Program Specialist (Family Specialty)

Recruitment #21-0305-02


THIS IS A NEW ASSEMBLED EXAMINATION.  The eligible list resulting from this examination will cancel any existing list and may last approximately one year but can be extended.


Applications must be in the possession of the Human Resource Services Department by 5:00 p.m. on the Last Day for Filing.  Applications will only be accepted on-line.


Supplemental Questionnaire:  A properly completed Supplemental Questionnaire must be submitted with each application.  Applications and Supplemental Questionnaires must be in the possession of the Human Resource Services Department by 5:00 p.m. on the Last Day for Filing.  Failure to submit the Supplemental Questionnaire will result in disqualification.


Qualified bilingual persons who speak English and are also fluent in: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Korean, Mien, Tagalog, Amharic, Farsi, Dari, Tigrigna, Russian, Romanian or Sign Languages are especially encouraged to apply. There is an additional bi weekly compensation for persons in positions designated bilingual. Qualified candidates may be tested to demonstrate language proficiency.



Alameda County, located on the east side of San Francisco Bay, is California's seventh-largest county.  The County employs 9,700 full-time employees and operates on an annual budget of $3.4 billion.  Oakland, the County seat, is California's eighth largest city.  One and a half million people call Alameda County home and live in a variety of incorporated cities, unincorporated communities and rural areas.  As a major urban county, Alameda provides a full range of services to its citizens.  The County is a blend of culturally and ethnically diverse communities, and its mixture of cosmopolitan and suburban areas provides the perfect environment for families and their active lifestyles.  The County offers extensive cultural resources, countless recreational opportunities and an array of fine public and private colleges and universities.  



Alameda County's Health Services Program is administered by the Health Care Services Agency and includes the following program areas: Behavioral Health, Public Health, Environmental Health, and Agency Administration/Indigent Health. The ultimate mission of the Health Care Services Agency is to provide fully integrated health care services through a comprehensive network of public and private partnerships that ensure optimal health and well-being and respect the diversity of all residents. Health Care Services Agency currently has multiple career opportunities for experienced professionals to become part of a service delivery team dedicated to the optimal health and well-being of Alameda County residents.  For more information about the Health Care Services Agency, please visit



It is the mission of Alameda County Behavioral Health to maximize the recovery, resilience and wellness of all eligible Alameda County residents who are developing or experiencing serious mental health, alcohol, or drug concerns. We envision communities where people realize their potential, and where stigma and discrimination against those with mental health, alcohol and/or drug issues are a thing of the past.

Only through exemplifying the following Alameda County Behavioral Health values will we be successful:



Access - where every door is the right door for welcoming people with complex needs;

Consumer and Family Empowerment - through shared decisionmaking best practices, that clinically produce effective outcomes;

Best Practices - business excellence that uses public resources costeffectively;

Health and Wellness - by integrating emotional, spiritual and physical health care;

Culturally Responsive - appropriate services built on the strengths and life experiences of culturally diverse consumers and their families;

Social Inclusion - utilizing advocacy and education to eliminate stigma, discrimination, isolation, and misunderstanding of persons with mental illness and substance abuse.

For more information about Alameda County Behavioral Health, please visit



Under direction of the Office of Family Empowerment, to provide program planning, technical assistance, review and evaluation functions to direct client service delivery programs where such services are provided by community-based organizations (CBO's), contract service providers and/or County staff in a wide variety of service areas; to act as County liaison with service providers and funding sources and ensure that program regulations and procedures are followed; and to do related work as required.


This professional-level class provides technical programmatic services in a wide variety of client service areas; however, all positions are typically characterized by the following elements:


The need for technical knowledge in the service delivery area to which assigned;

The fact that client services are provided by CBO's, other contract providers and/or County staff; and

The focus of responsibilities being related to program development and implementation, rather than to the provision of administrative or support to County departments.


This class is distinguished from Senior Program Specialist, which provides work direction or supervision to a support staff in addition to providing direct program review and evaluation. It is further distinguished from Program/Financial Specialist in that the latter has financial service responsibilities in addition to technical program responsibilities.



There is currently one vacancy located in the Behavioral Health Department’s Office of Family Empowerment.



In 2006, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services responded assertively to the Mental Health Services Act’s (MHSA) mandate to involve consumers in all aspects of the MHSA and its promotion of the employment of mental health consumers and family members in the mental health system by forming the Office of Consumer Empowerment (OCE) and the Office of Family Empowerment (OFE). The purpose of the OCE and OFE is to empower consumers and family members to take a leadership role in transforming Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services through involvement in: Systems Change; Consumers and Family Members as Mental Health Providers, including providers of Consumer and Family Member Services; Training and Education; Technical Assistance and Peer Support.


To support Alameda County's vision for the MHSA Workforce, Education and Training (WET) Plan, the Workforce Needs Assessment required, under state regulations and key objectives of the OCE and OFE, to implement systems change and to utilize consumers and family members as mental health providers, this position has a specialty designation for family members only.

To qualify, applicants must possess a minimum of six months experience as a direct family member/caregiver of a mental health consumer/client who has received services in the public and/or private mental health system AND training and/or experience with the concepts of self-help, self-care, advocacy, peer/family support, family-focused care, family-driven care, and wellness/recovery/resilienceFamily Member Definition: A Family Member is an individual who provides emotional, practical, and spiritual support on behalf of a loved-one with social/emotional or mental health concerns, including substance use disorder. Family members may be biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, siblings, spouses, domestic partners, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, or anyone else whom the consumer/client defines as their family members.



In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications and knowledge and skills below, the ideal Program Specialist for the Office of Family Empowerment will possess a minimum of six months of professional or personal experience as a family member advocating for services in the public and/or private mental health system for their loved ones living with mental health conditions  (experience should be specific to: Adult and/or Older Adult Services), augmented by full-time professional experience managing, analyzing and evaluating programs and services related to creating authentic Family Member involvement in system change including: training, and hiring family members, integrating family member perspectives and voice in BHCS policies and decision-making, implementing family member operated programs.  The Ideal candidate will also


  • Strive to build a consumer and/or family member focused service organization, ensuring that the family member and/or consumer perspective and voice is a driving force behind business decisions and activities.
  • Have significant experience in the issues surrounding Adults and Older Adults living with mental health challenges and their caregivers/family members roles.
  • Possess exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences and in a variety of contexts. 
  • Act as the County liaison and provide coordination among community-based organizations and other service providers, County departments, State or other funding sources and community or business organizations; interact with various planning councils or boards.
  • Champion policy/practice changes instituted by regulatory bodies and/or upper management.
  • Develop performance measures and/or monitoring systems that are easy to use and that provide timely and pertinent information.
  • Have exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to independently prioritize tasks, work on multiple projects simultaneously, and provide status updates on short notice.
  • Be committed to developing oneself and others by continuously aspiring to gain increased competence and technical and professional skill or knowledge in the areas of behavioral health system of care.
  • Use good judgment to make sound decisions within a highly political environment; readily attempt to identify and understand issues, problems, and opportunities before they become problematic; and take action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, and probable consequences. 
  • Strive to build a family member focused service organization, ensuring that the family member perspective and voice is a driving force behind business decisions and activities; advocate for diverse family members and their loved ones (consumers/clients), and develop and implement service practices that meet family members’ and organization’s needs.
  • Meet the Family specialty designation - Minimum of six months experience as a direct family member/caregiver of a mental health consumer/client who has received services in the public and/or private mental health system AND training and/or experience with the concepts of self-help, self-care, advocacy, peer/family support, family-focused care, family-driven care, and wellness/recovery/resilience.

For a detailed listing of the essential responsibilities and core competency requirements for this position, please click here for the job description.


The minimum professional requirements for admission to the competitive assessment process include:



The equivalent to graduation from an accredited four year college or university (180 quarter units or 120 semester units) with major coursework in business or public administration, a social science or a field related to the program area to which assigned.

(Additional experience as outlined below may be substituted for the education on a year-for-year basis.)





The equivalent to three years of full-time professional-level or supervisory work in the direct delivery of services to clients or the oversight of such services in the program area to which assigned, one year of which must have included program planning and evaluation, or in program administration, contract negotiations, grants management and similar financial services.



(Possession of a master’s degree in business, public administration, social science or a related field to the program area to which assigned from an accredited college or university, may be substituted for two years of the required experience.)



Specified positions may require possession of a valid California driver's license. Specified positions may also require licensure or certification in the programmatic area to which assigned.



·       Family specialty designation minimum of six months experience as a direct family member/caregiver of a mental health consumer/client who has received services in the public and/or private mental health system AND training and/or experience with the concepts of self-help, self-care, advocacy, peer/family support, family-focused care, family-driven care, and wellness/recovery/resilience.

·       In compliance with the Administrative Simplification provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 196 (HIPAA), employees in this classification are required to possess a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number prior to their first day on the job.

·       In compliance with Medicare regulations, employees in this classification are required to complete the “Medicare Enrollment Process for Physicians and non-Physician Practitioners” through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, prior to their first day on the job. Active enrollment in Medicare is a condition of employment. Failure to attain or maintain active enrollment will result in termination.

·       Possession of a current DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Registration Certificate/Number.


NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.


NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.


The most suitably qualified candidates will possess the following competencies:

Knowledge of:

· Principles, practices, funding sources and administrative requirements in the program area to which assigned.
· Principles and practices of program planning and evaluation.
· Principles and practices of direct client service delivery.
· Practices and techniques of programmatic analysis and report preparation.
· Applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.
· Computer applications related to the work.
· Office administrative practices and procedures, including records management and the operation of standard office equipment.
· Basic budgetary and financial record-keeping techniques.

Ability to:

· Plan, monitor and evaluate program and service delivery effectiveness in the programmatic area to which assigned.
· Identify programmatic and operational problems, investigate and evaluate alternatives and implement effective solutions.
· Interpret, explain and apply complex regulations, policies and procedures.
· Prepare clear, accurate and effective reports, correspondence, policies, informational brochures and other written materials.
· Represent the department and the County in meetings with others and make effective presentations to diverse groups.
· Organize and prioritize work and meet critical deadlines.
· Maintain accurate records and files.
· Exercise sound independent judgment within established policies and guidelines.
· Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.


The examination will consist of the following steps: 1) A review of candidates' applications to verify possession of minimum requirements. 2) Those candidates who possess the minimum requirements for the class will move on to the next step in the examination process which is a review of candidates' Supplemental Questionnaires to select the best qualified applicants to continue in the process. 3) Those candidates selected as best qualified will move on to the next step in the examination process, an oral interview examination which will be weighted as 100% of the candidate's final examination score. The oral interview examination may contain situational exercises.




We reserve the right to make changes to the announced examination components.


Alameda County utilizes a Civil Service Selection System founded on merit. Such a system is competitive and based on broad recruitment efforts and equal opportunity for qualified applicants to test in an examination process designed to determine the qualifications, fitness and ability of competitors to perform duties of the vacant position.  Many of our recruitments are targeted and specific to the needs of a current vacant position, in which case, the eligible list may be exclusively used for that current vacant position. Other recruitments may be more broadly used for both current and future vacancies, or for other alternate jobs with comparable scopes of work.


To learn more about our recruitment and selection process, please visit the “What You Need to Know” section of our website,

Selection Plan

Applicants will be informed via email with reasonable notice in advance of any examination process which will require their attendance.  The following dates are tentative and subject to change based on the needs of the Agency:  



Deadline for Filing

5:00pm, Friday, February 11, 2022

Review of Minimum Qualification

February 18, 2022

Supplemental Questionnaire Review for Best Qualified

March 15, 2022

Oral Interview Exam**

Week of March 28, 2022

**The combined oral examination/hiring interview, in addition to establishing an eligibility list, may serve as the final selection interview for vacancies in this classification.




Alameda County and the Human Resource Services Department will make reasonable efforts in the examination and/or selection process to accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities and/or medical conditions in accordance/compliance with the State Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Alameda County’s Reasonable Accommodation Policy and applicable statues.  To request an accommodation due to a disability/medical condition during this or other phases of the examination/selection process, please contact the assigned Human Resources Representative listed on the job announcement before the last date of filing. Alameda County requires applicants to provide supporting documentation to substantiate a request for reasonable accommodation. In order to qualify for a reasonable accommodation, applicants must have a disability/medical condition pursuant to the ADA, FEHA and applicable statutes.


For more information regarding our Reasonable Accommodation procedures, please visit our website,


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 11 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.


All notices related to County recruitments for which you have applied will be sent/delivered via email. Please add, and as accepted addresses to any email blocking or spam filtering program you may use. If you do not do this, your email blocking or spam filtering program may block receipt of the notices regarding your application for recruitments. You are also strongly advised to regularly log into your County of Alameda online application account to check for notices that may have been sent to you. All email notices that will be sent to you will also be kept in your personal online application account. You will be able to view all of your notices in your online application account by clicking on the "My applications" button on the Current Job Openings page.


Please take the steps recommended above to ensure you do not miss any notices about a recruitment for which you have applied. The County of Alameda is not responsible for notices that are not read, received or accessed by any applicant for a County recruitment.


NOTE: All notices are generated through an automated email notification system. Replies to the email box are routed to an unmonitored mailbox. If you have questions, please go to our website at You may also contact the Human Resources Analyst listed on the job announcement for the recruitment for which you have applied.


Nicole Lewis-Bolton, Human Resources Analyst

Human Resource Services, County of Alameda

(510) 272-6468 •




Disaster Service Worker

All Alameda County employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law.  Employment with the County requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect.  Employees are required to report to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Alameda County has a diverse workforce, that is representative of the communities we serve, and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance and business need. Alameda County does not discriminate in employment on the basis of: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors protected under federal, state and local law. Alameda County celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive, and welcoming workplace environment.