County of OrangeOrange 92868
Full Time
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Group Counselor Trainee

County of Orange
Full Time Orange County Social Services Agency, 744 N Eckhoff St, Orange, CA 92868, United States



(Regular and Extra Help Positions)

 In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates:

Effective June 28, 2024 – 4.25% increase

Effective June 27, 2025 – 4.00% increase

This recruitment is being held to establish an open eligible list to fill current and future Group Counselor Trainee vacancies within Social Services Agency.
This recruitment will be open for a minimum of five (5) business days and will remain open on a continuous basis until the needs of the County are met.  Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.

Do you have what it takes to be a Group Counselor Trainee?

The Social Services Agency (SSA), Orangewood Children and Family Center (OCFC) is seeking qualified candidates to fill current and future Group Counselor Trainee vacancies.
The duties of the position include but are not limited to the following:
  • Learns to direct activities of children
  • Assists with instructing children in standards of conduct
  • Learns to provide crisis intervention and discipline
  • Assists in providing the children a safe, secure environment
  • Checks for and reports illnesses
  • Learns to assists in formulation of case treatment plans for assigned children with participation of child, other counselors, and Social Services Workers
  • Learns to keep routine of log of activity
  • Learns to prepare case records, development assessments, care plans, log entries and special incident reports in compliance with applicable regulations
  • Learns to file information in case folders, extracts information for routine reports, totals and averages daily individual and unit grade
 Click  for additional information about the job duties. 

The Orangewood Children and Family Center (OCFC) is a Temporary Shelter Care Facility, operated and owned by the County of Orange, Social Services Agency for children who have been abused, abandoned and/or neglected.
 Watch the video to learn more about County of Orange, Social Services Agency.
 Click to learn more about Orangewood Children and Family Center (OCFC)
There is no permanent status in this class.  Incumbents must successfully complete the probationary period to qualify for promotion to the Group Counselor I level or be subject to termination. 


Group Counselor Trainees work a fixed schedule (shift work) that changes every 6 months. Typical shifts include 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and include weekends, holidays, and on emergency basis as needed.

Batches of candidates passing the assessment will be invited to a virtual orientation. The orientation will cover the nature and expectations of the job.

The ideal candidate will have experience working in a child care facility, group home, institutions, or similar type of work setting. Candidate who possesses a valid Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and a valid CA Driver's License is highly desired.
In addition, candidates will also demonstrate experience in the following competencies:

Technical Skills | Knowledge of
  • Title 22 Regulations
  • Recreational children programs and activities
  • Crisis intervention techniques
  • Proper methods of physical restraint
  • Engage and interact with children 
  • Monitor and supervise children in a group home 
  • Utilize Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Ensure children’s safety and maintain a safe and positive environment
  • Follow safety protocols and procedures 
  • Manage stress and maintain self-control during emergency or disturbance   
  • Report safety concerns efficiently
Communication Skills
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Listen actively 
  • Interact with children in a positive tone and manner 
  • Communicate effectively with children and others in emotionally charged situation
  • Display a willingness to work with troubled and special needs children 
Interpersonal Skills
  • Maintain a calm demeanor  
  •  De-escalate emotionally charged youth
  • Knows how to listen without judgment
  • Genuine and empathetic
  • Trustworthy
  • Energetic and enthusiastic when working with children 
  • Dependable and reliable
Critical Thinking Skills
  • Respond to crisis/emergencies using positive interventions
  • Work independently and take initiative 
  • Adjust appropriately for different ages of each child
  • Make sound judgments, actions or decisions to prevent injury
  • Alert and mindful of children’s safety
  • Maintain an open and approachable manner
  • Build rapport with others 

Candidates will be required to undergo a background clearance check from California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and Community Care Licensing (CCL) and must successfully clear prior to the start of their employment. All employment offers are contingent upon successful completion of a background check. Areas considered in the background check include conviction history, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e. degree, license, or official transcripts) if applicable. Foreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Services (N.A.C.E.S.) In addition, a Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) background clearance check may be required. CACI is a repository of child abuse investigation reports managed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that contains information related to substantiated cases of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental/emotional abuse, and/or severe neglect of a child.

 to view the complete classification description for  

Click  to view the Physical and Mental Requirements and Environmental Conditions for Group Counselor Trainee.

Human Resource Services (HRS) will screen all application and supplemental materials to identify qualified applicants. After screening, qualified applicants will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Veterans Employment Preference

The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click to review the policy.

Online Assessment(s): (Weighted 100%)
Applicants who meet minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in one or more online assessment(s) covering job related skills and competencies needed for this position. Only the most successful applicants will move forward to the next step in the recruitment process.
 Orientation (Refer/ Non-Refer)
Candidates who pass the online assessment will be invited to a mandatory orientation which will provide information on the realities of the job. The orientation is usually scheduled in the evening hours between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.  
Based on the Agency's needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified.  All candidates will be notified of any changes in the recruitment process. 
Eligible List:  Once the competitive process has been completed, HRS will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies.