behavior problems of the alcohol and drug abusing person; modern methods of diagnosing and treating persons who abuse alcohol and drugs; basic principles of individual and group behavior; socio-economic, environmental, and cultural factors affecting the behavior of alcohol and drug abusing persons; principles and techniques of group, family and individual counseling; laws, rules, regulations and department policies related to client confidentiality; counseling techniques related to the treatment of alcohol and other drug abusing clients; services and resources provided through other governmental agencies and community-based organizations. Knowledge of: County program policies and procedures; court procedures and etiquette; County, State and Federal laws governing public alcohol and other drug abuse programs; community organizations involved in alcohol and other drug abuse programs; principles of supervision; effective personnel practices including recognition, performance evaluation, and progressive discipline; principles and techniques of employee training.

Ability to: oversee and coordinate the work of other staff; train, develop and lead staff; understand and apply County alcohol and other drug program policies and procedures; provide consultative services in complex situations involving behavioral and physiological conditions of the alcohol/drug client; evaluate the behavioral and physiological conditions of the alcohol/drug client; coordinate the delivery of alcohol and other drug abuse services; analyze situation accurately and adopt an effective course of action; recognize problems which call for the use of public and private community resources; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships; effectively listen, mediate and resolve complaints; read, interpret, apply, and explain complex regulations and reports; communicate effectively with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds; establish and maintain effective work relationships with all types of persons encountered in the course of work; develop rapport and maintain cooperative relationships with clients and service providers; read, understand, apply and explain regulations and procedures governing job training programs; work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team; use computers and related equipment as necessary for job assignments.

Selection Procedure

  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all your employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application and should be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.

Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and department selection processes.


The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:

An Application and Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal (pass/not pass) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant’s combination of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities which relate to this position to ensure satisfaction of the minimum qualifications for this position.  Candidates who possess the minimum qualifications for the position will be placed on an extra-help employment list and referred to the department.  The department may contact candidates from the employment list who possess the most appropriate job-related qualifications for further consideration.


A background investigation is required prior to employment.  Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation.  Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy.  Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position.  If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer are contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


Applications are accepted on-line at: Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The County of Sonoma prioritizes and is committed to continuously providing a workplace where equal employment opportunity is afforded to all people. Please view the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy for further information.

HR Analyst: DP

HR Technician: KW
County of Sonoma (CA)
575 Administration Drive, Suite 116BSanta Rosa, California, 95403.
(707) 565-2331

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