EHS Mental Health & Disabilities Specialist

Plaza Community Services - Los Angeles, CA

Full-timeEstimated: $46,000 - $64,000 a year

Position: Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Mental Health & Disability Specialist

Reports to: EHS-CCP Education Coordinator

Full time Position


Job Description:

Oversees supplemental Mental Health and Disabilities services and related educational, technical, and consultative support to children, families and staff. Provides facilitation and assistance to Head Start staff and families in the identification, referral and accommodation of children with disabilities and behavioral needs. Mental Health/Disabilities Specialist will ensure that children with disabilities receive appropriate intervention and services, and for managing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive programs for children with disabilities and their families enrolled in the EHS program. Works with teachers, parents, local education agencies, and community agencies in planning obtaining professional diagnoses and assessments of children with suspected disabilities, and developing Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) and mental health plans; maintains records and writes reports.

Responsibilities include:

  • Work with area professionals and organizations that provide services to Early Head Start children including those with disabilities and mental health concerns and their families in an effort to coordinate available resources and ensure that enrolled children are receiving maximum and appropriate services in a timely manner.
  • Responsible for the overall planning, implementation and compliance of the Mental Health/Disabilities areas.
  • Make on-site visits to each classroom in the assigned area to help identify children with disabilities and to ensure these children are receiving necessary services.
  • Assists with planning and attends the Health Advisory Committee meetings and utilizes the committee in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the mental health/disabilities content area.
  • Promote team cooperation and collaboration in the provisions of mental health and disability services to Early Head Start children.
  • Utilizes the Health Services Advisory Committee in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the health, mental health, and disability content areas.
  • Promotes in conjunction with other Early Head Start staff, active parent involvement in the Mental Health and Disability areas.
  • Maintain up to date records of compliance with regulations and other local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Maintain and update data of individual mental health and disability records on each child in the assigned area as to what services are needed and received.
  • Assist in coordination of follow-up mental health and disability services. Assist in setting up appointments for screenings and follow-up. Assist with travel arrangements when problems arise. (i.e. transport children and/or parents to and from providers)Work closely with local Independent School Districts (ISD’s), Local Education Agencies, Co-ops and Early Childhood Intervention (ECI’s) in setting up Referrals for Assessment meetings for child and parent. Insure appointments are kept. Attend Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meetings.
  • Be available to assist in classroom activities when necessary.
  • Train personnel regarding conditions and job requirements necessary for specialized care and observation when needed.
  • Plans and provides trainings and workshops to Early Head Start families on topics including mental health wellness, parenting, positive guidance and discipline, child abuse and neglect, coping mechanisms, adapting to change, managing child behaviors and other topics as requested by parents, providers or staff.
  • Coordinate with other Early Head Start staff, assist in interpreting the diagnosis to the teaching staff and parents, and insure that the education program meets the child’s needs.
  • Travel independently to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
  • Requires regular interaction with staff, health care professionals, children, and families.
  • Inspect and evaluate classrooms, playgrounds, and buildings for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
  • In conjunction with Early Head Start staff, compile and analyze data on the effectiveness of the mental health, and disabilities services.
  • In conjunction with Early Head Start staff, responsible for updating the annual Head Start Services Plan and compiling information for the Program Information Report (PIR).
  • Reconcile appropriate consultants charges with statements.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned. Plaza CS is seeking an experienced professional with the ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural team; with a caring, compassionate approach to working with children and families who can follow through in an organized and systematic fashion with families and service providers while supporting families in achieving their goals.
  • Associate Degree; BA preferred in Social Service area, (Psychology, Sociology, ECE or related field)
  • 6 units in Infant/Toddler units (if course has not been completed, it must be completed within the first year of employment).
  • Minimum of three years’ experience working with low-income children and families with special or behavioral needs. Experience with Early Head Start preferred.
  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and local guidelines and regulations pertaining to the Early Head Start program.
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English preferred
  • Must be comfortable working with diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds of the communities and must be able to effectively communicate with children and families of the community.
  • Ability to maintain agency code of ethics and standards of conducts.
  • Experience working with a Head Start or Early Head Start program preferred.
  • Knowledge of diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of office methods, practices and procedures including record keeping and filing.
  • Computer skill proficiency using Word, Excel, Software applications as well as the use of software programs required under the EHS-CCP program including, but not limited to, software programs required by the funder for proper administration of the EHS-CCP program. All employees, regardless of position, serve as role models for children and families who are served by our agency.


The successful candidate will have the ability to perform the following functions with or without reasonable accommodations:

Successful completion of pre-employment Physical exam and TB Clearance

  • Successful completion of background check including DOJ, FBI & CACI and Sexual Abuse Registry.
  • Current certification in CPR and First Aid
  • Adherence to the Confidentiality Agreement
  • Adherence to the Child Abuse Reporting Mandate
  • Duties are performed at one and/or multiple centers.
  • May need to work a flexible schedule as work will be required during evening and weekend hours.
  • Valid California Driver's license, good driving record (DMV check will be conducted); and proof of automobile insurance as driving a vehicle to attend parent meetings, home visits, and community meetings is required.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to change position; to sit, stand, walk, climb or balance; to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; to bend, twist and reach with hands and arms.
  • Lift and/or move up to 45 pounds


  • Childcare employees must be able to perform the following essential functions:
  • Observe, see, hear and respond to children’s needs, emergencies and conflicts that may occur in the child development center or on the playground.
  • Be aware of the cognitive, social and physical needs of children.
  • Communicate verbally and writing in English to the degree that child, parents and other staff members are able to understand and respond

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or other protected status. EEOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled

Benefits offered include:

Health medical insurance, dental and vision as well as Company paid life insurance.

Vacation paid time off.

Paid sick days.

401(k) retirement plan.

12 paid holidays.

Job Type: Full-time


  • serving children 0 to five years of age with disabilities: 3 years (Required)
  • Early Head Start: 3 years (Preferred)
  • IEP: 2 years (Required)
  • working with children with special or behavioral needs: 3 years (Required)
  • developing IFSP and mental health plans: 2 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Preferred)


  • First Aid CPR AED (Required)
  • Valid California Driver's license (Required)
  • 6 units in Infant/Toddler Units (Required)


  • Spanish (Preferred)
  • English (Required)