A residential counselor works in a group home for troubled individuals, and is responsible for overseeing resident behavior and assisting them in the completing of necessary tasks. A residential counselor job description involves reminding residents to complete tasks and attend scheduled appointments, monitoring resident behavior, preparing meals, and carrying out light housework.
A residential counselor lives in a group care home either part time or full time, and is in charge of providing emotional support and encouragement to residents, ensuring that all patients take proper medication, and reporting activity and behavior to the residential director.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Residential Counselor
- Supervises all residents.
- Enforces rules and regulations dictated by group home.
- Ensures all residents are in bed by lights out.
- Assists in preparing scheduled and planned meals and snacks for residents.
- Observes dietary restrictions and guidelines of specific residents.
- Writes up reports of resident behavior and activity.
- Submits reports to residential director.
- Assists in resolving disputes amongst residents.
- Distributes proper medications and supplements to residents.
- Ensures that all residents attend group and individual therapy appointments.
- Drives residents to school or extracurricular activities as necessary.
- Observes any alterations or idiosyncrasies in resident behavior and reports them to director accordingly.
- Identifies signs of a resident’s potential harm to self or others, and addresses these accordingly.
- Enforces disciplinary action as necessary.
- Engages residents in conversation and encourages socializing.
- Provides emotional support for residents.
- Consults with physicians, nurses, dietitians, and therapists to ensure streamlined and top quality care for residents.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates patience and empathy.
- Exhibits strong organizational skills.
- Maintains friendly and outgoing demeanor.
- Possesses excellent interpersonal and conversational skills.
- Is willing and able to stay at group home overnight as necessary.
- Demonstrates knowledge of the rules and guidelines of the group home.
- Possesses excellent problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.
- Works well with a variety of individuals.
- Communicates clearly and effectively.
- Maintains an encouraging and compassionate attitude.
- Remains calm during stressful situations.
- Is familiar with medications necessary to treat various forms of personality disorders and levels of depression.
- Recognizes the basic symptoms of personality disorders and depression.
- Works calmly and efficiently in a crisis.
- Exhibits excellent listening skills.
Education and Experience
- High school diploma or GED required.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or related field preferred.
- Work experience in counseling, social work, or group home preferred.
- Job-specific training required prior to start date.
- Time will be spent in the group home supervising residents.
- Shifts may vary from night to day.
- Some overnight stays on a rotating basis may be required.
- Local travel may also be required.
- Environment can be stressful and emotional depending on mood and behavior of residents.
- The average salary of a residential counselor is $25,000 per year.
- Salaries range from $20,000 to $35,000 depending on years of experience and educational background.