Mental Health Specialist (MHS)

Foundation for Early Childhood Education, Inc. - Pasadena, CA


Employment Opportunity

                                                                                                                    Posted Date: February 8, 2023

                                                                           Deadline Date: February 22, 2023, or Open until Filled


Position Title:             Mental Health Specialist       

Reports to:                  Disabilities and Mental Health Coordinator      

Department:               Mental Health

Employment Status:  Non-Exempt (40 Hours Per Week), Non-Union, and Part-Year Position

Compensation Range: $25.00-$35.32 (Step 1-Step 15) Hourly Rate and Benefits

  • Note: Part-Year Position 10-11 Months Varies per Funding

*LACOE Retention Stipend for Program Year 22-23 is expected to be issued in July 2023, when eligibility is determined


Generous Employee Benefits: ACA Compliant Medical, Aflac, Dental, Life, and Vision plans.

  • Paid Holidays, Sick Leave, and Personal Necessity (PN) Hours: 13 Paid Holidays, 21 Days of Paid Vacation: Accrue at the rate of 14 hours per month worked, (1 year of employment = 168 hours), 14 Paid Sick leave, includes 3 Days of Personal Necessity: Accrue at the rate of 9.5 hours per month (1 year of employment= 114)
  • Employer Funded Retirement Plan- Foundation contributes 8.5% after one year of service and you can make voluntarily contributions at the start of your employment.
  • Free Employee Assistance Program(s) sponsored by Foundation & LACOE



                                        Main Office: 3450 East Sierra Madre Boulevard Pasadena, California 91107

                                        Will be assigned to report to our designated sites and other locations

                                        throughout our service area as needed due to program operations

  • Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Hollywood, Lincoln Heights, and Highland Park

                                         Review our website: for specific site locations


               Summary of Duties

The Mental Health Specialist will perform a full-range of mental health related services activities, including understanding student and family needs and the development and implementation of mental health plans to meet the needs of children and families. The incumbent must analyze and identify the student’s need for service and assists in setting priorities, exploring alternatives, and work with student to resolve problems related to access to mental health services.    


Summary of Job Duties, Knowledge & Skills

(Job Description available from HR)

  • Assist and support teaching staff to gain a better understanding of atypical development and behaviors that may be the result of trauma or family situation.
  • Assures effective delivery of services in designing an MDT Plan with MTSS Team and parents based on the child’s development level.
  • Assist all children participating in the program in emotional, cognitive, and social development toward the overall goal of social competence in coordination with the education and mental health/disabilities departments and other related service area activities.
  • Assist staff in recognizing possible support needed for social-emotional development in children and their family members and in making appropriate referrals.
    • Support teaching staff to utilize training in appropriate classroom management and positive behavior guidance
    • Support teaching staff to complete ABCs of behavior of children
    • Advises and assists other staff in providing services for children with atypical behavior or development, including language-speech and behavior to make practical recommendations to teaching and other staff for working with children with IEPs, IFSPs
      • Goal of support to teaching staff is to build capacity of teaching staff to appropriately manage classroom and guide behavior.
    • Completes on-going monitoring, tracking, follow-up and analysis of child services and outcomes within specified timelines.
    • Coordinates training opportunities for Head Start staff in the area of Mental Health including screening and assessment techniques, classroom interventions, etc.
    • Provide training and support to teaching staff and family services staff to better understand how to support children to be successful learners in our Early Head Start/ Head Start/ and State Preschool classrooms. 
    • Uses completed developmental screening and assessment (such as ASQ 3 and ASQ SE) instruments to guide support to classroom teaching staff.



  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree or advanced degree in behavior sciences, social sciences, or a related field from an institution of higher learning accredited by a regional accreditation association recognized by the Council for Higher Education.
  • Experience: Minimum five years’ experience in an Early Childhood setting with children 18 months-5 years, minimum 2 years’ experience specializing in mental health, disabilities, or other similar experiences that support children impacted by ACEs (Adverse Child Experiences), and preferred experience in ABA or Early Childhood Special Education setting.                          


Knowledge & Skills:

  • Ability to verbally communicate in an effective manner with children, colleagues, and families
  • Ability to understand and implement referral process effectively and in a timely manner
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred
  • Knowledge and experience using Virtual Platforms (Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeetings to setup and conduct meetings to actively participate and support program)
  • Proficiency with computer applications such as Microsoft Office Suite, Windows, and the Internet



  • Automobile, Insurance, and a valid Driver’s License 



Prior to hire, the following must be assured:


Eligibility to Work: All potential employees will be asked to present supporting documents establishing proof of identity and employment eligibility upon completing the I-9 Form.


Medical Examination: Must submit a medical examination demonstrating capability to perform type of work required; must submit a tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray. Proof of the following immunizations: Influenza, Pertussis TDAP (Whooping Cough), Measles (MMR), and COVID-19 vaccination series.


Fingerprint Clearances: All potential employees will be subject to obtain fingerprint clearances from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Child Abuse Index (CACI), prior to starting work.


Other Special Requirement: Must have the use of an automobile with adequate insurance coverage and a valid California’s Driver’s License, or have reliable transportation.


Failure to meet medical standards and/or criminal record clearance may result in withdrawal of job appointment.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to site; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.


The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must be able to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, color vision and ability to adjust focus.


Applicants must complete Foundation for Early Childhood Education employment application. Resumes are not accepted in lieu of application materials. Interested individuals may download an employment application online at


Interested candidates must forward the following documentation packet to the main office – enclosed Human Resources Department or submit via email:


  1. Employment Application – with original signature 
  2. Cover letter
  3. Resume
  4. Copy(ies) of Degrees
  5. Copy(ies) of Transcripts
  6. Letters of Recommendation
  7. And any other pertinent documentation as deemed necessary


Internal Candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Employment Application- with original signature
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • And any other pertinent documentation as deemed necessary


Please Note: Application and all required documents can be mailed, or submitted electronically to by the due date listed in this job posting.

How to Apply

Click here to visit the application page

Click here to email us about this position

Contact Info


Job Details

Category: Educators/Classroom

Type: FT

Location: Pasadena, CA

Salary: 25.00 - 35.32

Posted On: February 8th, 2023

Agency Details



Foundation for Early Childhood Education, Inc. (Foundation) is a Head Start/Early Head Start Delegate Agency and State Preschool Grantee. As a nonprofit organization, we have supported young children and their families for over 50 years with Early Childhood and family services. Foundation for ECE, Inc. currently operates eighteen preschool sites in Los Angeles County located in: Boyle Heights, Echo Park, and Hollywood. Our Agency is expanding in the program year 22-23 to the following service areas: Highland Park and Lincoln Heights.  Foundation for ECE, Inc. also collaborates with HACLA and LA City. The program fosters Family Engagement in all of the areas of a child’s development and provides comprehensive resources to low-income families in the areas of health, nutrition, and community resources. Foundation is a comprehensive early childhood education program with a focus on child development that includes a child’s cognitive, physical, social emotional growth, and development.