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Job Number:  38676
Community Support Worker - Women's Emergency Shelter
Job Posted: Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Closing Date: Sunday, 31 December 2017
(52 days ago)
Island Crisis Care Society
Region: Vancouver Island & Coastal areas Type: Casual
Location: Nanaimo Salary: $17.84 to $20.98 /hour

Job Site: Samaritan House

Description Effective: Monday, January 28, 2010    Revised: 26 January 2017, 22 August 2017

Reports to: Samaritan House Program Coordinator


Wage Rate


April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017






Support Worker

Step 1



0 - 2000 hours worked[1]

Step 2



2001 - 4000 hours worked

Step 3



4001 - 6000 hours worked

Step 4



6001 hours worked or more


  • Welcomes all clients with kindness and without judgement;
  • Maintains a safe, clean, well-ordered environment;
  • Assesses primary needs and provides food, shelter, clothing, first-aid;
  • Safely stores client’s medication and provides immediate access to all medications, with monitoring;
  • Offer clients emotional support and empathy while maintaining professional boundaries;
  • Provides opportunities to create care or case plans;
  • Provides clear relevant information including referrals to Island Health case management and other community services;
  • Monitors client interactions and ensures house rules are followed;
  • Adheres to the Society’s standards, protocols, and policies; with particular attention to creating and maintaining an environment of Bio-psychosocial-spiritual safety;
  • Observes, documents, and reports important occurrences in the shelter, including changes in client behaviours and identifies all concerns to the Coordinator or Executive Director;
  • Calls 911 in emergencies.[2]



  1. A certificate or diploma in social services;[3]
  2. First aid: “Emergency First Aid – Community Care” or higher;
  3. Foodsafe;
  4. Naloxone Training;
  5. Managing Hostile Interactions[4] and/or Non-violent Crisis Intervention or similar training;
  6. Listening and feedback training such as Motivational Interviewing, and/or Non-violent Communication a significant asset
  7. Suicide prevention training a significant asset
  8. Courses in women’s studies and women’s health an asset

Skills and Knowledge

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Remains calm when faced with challenging or disruptive behaviour;
  2. Maintains empathy, kindness, and a friendly disposition;
  3. Maintains healthy personal and professional boundaries (see ICCS code of ethics);
  4. Performs effective conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques;
  5. Possesses both assertiveness and tact when offering cues and reminders;
  6. Notices behaviour, body language, verbal and non-verbal cues that suggest decompensation, drug use, and mental or emotional decline;
  7. Speaks frankly and sensitively about harm reduction and sexual health and safety;
  8. Resists offering counselling, therapy, and advice;
  9. Works as a member of a team and senses and contributes to the programs therapeutic culture;
  10. Practices self-care.

Task Related Skills

  1. Creates tasty and nutritious meals in compliance with the requirements of the contract;
  2. Prioritizes tasks and manages time to complete all duties;
  3. Follows protocols and procedures consistently and faithfully, and maintains efficient routines;
  4. Adapts to changes in the work environment, including changes in technology and best practices;
  5. Acquires new skills to maintain competency on the job, including skills related to office tasks, client care, and professional development.

Communication Skills

  1. Says “no” politely but firmly to clients when necessary;
  2. Adept at objective descriptions, especially regarding client behaviour and behavioural changes;
  3. Communicates well verbally and in writing and masters the required technology and applications.


Possesses relevant knowledge about:

  1. Harm reduction;
  2. Substance use, addiction, mental illness, and recovery;
  3. The role and limitations of a Support Worker, and the program, in the wider spectrum of services;
  4. The needs of individuals with concurrent disorders;
  5. The "Housing First" model and the concept of "barriers," to housing;
  6. Common health issues among people who are homeless;
  7. Feminine health issues and cultural and ethnic taboos and teachings related to gender;
  8. The role of the Emergency Shelter within the continuum of services;
  9. "Street culture" and strategies used by street entrenched individuals to obtain services;
  10. A wide range of community resources.

Sensitive to:

  1. Cultural and ethnic differences.


  1. Demonstrates professionalism and follows society policies, code of ethics, and guidelines;
  2. Follows Foodsafe;
  3. Works independently with multiple clients who exhibit a wide range of behaviors;
  4. Possess and maintain a moderate level of physical fitness;
  5. Is cleared by the Solicitor General for working with vulnerable adults prior to working a shift;[5]
  6. Understands the philosophy of ICCS and adhere to and reflect the Society’s values and code of ethics;
  7. Signs and complies with the following:
    1. ICCS confidentiality pledge
    2. ICCS professional conduct agreement
    3. ICCS acknowledgement of policies;
    4. Become a member of the BCGEU (union), and maintain such membership, upon completion of thirty (30) days as an employee;
  8. Has dependable transportation;
  9. Remains on site at all times, except where directed to do otherwise by the program manager, a law enforcement officer, or equivalent; or in the case of a fire, danger, or natural disaster that requires evacuation;
  10. Attends work as scheduled except for reasons outlined in the collective agreement.


Support workers must be prepared to regularly perform all of the following duties. Duties that are performed the most are at the top of the list.

  1. Performs intake procedures including welcoming new clients, reviewing house rules, filling out intake forms and related paperwork, Confiscating weapons or drug paraphernalia, orienting new clients to the shelter including a tour of the facility, and making helpful introductions to shelter employees and fellow clients;
  2. Observes and monitors client interaction and behaviour and provides crisis intervention such as first response to suicide threats and medical emergencies; de-escalation, and mediation of conflicts;
  3. Performs discharge procedures including waking clients from sleep, giving discharge instructions, completing paperwork and data entry, writing discharge summaries, stripping and disinfecting beds and mats, ensuring clients take all their belongings, ensuring bins and lockers are cleared and bedding is placed in laundry hampers. Ensures book-out procedures are followed by removing client information from white board in office;
  4. Performs all cleaning duties in the shelter, yard, and Martha’s Place, completes cleaning records, and oversees laundry room usage including providing instructions to clients on laundry procedures;
  5. Provides clients with personal care products, towels, pyjamas, etc.;
  6. Completes all shift responsibilities as per duty lists, including seasonal duties such as snow shovelling;
  7. Prepare all meals according to approved menus, and prepares any approved snacks;
  8. Performs security checks as often as needed;
  9. Reminds clients of house rules when necessary;
  10. Documents relevant observations and recommendations regarding client’s behaviour, safety, or health concerns, in the client’s files, client binder, or log book;
  11. provides first-aid;
  12. Interacts with clients and practices motivational interviewing techniques;
  13. Sets up, where appropriate, appointments and follow-up meetings for clients with the Program Director;
  14. Provides feedback, cues, and reminders to clients in accordance with their case or care plans;
  15. Checks in with clients already admitted to the program and provides assistance with personal care products, first aid, and issues the client may have encountered during the day;
  16. Triages crisis situations that may arise from client interaction and facilitates friendly client interactions and de-escalates client conflicts when possible;
  17. When serious conflicts, disagreements, or accusations occur between clients, takes statements from all parties according to established guidelines and submits all documentation to the Coordinator;
  18. Involves the RCMP if necessary when violence, abuse, threats, or criminal behaviours occurs;
  19. Fills out Incident reports in the ICCS database when critical incidents occur;
  20. When the manager is not on shift, carries out call-in procedures to cover absences;
  21. Reports unsafe and potentially unsafe conditions in the building or between clients to the Coordinator;
  22. Carries out the telephone safety check-in procedure with Crescent House;
  23. Provides regular support to Martha’s Place residents throughout the week, and check-ins via telephone with Mary’s Place residents on weekends;
  24. Other duties as assigned by the Program Coordinator or Executive Director.

 Voluntary Duties

  1. Attends and participates in shift debriefs before the start of each shift.

Case Planning

Case plans are provides to all clients willing to participate. Case planning is client-focused and meets the needs and strengths of each individual and includes a personal plan. Each plan includes assessment and goal setting; referrals to appropriate services or resources such as medical services, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment services, employment programs and life skills training. The focus is to help clients obtain appropriate housing, including referrals to housing providers or developments. Plans also include assistance in accessing Income Assistance, Pension Benefits, Disability Benefits, obtaining a BC Identification Card, and establishing a bank account if needed. Records of each client's plan and progress are maintained.[6] Case plans are adapted from an existing plan created with an Island Health case manager or a case worker from another organization such as Community Living, or created by support workers at Samaritan House.


Attendance at regular staff meetings is voluntary and employees receive their regular rate of pay for attendance. While not mandatory, attendance is strongly encouraged for the transfer of vital information and to foster team cohesion. Occasional mandatory staff meetings may also be scheduled.


[1] Hours worked includes:

  1. Hours worked in a classification by the employee,
  2. Hours of paid vacation,
  3. Paid holidays,
  4. Paid union leave up to twenty (20) days per calendar year.

[2] Other functions listed in this job description or in supporting lists of shift responsibilities are secondary to the above functions and may occur after the above functions have been accomplished.

[3]   Examples include:

  1. Vancouver Island University: Social Services Diploma (2-Year Program)
  2. North Island College: Social Service Diploma (2-Year Program)
  3. Sprott Shaw College: Community Support Worker - Social Services (50 Weeks)
  4. Discovery College: Community Support Worker (45 Weeks)

[4]  offered by Shelternet BC

[5] Generally this occurs after a person has made submission to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s “Criminal Records Review Program,” via a consent to a CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK. Confirmation must be received prior to training or working a shift. See the Operations Manager for details.

[6] Schedule F of the Samaritan House contract outline the requirements for case planning.

How to Apply:
Please mention you saw this posting on WorkInNonProfits.ca.
Send application and resume. Application forms are available on our website. https://www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca
Contact Details:
Michael Authier - Operations Manager
Island Crisis Care Society

www:   www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca

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