Direct Care Specialist
Positions in this job family are involved in providing direct care and supervision to clients with developmental or other disabilities. This includes basic health care and assistance with health care needs, assisting clients with life skills, including living, vocational, recreational, and educational skills, reviewing treatment plans for appropriateness, and supervising implementation of care and treatment plans. Other positions are assigned responsibilities involving paraprofessional guidance and instructional work in an institution, shelter, group home, or school.
The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:
- Performs routine duties in the care, custody, education, and treatment of developmentally disabled clients, youth or children residing in an institution, shelter, group home, or school.
- Responds to emergencies affecting individuals, including administering CPR and using approved intervention techniques.
- Provides paraprofessional guidance and counseling to clients to help find solutions to their personal problems, including problems of separation and adjustment to group living, and to develop personal values and goals; directs their daily activities, maintains order, and provides support.
- Serves on a treatment team to review resident’s progress, treatment, and educational plans; reports on activities, programs, and attendance
- Provides active treatment programming to clients in life skills; controls movement of residents to and from living quarters for activities and off-campus appointments.
- Ensures cleanliness of facilities through inspections, reports and adherence to safety standards.
- Lifts individuals to and from wheelchairs, floor mats, baths or beds; off may perform nonprofessional nursing aide duties; serves as a certified medication aide.
- Supervises residents to and from facility for activities and off-campus appointments.
The Direct Care Specialist job family consists of five levels, which are distinguished by the complexity of assignments, the level of expertise required to perform the duties assigned, and the responsibility assigned for providing leadership to others.
LEVEL I Code: Z12A Salary Band: E
This is the basic level of this job family where employees are responsible for performing routine entry level work in a training status to build their skills in providing resident supervision and direct care and in managing, observing, and recording behavior of clients/residents. In this role, they will attend orientation and training to learn policy, practices, and procedures, provide assistance in basic self care and socialization, and use approved intervention techniques, observation, recording and reporting of appropriate information to facilitate this process.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of basic human physical and psychological needs; of simple health and safety precautions and basic first aid methods; of the format used to prepare daily progress and behavior reports; and of crisis intervention techniques. Ability is required to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; to interact with children or clients with developmental disabilities; to read and comprehend training manuals; to follow written and oral instructions; to carry out the physical requirements to assist in lifting individuals, as necessary; and to exercise mature judgment in appraising a situation and adopting an effective course of action.
Education and Experience: None required.
LEVEL II Code: Z12B Salary Band: F
This is the career level of the job family where employees are assigned duties and responsibilities at the full-performance level and perform a wide range of tasks involving direct care, treatment, and supervision of residents/clients. This includes implementing group and individual treatment plans and developing constructive relationships with residents/clients, coworkers, and other treatment team members, participation in interdisciplinary team evaluation, and completion of written documentation on client progress and activities.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus knowledge of behavior and adjustment problems associated with children or clients with multiple developmental disabilities; of developing individuals self-help skills; of health and safety precautions; and of the statutes and agency policy concerning care of residents/clients. Ability is required to exercise good judgment in the evaluation of situations and in making decisions; and in establishing and maintaining good working relationships with others.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of one year of experience working with children or adults in a treatment facility for disabled individuals or working with children or adults in a residential or school setting.
LEVEL III Code: Z12C Salary Band: G
This is the leadership level of this job family, where employees are assigned responsibility for supervising the direct care specialists assigned to a designated shift or unit within a facility. This includes ensuring appropriate staffing levels, attending interdisciplinary team evaluation, planning, and review meetings, and ensuring implementation of training and habilitation programs assigned to staff. It also includes reviewing residents/clients progress, treatment, and education plans and making recommendations concerning the development and implementation of treatment plans for individuals. Positions provide direct supervision including the supervision of the preparation of behavior, progress, and incident reports, assigning and reviewing work; providing training and evaluating performance, approving leave, and initiating disciplinary actions.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus knowledge of supervisory principles and practices and the ability to efficiently organize and supervise the work of others.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those included in Level II plus one additional year of qualifying experience.
LEVEL IV Code: Z12D Salary Band: H
At this level employees are assigned responsibility for supervising the activities of direct care staff assigned to 3-4 living units at a facility or are assigned responsibility for planning, organizing, and directing staff activities in a 24-hour residential facility. This includes scheduling direct care staff coverage on a twenty-four hour basis, coordinating with department supervisors on the care, training and guidance of residents/clients, coordinating activity schedules with other units, and providing guidance and counseling to residents in assigned units on more complex problems they may encounter. Direct supervision will be provided to first level supervisors on the assigned shift, which includes responsibility for employee development, approving leave and initiating disciplinary actions, as well as reviewing and evaluating performance, and performing related administrative functions.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level III plus knowledge of managerial principles and practices; and of training methods.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level III plus two additional years of qualifying experience, one of which must have been in a supervisory capacity.
LEVEL V Code: Z12E Salary Band: I
At this level employees are assigned responsibility for planning, developing, directing and coordinating the unit staff in the implementation of active treatment programs at a facility. This includes conducting conferences with staff and consulting with other units on active treatment programs, acting as direct liaison between the operating and living units of the institution, and directing the implementation of policies and procedures through the installation of appropriate operating practices. Employees will also maintain continuous surveillance of living units to insure proper standards of care and treatment are maintained for the residents/clients.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level IV plus knowledge of administrative principles and practices.
Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level IV plus one additional year of qualifying experience in a supervisory capacity.
Some positions may require that applicants be physically able to lift 50 pounds.
Applicants must be willing and able to work overtime and work on shifts.
Some positions may require that applicants be willing and able to perform job-related travel.
Some Oklahoma Department of Human Services positions may require applicants possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to transport clients.
Some positions may require experience with children or adults in a treatment facility for disabled individuals.