The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and related chronic diseases. We envision a world in which people living with HIV and related chronic diseases will thrive, and new HIV infections will be rare. Our work focuses on improving health equity, preventing new cases of HIV, serving as a collaboration and knowledge center, and being a bold voice for change.

In order to achieve our goals, we are seeking for an individual to serve as our Behavioral Health Specialist. The Behavioral Health Specialist provides innovative in-home behavioral health counseling services to individuals in AFC’s supportive housing programs. Utilizing harm reduction and trauma informed service delivery approaches, the Behavioral Health Specialist will provide mental health and substance use services to chronically ill formerly homeless individuals. The Behavioral Health Specialist will conduct a bio-psycho-social, DAST-20, AUDIT-C and Alcohol and Other Drug (AOC) assessments and provide mental health and substance use services to program participants with a goal of maintaining housing stability. 

Principal functions and responsibilities of this position include the following:

Clinical Practice

  • Interview and evaluate the behavioral health needs of program participants in their home by using a variety of assessment techniques and instruments;  screen, assess, and re-assess behavioral health needs of program participants;                                                                                   
  • Develop individualized treatment plans for each program participant and update plans every six months;
  • Provide intensive in-home individual counseling to program participants at their level of understanding and acceptance;
  • Conduct bio-psycho-social assessments and provide counseling to clients when necessary;
  • Provide crisis intervention services to clients;
  • Coordinate referrals for behavioral health treatment; act as a liaison to community treatment programs;
  • Facilitate communication with client’s Medicaid managed care health plan, care coordinator and primary care provider and/or psychiatrist to meet integrated health needs;
  • Conduct and document intakes, screenings, program discharges, and referrals;
  • Schedule all in-home client visits; make reminder calls and organize electronic and hard copy calendar;
  • Document assessment information as required in the program participants’ files; input information into data tracking system (e.g., Client Track) and on paper charts; ensure quality of in-home counseling files.

Program Support

  • Implement in-home counseling program procedures and clinical forms;
  • Provide expertise to partner agency staff concerning behavioral health including substance use and mental health and treatment modalities;
  • Provide consultation related to therapeutic needs for program participants to supportive housing partner agency staff (e.g., Case Managers, Supervisors);
  • Train AFC and partner agency staff on behavioral health including substance use and mental health;
  • Provide case-conferencing consultation at housing case manager request;
  • Research and stay abreast of current assessment materials.                                                                                  


  • Assist with agency-wide activities as directed, including Annual Meeting, AIDS Run & Walk, World of Chocolate and others;
  • Maintain and update job knowledge by participating in training and educational opportunities, reading professional publications, and participating in professional organizations;
  • Protect organization’s value and manage risk by keeping information confidential;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Human Services, Sociology, Social Work or related field and 2 or more years of Human Services experience                          

PLUS 1 or more years of Behavioral Health counseling experience

PLUS CADC, CRADC or MISA I certification OR LCSW or LCPC license

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s degree in Psychology, Social Work, Counseling or related field and 2 or more years of Human Services experience

2 or more years of Behavioral Health counseling experience

1 or more years of HIV-specific service experience

LSW/LCSW, LPC/LCPC or equivalent license

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Strong case management and the ability to assess client needs, create care plans, and follow-up in order to address barriers and ensure care is continuous and comprehensive. The ability to provide client support through home visits across the Chicagoland area. Documenting/Recording Information: The ability to enter, record, store, or maintain information in written or electronic form.

In depth knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).  This includes, the ability to apply diagnostic criteria and codes and the emerging measures and models related to mental health and addictive disorders.

Knowledge of best practice approaches to mental health and substance use treatment.  This includes the ability to apply a client-centered approach that considers individual diagnoses, psychosocial assessment, and environmental factors.

The ability to evaluate a person’s mental health, social status, and functional capacity within the community. And the ability to follow up with clients in a timely manner are essential to this role.

Diversity awareness and the ability and willingness to respect and value the differences and perceptions of different groups/individuals are key to success in this role.

Please reference position code PROG BHS 211