Behavioral Health Navigator-Recovery Specialist


Position Description: 

The Behavioral Health Navigator-Recovery Specialist is responsible for reviewing intakes with women visiting Rachel’s Women’s Center for the first time, assisting them in identifying and prioritizing their basic safety and behavioral health needs and connecting with services to meet those needs. This member of the RWC behavioral health team will be familiar with ASAM criteria and local substance/use resources and trains coworkers on recovery oriented topics. This employee will be instrumental in ensuring that all services are provided from an integrated perspective considering participants’ substance use, mental health and trauma histories.



a.     Meets with participants to identify and address their recovery related concerns, conducts alcohol and drug screenings as needed

b.    Refers women to local treatment facilities; contacts detox and treatment programs about bed availability and facilitates participant access to services

c.     Advocates with outside agencies to ensure participant’s needs are being appropriately met

d.    Reinforces a ‘recovery culture’ throughout the RWC community by maintaining the recovery bulletin board and current listings of 12 step and other community based recovery resources

e.     Co-facilitates recovery, relapse prevention, Seeking Safety and other psycho-educational groups

f.     Plans and presents educational programs for participants on topics related to substance use and co-occurring disorders and developing safety focused life skills


a.     Builds and maintains collaborative working relationships with SUD treatment providers; is familiar with intake procedures and eligibility criteria of various programs to create appropriate treatment matches between participants and recovery service providers. Recommends best options based on each participant’s individual needs

b.    Coordinates & tracks referrals to substance use programs and related services to assist participants in achieving and maintaining stability

c.     Initiates follow up contacts with women referred for services and determines the outcome of referrals made

d.    Reconnects participants with their established service providers when those relationships exist

e.     Advocates with outside agencies to ensure participant’s needs are being appropriately met

f.     Refers and advocates for participants to establish relationships with primary/preventive care providers and to obtain specialized care when indicated

g.    Connects uninsured participants with Medi-Cal or other health insurance to increase access to medical care; advocates with medical insurance plans enabling participants to get the care they need

h.     Builds and maintains productive working relationships with other behavioral health service providers including, Jane Westin, Areta Crowell, ACT and other case management programs, primary care, Whole Person Wellness, housing resources and other programs serving people experiencing homelessness. (in addition to SUD programs)

i.      Identifies common challenges facing participants and recommends modifications to existing service delivery systems to address those challenges


a.     Documents all contacts with participants and accurately records all services provided using established data collection systems and in compliance with BHS contract requirements

b.    Summarizes contacts in the RWC Daily Log

c.     Works collaboratively with the Catholic Charities Compliance and Operations Coordinator to verify the accuracy and completeness of data collected

d.    Completes internal monthly reports accurately and on time


a.     In collaboration with other RWC staff team members, reviews intakes with new participants and explains the RWC daily routines and available services

b.    Greets participants, prioritizes their immediate needs and guides them to services

c.     Assists with all routine program functions including answering phones, greeting donors and processing donations

d.    Provides conflict resolution/crisis intervention services as needed

e.     Shares recovery-related knowledge with co-workers, expanding their perspective and ability to respond to participants needs; provides training for co-workers on SUD issues

f.     Prepares for and actively participates with Recovery Happens, CADRE trainings and/or other County sponsored trainings/activities


a.   Adheres to Mission, Principles and Policies of the Agency and Rachel’s Women’s Center

b.   Completes and submits all required paperwork in a timely and accurate manner

c.   Supports participants’ efforts to obtain self-reliance

d.   Understands and consistently utilizes a trauma informed, client centered approach when interacting        with participants and co-workers

e.   Knows and properly executes emergency protocols


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand. 


  1. Completion of approved SUD Counselor training program, knowledge of ASAM criteria

  2. Preferred: BSW/BA/BS Degree or equivalent life/work experience. Minimum one year experience with homeless services and/or co-occurring disorders or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Candidates with lived experience and/or in women’s services are encouraged to apply. Bi-lingual Spanish preferred but not required.

  3. Experience with trauma informed approaches to service delivery, motivational interviewing and stages of change model

  4. Understands and embraces a Housing First approach to resolving homelessness

  5. Must have strong computer skills and the ability to become proficient with database software.

  6. Ability to read, interpret and apply documents such as policies, safety rules, operating instructions and procedure manuals

  7. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence and speak effectively before groups of women

  8. Ability to multi-task and remain calm and patient with participants and co-workers

  9. Ability to work effectively with others as part of a team as well as independently

Physical Requirements:

  1. Ability to walk for up to 8 hours per day with intermittent occasional standing, bending, squatting, or climbing.

  2. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

  3. Specific vision abilities required for this job include the ability to see close up.

Time Commitment: Full-time (40 hours/week) Sunday-Thursday with some flexibility required. Schedule may vary based on program need (operating hours are 6:30am-5:00pm)

Salary: $18 per hour


How to Apply

Email Resume to:



Catholic Charities
Human Resources
PO Box 121831
San Diego, CA 92112-1831


619 232-3807