POSITION: Associate Counselor

PROGRAM ASSIGNMENT: An Abilis Residential Program

SCHEDULED WORK TIMES: The position of Associate Counselor is part time or full time. The schedule is developed by the residence manager to assure adequate coverage for the residence. The schedule consists of up to 40 hrs. per week with the majority of work time scheduled during programming hours. See specific residences schedules for available hours. Overtime is requested as needed, in accordance with residents needs, household scheduling, and supervisor's approval.

IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR: The Program Manager assigned to the House and the Program Coordinator or Supervising Counselor when delegated by the Program Manager.

SUPERVISES: Participants within the program.

CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH: Vocational Instructors, Case Managers, families of residents of the home, Community Network Manager, staff of other Abilis homes, Residential Services Director, Supervising and Assistant Counselors, medical personnel.


Education: One year of college or post high school training.

Substitution for Education: One year of successful human service work experience can be substituted for educational requirement beyond High School Diploma or equivalency.

Experience: One year successful work experience in rehabilitation, educational, or residential program.

Substitution for Experience: Associate degree from an accredited college, junior college or university maybe substituted for experience requirement.


• Ability to be understood by agency participants.
• A valid drivers license that allows a person to be insured as designated by our vehicle insurance carrier.
• Ability to operate agency vehicles in a safe manner as authorized by the agency’s driver certification program.
• Ability to lift 50 lbs.
• Ability to summon emergency personnel off the agency’s emergency call list.
• Ability to become and maintain necessary medication and CPR certifications.
• Ability to follow through with and update, in a timely fashion, all other necessary trainings as outlined by agency, state, and federal guidelines.
• Be physically able to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
• Ability to provide eyes on supervision of Abilis participants.
• Be able to use all equipment and adaptive equipment safely and effectively.
• Ability to implement program goals and deal with participants behavioral issues.
• Be able to physically access program locations.



An Associate Counselor must demonstrate the maturity to work with a number of people of varied backgrounds and disabilities, and show empathy toward persons with disabilities and their families. The Associate Counselor is responsible for assisting the Supervising Counselor in direct care of the residents and in implementing the goals of the resident's Overall Plan of Service.

An Associate Counselor is expected to successfully complete special training programs as maybe required by the State of Connecticut.


The Associate Counselor is responsible for ensuring the general well being of the residents in the house; for facilitating a warm, family environment conducive to the residents to learn, at their own rate, skills leading to greater personal independence and self esteem. Under the direction of the Residence Manager, the Associate Counselor must be flexible and able to adapt to many situations, and able to complete a myriad of other duties related to successful operation of a home.

A. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To assure daily resident care.

Specific Duties:

• Using standardized methods and materials provided by Abilis assists in provision of periodic evaluation of assigned residents in the following areas:
• grooming, personal appearance and hygiene
• meal planning and preparation
• money management
• housekeeping and sanitation following universal precautions
• interpersonal relationships
• use of community resources, including leisure resources
• communication and emergency procedures
• self image, including sexuality
• health and safety precautions

• Participates in case conferences and programming with the resident:
• implementing teaching strategies to meet goals
• documentation of goals and services performed

• Assists in the development and participates in day to day activities and educational programs with residents, assuring that they are consistent with:
• normal routines of daily living
• principles of rights, dignity and respect of all persons, both residents and counselors
• established policies, procedures and philosophy of Abilis
• the residents' Overall Plan of Services

• To assure day to day activities and specific educational programs will:
• be planned and coordinated between all staff
• reflect interests/preferences of the residents
• be communicated to residents so they understand their responsibilities
• provide for follow through by Supervising Counselor, Residence Manager and/or residents, themselves
• be coordinated with settings in which the resident may be involved, including:
• work (vocational)
• school (educational)
• church (religious)

• Daily activities and education areas include:
• cooking, cleaning, and laundry
• recreation and leisure activities
• medical evaluations and appointments
• money management
• grooming (showering, shaving, etc.)
• communication (use of telephone, conversation with others, etc.)
• medication administration
• individual rights & choices
• minor snow removal

• To keep resident activity records on a daily basis, recording major activities, behaviors, progress, and recommendations.

B. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To complete those domestic duties associated with the home's operation consistent with Abilis’ policies.
Specific Duties:

• To perform those domestic duties residents are not able to complete independently including:
• grocery shopping as needed
• meal planning and cooking
• minor home repair, such as light bulb replacement, etc.
• cleaning and sanitation of common areas, bathrooms, and resident rooms, if necessary
• scheduling and time management to complete home activities

• To coordinate above activities with co workers.

• To suggest/improve more economical methods for completing domestic duties to immediate supervisor.

• To provide for transportation needs for home and residents via agency vehicle or arrange for suitable transportation.

C. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To oversee the health and well being of residents.

Specific Duties:

• To assess, on a daily basis, the physical health of each resident by conversation and observation, refer problems to immediate supervisor, and when indicated, to act in the best interests of resident.

• To assist in making and keeping appointments for residents:
• by coordinating appointments with other activities of the home.
• by accompanying resident to appointments as necessary and record follow up recommendations.
• by providing information regarding resident to professionals as requested.
• by respecting the residents' rights of privacy and choice.

• Oversee the use of medications by residents by maintaining control procedures and record data as required by Abilis and State of Connecticut policies.

• To be cognizant of the whereabouts of each resident of the home, consistent with the resident's abilities and state of independence (dependence) upon others for care and supervision.

• Follow written procedures concerning medical emergencies of residents.

D. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To complete those duties which ensure
licensure of the home.

Specific Duties:

• To be aware of and follow licensing standards for the residence.

• To assist with maintaining resident files, resident money ledgers, and other files required by regulatory agencies.

• To attend and participate in facility/program inspections as required.

E. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To promote effective communication among
staff, families, residents, and others.

Specific Duties:

• To provide in an understandable way, information to residents:

• regarding expectations of resident within home, rules and procedures, daily routine, emergency procedures.
• by promoting dialogue, interaction among residents/staff to enhance the home environment.

• To communicate and coordinate, in a professional manner, home activities and programs with other services in which the resident may be involved (i.e., vocational, educational, recreational, etc.).

• To participate in communication among staff assigned to the home.

• To inform immediate supervisor of significant concerns/problems/activities within the home which may effect residents, families, or others:
• by attending staff meetings as requested
• by representing residential staff to residents, and residents to staff, and constructively assisting in resolution of issues.

F. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To promote positive community relations.

G. KEY AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY: To participate in professional development
activities and other personal requirements
necessary for licensure.

Specific Duties:

• Valid Driver's License from the state in which you currently reside and ARC Authorized Driver's Card.

• To complete training courses which may be required by the State of Connecticut for maintenance of licensure of the home. (ex. CPR, DDS Med. Administration Certification, Blood borne Pathogens).

• To participate in other meetings or programs related to staff development as appropriate (regularly scheduled agency sponsored in service training).