Mental Health Specialists
Requisition Number:2023-HS/C-027
Department:Head Start and Children's Services
Employee Type:Regular
Hours Per Week:35


Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) stands as Boston's largest community action agency. Since its inception, ABCD has been deeply committed to promoting self-help efforts for low-income families and individuals. We offer a wide array of programs that cover all stages of life, from infant care to elder services, and ensure that every individual, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to thrive in their community. Every year, we touch the lives of more than 100,000 Greater Boston residents, creating ripples of positive change.

Why Work Here:

  • Make a Difference: Every day, your work directly impacts the lives of thousands in the Greater Boston community, empowering them and making positive, lasting change.
  • Inclusive Environment: ABCD values the diversity of its workforce, with an inclusive culture that respects individuality and promotes collaboration.
  • Continuous Learning: We offer numerous training and development opportunities, ensuring our staff remain at the forefront of community action methodologies and strategies.
  • Comprehensive Benefits: At ABCD, we take care of our own, providing a competitive benefits package, including health coverage and retirement plans.
  • A Legacy of Impact: Join an organization that boasts a legacy spanning over half a century, consistently championing the rights and needs of our community's most vulnerable.
  • Teamwork & Camaraderie: Be a part of a passionate team, united in their mission to combat poverty, and ensure every individual can reach their fullest potential.
ABCD Head Start & Children's Services is a family development program serving children from birth to age five, as well as pregnant women. Part of a highly successful national program, we provide comprehensive services to the whole family and foster a safe, creative learning environment to support children in school readiness and their social-emotional development. We are looking for dedicated individuals who want to make a meaningful impact on the communities we serve!

Essential Duties:
  • Responsible for ensuring that training, technical assistance, and supports for good mental health practices are provided for children 0-5, families and staff.
  • Promote positive interactions within classrooms through responsive and nurturing care.
  • Coordinate individualized strategies to affect positive behavioral changes for identified children.
  • Work with all staff in an inter-disciplinary approach to support and enhance the mental health of all children and families with social-emotional difficulties in providing and or obtaining services.
  • Implement an inter-disciplinary system of mental health services to children and their families with an emphasis on the early identification of children with potential social-emotional difficulties.
  • Provide in-house mental health treatment to children needing direct mental health services through individual counseling, play therapy, classroom support.
  • Design and implements program practices responsive to the identified behavioral and mental health concerns of individual children or groups of children in consultation and coordination with teachers, center directors, education specialists, health specialist, disabilities specialist, and early interventionist as needed.
  • Discuss with parents their child’s behavior and development and identify with parents appropriate responses to their child’s behavior.
  • Maintain and monitor a comprehensive record keeping system through documents and through database system.
  • Maintain and document on-going contact with local programs through phone and site visits.
  • Monitor and provide information relative to Head Start requirements: support program staffs to ensure children have complete vaccination, physical, dental and nutrition screenings.
  • Attend required meetings, trainings on and off site; central office.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned from time to time.

Job Qualifications:
  • Master's degree in social work, counseling or related field and Massachusetts Social Worker License (LSW) required. Minimum of one to three years of relevant experience providing mental health services to inner-city children and low income culturally diverse families required.
  • Must have demonstrate a knowledge of and sensitivity to the educational and socioeconomic needs of the children and families served.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication as well as interpersonal skills.
  • Successful experience in working as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • The skill to deal with sensitive family situations in a non-threatening and professional manner.
  • Must demonstrate a strong knowledge of child growth and development, children’s mental health issues and intervention strategies for the classroom and home environment.
  • Ability to work independently without intensive supervision.
  • Must be able to attend and participate in community activities, training, and night meetings as needed.
  • Possess bilingual ability where appropriate. Translates as necessary or when needed.
Location: Agency Wide