Job Description

Overall Job Objective


The County of San Mateo Health System's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division (BHRS),  is seeking a well-qualified individual for the position of Occupational Therapist I/II - Therapeutic Day Schools.  The mental health Occupational Therapy within the Therapeutic Day Schools (TDS) program assists youth in acquiring skills needed to function in their life roles of student and worker.  As the students in the TDS program progress toward graduation they are then linked with the Department of Rehabilitation for assessment and counseling for future placement. The Occupational Therapist also provides treatment through the use of arts and crafts activities.  The focus of this "activity" based treatment is the development of pre-vocational skills:  pro-social and task skills. 

Occupation Therapy services in the TDS unit are provided in two general areas: direct and indirect services. These services function to prepare the young person for the roles of a student, performance of age-appropriate daily living behaviors and ultimately the transition to worker, college student, or vocational training. 

The Occupational Therapy program addresses:  independent living skills, pre-vocational skills, socialization skills, recreation and leisure activities, and transition activities as outlined in the students Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

There is one part-time, 24-hour/per week, extra help vacancy in the TDS program.

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), offers a broad spectrum of mental health and substance use services for children, youth, families, adults and older adults in the County of San Mateo County in the prevention, early intervention and treatment of mental illness and/or substance use disorders.  We support treatment of the whole person to achieve wellness and recovery, and to promote the health and well-being of the people, families and communities we serve.

The Therapeutic Day School unit is comprised of three separate school programs serving high school aged special education students in the San Mateo Union High School District, Jefferson High School District, and South San Francisco Unified School District. Each TDS program is a collaboration between that designated high school district and San Mateo County BHRS staff.  TDS students are certified special education students who have been evaluated and determined in need of intensive mental health services in order to benefit from their education. The core staff is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team including both mental health and educational staff. The TDS program works in close collaboration with outside service providers such as probation, social services, education, Wrap- Around service providers and other mental health contract agencies. 

County of San Mateo BHRS Staff include a Clinical Services Manager (1), Supervising Mental Health Clinician (1), Psychiatric Social Workers / Marriage and Family Therapists (2), Creative Arts Therapist (1), Occupational Therapist (1), Psychiatrist (1) and Medical Office Assistant (1). District special education staff include the Special Education Director (1), Program Specialist (1), Special Education Teacher (1 or 2), and Teaching Associates (1 or 2).

The ideal candidates will have:

  • Experience working with adolescents in a mental health setting
  • Experience working on a multidisciplinary team
  • Experience working with special education students and participating in the IEP process
  • Familiarity with normal adolescent development
  • Familiarity with psychiatric disorders as defined in the DSM V manual
  • Ability to provide treatment to youth who have co-occurring substance use issues
  • Ability to structure and effectively run activity-based groups with teenagers

Responsibilities will include:
  •  Assessment and development of a treatment plan that links to the BHRS client treatment plan.
  •  Coordinating and implementing the TDS program's Occupational Therapy program, including group treatment, individual treatment, linkage to various agencies, and consultation to staff and families.    
  • Continual evaluation of youth capacities and deficits, and the students' response to treatment including the measurement of change and development. 
  • Conduct assessments, share findings and make appropriate recommendations. 
  •  Collaborate and coordinate with the multi-disciplinary team which includes special education staff and mental health staff in order to provide comprehensive treatment to youth in the TDS program. 
  •  Participate in milieu therapy and enforce the behavior management system. 
  •  Provide consultation and support to families and staff as needed.
  • Provide education and training to staff as needed.
  • Liaison with community agencies to assess, implement or coordinate services. 
  • Work closely with district vocational support staff to assist students in transitioning to the role of worker.
  • Participate in Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings by completing and monitoring progress of the Individualized Transition Plan (ITP).

Occupational Therapist I is the entry level class in this series. Under immediate supervision, incumbents perform the full range of general therapy treatments while developing and learning the skills to apply more advanced and/or specialized treatments. This class is flexibly staffed with Occupational Therapist II and incumbents may advance to the higher level after gaining experience and demonstrating proficiency which meet the qualifications of the higher level class.

Occupational Therapist I Salary
$36.76 - $45.95 Hourly
$2,940.80 - $3,676.00 Biweekly
$6,371.73 - $7,964.67 Monthly
$76,460.80 - $95,576.00 Annually

Occupational Therapist II is the experienced journey level class in this series. Incumbents in this class perform the full range of general therapy treatments with a greater degree of independence and proficiency, additionally applying more specialized and advanced therapy treatments. Some individuals may also assist in providing technical advice and training to less experienced staff.

Occupational Therapist II Salary
$41.19 - $51.49 Hourly
$3,295.20 - $4,119.20 Biweekly
$7,139.60 - $8,924.93 Monthly
$85,675.20 - $107,099.20 Annually

NOTE: This is an extra-help, at-will assignment, paid on an hourly basis: Some extra help positions are eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Extra-help workers are not guaranteed permanent status at the end of the extra-help assignment.   

Examples Of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Under direction, plan of TDS Supervising Mental Health Clinician, plan and perform occupational therapy for a variety of youth.
  • Collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team to provide comprehensive treatment to patients.
  • Provide therapeutic activities to promote independence in daily living activities.
  • Plan, organize and participate in occupational therapy activities.
  • Instruct patients in the use of therapeutic tools and equipment.
  • Provide ongoing assessment and documentation of the patient's response to treatment in accordance with hospital standards.
  • Participate in discharge planning and refer parents to community services.
  • Determine need for department and patient-related supplies and equipment.
  • Maintain cleanliness and organization of treatment areas.
  • May participate as clinical preceptor in a university affiliated occupational therapy student program.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Eligibility for or registration as an Occupational Therapist by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Failure to obtain this licensure within twelve months of employment may result in termination.
  •  Possession of a Certificate of completion for a course in Basic Life Support as approved by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association; or must be obtained within six months of appointment.
Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is:

Occupational Therapist I: Graduation from an approved school of occupational therapy.

Occupational Therapist II: One year of supervised experience in occupational therapy.

Knowledge of:
  • Principles and methods of occupational therapy, as applicable to all types of cases found in a school-based community mental health setting.
  • Physical and psychological problems of special education students who are classified as emotionally disturbed, learning disabled, and/or other health impaired.
  • Use and care of therapeutic tools and equipment commonly used in occupational therapy.
  • Professional ethics and the fundamental laws of practice for occupational therapy.
Skill/Ability to:
  • Administer and document occupational therapy treatments.
  • Assess patient needs, analyze situations accurately and implement an effective plan of action.
  • Adapt equipment to patient needs.
  • Integrate occupational therapy services with programs.
  • Develop new programs in response to patient/department need.
  • Explain and teach occupational therapy activities to patients, health care professionals and other interested persons.
  • Exercise tact and good judgment in dealing with patients, staff and the public.
  • Prepare reports and keep records of case histories.
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Act as a consultant/trainer for educational and other staff.
  • Provide suitable transportation between work sites.


If you are interested in being considered for this extra help position, the following materials must be electronically submitted in a Word or PDF format.
Cover letter
Responses to these supplemental questions:

1. Do you possess eligibility for or licensure as an Occupational Therapist by the California Board of Occupational Therapy?
 Yes  No

2. Do you possess eligibility for or registration as an Occupational Therapist by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy?
 Yes  No

3. Describe in detail your professional experience providing occupational therapy to children and adolescents. Include specific information about the setting/facility, duties and clients.

4. Describe your experience interacting with bicultural or bilingual client groups.

5. List any educational courses, workshops, training or certification that you have completed that support your ability to perform this job.

Please include the words "Occupational Therapist I/II - Therapeutic Day Schools" in the subject line of email submission. All submitted materials must be in a Word or PDF format.

Please submit the above listed materials via email to:

Gail Aguirre, Supervising Mental Health Clinician, TDS, BHRS 

Apply immediately. Resumés will be accepted until the position is filled. This posting is open on a continuous basis and selection may be made at any time within the process.

Application materials will be reviewed as they are received and well-qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. 
NOTE: Application materials are only accepted via e-mail. Materials sent via regular mail and/or fax will not be accepted. Submittals that do not include all required elements (responses to supplemental questions, writing sample, graphic design sample(s) and a resume) will not be considered.
At the County of San Mateo, we take pride in the way our employees bring together their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to serve our community's needs.  The County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Application Instructions

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