[CLOSED] Job Posting: LGBTQ2S Youth Counsellor

Position Title: LGBTQ2S Youth Counsellor
Works with: Youth Worker, Outreach Worker, and Volunteers
Category: Contract – 6 month term with possibility of renewal
Location: Egale Youth OUTreach, 183 Carlton Street, Toronto
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11am – 7pm (flexible work hours may be required)
Salary: Commensurate with education and experience
Benefits Pay in lieu of benefits


Job Summary

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (Egale) is Canada’s only national charity dedicated to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement. For the past three years, we have focused on the important issues of homelessness and suicidality among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth populations. In April, 2014 we opened a new service, Egale Youth OUTreach, designed to help address the needs of LGBTQ2S youth who are homeless, unstably housed, or at risk of homelessness. We are currently seeking an outstanding individual to fill the role of LGBTQ2S Youth Counsellor. On a day-to-day basis,  the LGBTQ2S Youth Counsellor will: conduct intakes and needs assessments; develop individualized support plans; provide counselling and crisis intervention services; refer youth to existing community services/programs, shelters, and transitional housing facilities; and maintain appropriately thorough and up-to-date documentation and record keeping.

Duties and Responsibilities

Direct Service Provision

  • Conduct intakes & assessments from a strengths-based model
  • Provide crisis counselling in urgent situations, including suicide assessment and safety planning
  • Provide walk-in counselling services for youth experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, substance use, intimate partner violence, immigration and settlement challenges, trauma history, and challenges related to sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Liaise with volunteer counsellors around service delivery and provision of ongoing counselling
  • Develop and facilitate group discussions, group counselling, and interactive learning/capacity-building activities
  • Work collaboratively with youth and cross-sector service provider partners (i.e., schools, mental health services providers, employment programs and other social service agencies) in developing individualized and effective, strengths-based and culturally competent support plans
  • Provide warm referrals to other agencies who may be able to meet the immediate shelter and other basic needs of youth
  • Assist in providing direct support, including assistance with daily living activities, supportive counselling around mental health and substance abuse, and helping to build coping and other life skills
  • Assist in helping clients successfully negotiate their way through systems such as OW, ODSP, OHIP and other government programs
  • Assist with organization and distribution of food, TTC tokens, and other resources
  • Collect service user data and research/reporting information in conjunction with providing services

Community Relations and Collaboration

  • Liaise with hospitals and emergency services for appropriate care of LGBTQ2S youth in distress
  • Connect with other service providers in the community to develop opportunities for collaboration and enhanced services to clients
  • Build relationships with agencies that may be involved with the target population including emergency shelters, addiction and mental health service providers, children’s aid societies, etc.

Centre Operations

  • Actively participate in maintaining a safe, respectful environment for LGBTQ2S youth in distress
  • Actively participate in ongoing revision of policies and procedures for the referral program to best meet the needs of LGBTQ2S homeless and unstably housed youth
  • Contribute to database of appropriate community services/programs, shelters, and transitional housing facilities for referral
  • Assist with hiring, coordination, training, and support of placement students and volunteers
  • Assist with centre operations including maintaining the facilities, supplies, food, and resources

Other Duties

  • Participate in Egale’s ongoing work on shelter and second-stage housing for LGBTQ2S youth
  • Actively participate in regular clinical supervision; engage in practices of self-reflexivity
  • Work cooperatively with all Egale staff and volunteers to ensure the organization meets operational and strategic goals
  • Participate in regular staff and program meetings and maintain accurate minutes if required
  • Become familiar and comply with Egale and Egale Youth OUTreach policies and procedures
  • Maintain strict confidentiality of clients, staff and volunteers
  • Participate in providing regular updates to supervisor, Egale staff, funders, and volunteers on program progress
  • Attend relevant conferences, workshops, and other in-service events as resources permit and as approved by supervisor
  • Complete other duties or tasks as assigned


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or equivalent experience
  • MSW or other advanced degree in counselling is preferred
  • 3-5 years of professional experience (ideally working with youth, homeless, Aboriginal, immigrant and/or LGBTQ2S clients)
  • A philosophy incorporating non-judgement, harm reduction, critical disability, anti-racism/anti-oppression, trans-positivity and youth engagement
  • Familiarity with the LGBTQ2S community and LGBTQ2S human rights more generally
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience of income and housing systems within the City of Toronto and the GTA
  • Demonstrated experience working comfortably and skillfully with people experiencing a range of serious challenges, including suicidality, self-harm, trauma, substance use, mental health, immigration challenges, experiences of abuse, and conflict with the law
  • Awareness of youth suicide prevention, intervention and postvention best practices
  • Proven conflict resolution and negotiation, crisis intervention, and prevention skills
  • Developed written and oral communication skills as well as group facilitation skills
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to facilitate working with a variety of stakeholders
  • A team player with an attitude of service and the ability to motivate others
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends, in order to meet client and program needs
  • Strong computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPress, internet, databases, etc.)
  • Bilingual/multi-lingual competency, First Aid Certification, CPR, and non-violent crisis intervention training are assets

Application Details

Qualified applicants are invited to submit a cover letter and resume by Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:00pm. Interviews will be conducted the week of January 19.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is committed to ensuring that members of traditionally marginalized groups, from a broad range of communities feel empowered to apply for positions within the organization. We encourage qualified applicants to consider work and volunteer opportunities with Egale as we recognize that a diverse work force and volunteer base are critical to accomplishing our mission. The organization is dedicated to taking proactive steps to overcome historical patterns of discrimination in our society which have created barriers of race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, language, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression for some individuals and have resulted in the denial of their full participation in society.