Resident Support Specialist

Job Title: Resident Support Specialist
Department/Group: Operations
Location: Sanford West/Grand Rapids
Position Type: Full-Time, Part-Time
Reports To: Unit/House Manager
Hourly/Salary Range: Hourly, based on experience
Travel Required: Between facilities
 Exempt vs. Non-exempt Non-Exempt

Job Description

Job Summary

The role of the Resident Support Specialist is to supervise and assist individuals with daily activities and personal care, and conduct safety checks. This role ensures that incident reports are filled out in a timely manner and is responsible for independently managing a community setting for clients.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Manages independently a community setting for clients.
  • Encourages residents’ participation in varied recreational, recovery, cultural, and spiritual activities.
  • Assists with intake and orientation for new clients.
  • Conducts belonging searches and removes unapproved belongings and coordinates appropriate storage with safety.
  • Administers medication as prescribed by the provider in accordance with medical procedures.
  • Completes vital signs as ordered by the medical providers.
  • Communicates medical concerns with the medical providers and the treatment team.
  • Provides transportation for residents’ needs, as necessary, including 12 step meetings, recreational activities, and other planned outings during the assigned residential shift.
  • Assists with conflict resolution among clients and is prepared to intervene, as required.
  • Performs housekeeping duties, as directed by the Unit or House Manager.
  • Conducts hourly/ 30 min/ 15 minute safety (bed) checks on clients during sleeping hours.
  • Facilitates groups with clients and enters individualized notes on the electronic medical record (EMR).
  • Attends training and staff meetings, as required.
  • Communicates end of shift notes with appropriate staff members at the start and end of the shift.
  • Maintains safety drills and documentation.
  • Prepares critical incident reports and disseminates them to the appropriate staff/managers, as needed.
  • Observes and respects clients’ individual rights and confidentiality by adhering to HIPAA guidelines.
  • Maintains compliance with policy rules and regulations, health and safety requirements, and adheres to Sanford’s code of ethics.
  • Assists in other units/departments when there are changes in census or staffing shortages, as needed.
  • Adheres to established Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and employee handbook.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Substance Use Disorder

  • Transports clients to 12 step meetings, recreational activities, and other outings during assigned residential shift hours.
  • Leads a gratitude group and facilitates recovery meetings, as needed.
  • Facilitates a breathalyzer and obtains a urine sample for drug screening.

Eating Disorder

  • Assists/Participate during recreational activities, including dining experiences.
  • Adheres to the requirement to take part in every assigned meal/snack (1 meal & 1 snack per day per RSS is the expectation/ minimum
  • Transport client to recreational activities.

Qualifications and Education Requirements

  • High School Diploma or higher education, required.
  • Associate degree in behavioral science or related field, preferred.
  • Unrestricted Driver’s License, required.
  • Current certification in CPR/AED and First Aid, preferred.


  • Knowledge of the field of chemical dependency, eating disorders, and/or mental health.
  • Attention to detail and efficient time-management skills.
  • Experience with conflict resolution.
  • Medication administration experience and proficiency. Effective communication skills, self-motivation, and good decision-making ability.
  • Crisis management and de-escalation skills.
  • Knowledge of suicide, self-harm and eating disorder behaviors.
  • Ability to adhere to and knowledge of all HIPAA guidelines.
  • Knowledge of electronic medical records (EMR).
  • Ability to identify own strengths and areas of improvement and communicate needs to supervisor.
  • Demonstrates professional behavior reflective of Sanford’s Mission Statement, Philosophy, and Values.
  • Must be able to relate well to all kinds of people both inside and outside the organization; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
  • Must possess positive attitude to enhance a cooperative and energetic work environment.

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive tasks such as typing for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to adapt to the physical demands of lifting clients, bending, stooping, and stretching with or without assistance. Must be able to clearly express and exchange ideas by means of spoken words to impart oral information to employees or others accurately or quickly, engaging in sometimes lengthy conversations or presentations.
  • Capable of monitoring the facility and grounds, including the ability to ambulate up and down stairs. and to lift up to ten (10) pounds.
  • Must be able to ascend and descend stairs daily.
  • Must be able to seize, hold, grasp, turn or otherwise work with your hand or hands.
  • Must be able to perceive sound by ear to interpret oral information from employees or others accurately or quickly.
  • Work will be performed in an office environment with fluctuating temperatures.

ADA Disclaimer

The employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the position adequately.  If requested, reasonable accommodations will be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, absent undue hardship. All requests must be made to the Human Resource Department in writing.

Please note, this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities, and activities my change at any time with or without notice and employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions or assignments.  All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements, which are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.  I understand that my signature below indicates my understanding of the requirements, essential functions, and the duties of this position.

Sanford Behavioral Health is an equal opportunity employer, drug-free workplace, and complies with ADA regulations as applicable.

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