Bereavement Counselor

Requisition ID
Hours / Pay Period
Standard Hours
8:00am - 4:30pm
Facility / Process Level : Name
CHI Franciscan St Joseph Medical Center


In 2020, united in a fierce commitment to deliver the highest quality care and exceptional patient experience, Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Health came together as natural partners to build a new health system centered around the patient: Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Our combined system builds upon the scale and expertise of our nearly 300 sites of care, including 11 hospitals and nearly 5,000 physicians and providers. Together, we are empowered to make an even greater impact on the health and well-being of our communities. 


CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason are now united to build the future of patient-centered care across the Pacific Northwest. That means a seamlessly connected system offering quality care close to home. From basic health needs to the most complex, highly specialized care, our patients can count on us to meet their needs with convenient access to the region’s most prestigious experts and innovative treatments and technologies.  


As a part of our organization, we currently offer the following benefits:


  • Competitive starting wages (DOE) and training to grow within the company
  • Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Health/Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Flexible health spending accounts (FSA)
  • Matching 401(k) and 457(b) Retirement Programs
  • Tuition Assistance for career growth and development
  • Care@Work premium account for additional support with children, pets, dependent adults, and household needs
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for you and your family
  • Voluntary Protection: Group Accident, Critical Illness, and Identify Theft
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Wellness Program



Job Summary:

Bereavement Counselor plans, develops and delivers a variety of services to bereaved families/survivors of deceased CHI Franciscan Health (CHI-FH) Hospice patients in accordance with professional standards and the established Bereavement Plan of Care.  An incumbent provides support to families using a variety of therapeutic techniques to help them adjust to the loss of a loved one and short-term counseling provided may be on an individual or group basis. 
Work involves: 1) assessing/reassessing needs and developing/modifying the formal bereavement Plan of Care; 2) delivering education and leading group sessions with regard to grief and loss; and 3) providing consultation/guidance to interdisciplinary team members with regard to bereavement needs and services.  An incumbent also identifies appropriate community resources and assists families in identifying/developing support systems to assist families to cope and move forward in a healthy direction. 



The following section contains representative examples of job duties that might be performed in positions allocated to this job class.  CHI Franciscan Health is a dynamic organization, and the environment can be fluid.  Roles and responsibilities may be altered to accommodate changing business conditions and objectives as well as to tap into the skills and experience of its employees.  Accordingly, employees may be asked to perform duties that are outside the specific work that is listed.  It is not required that any position perform all duties listed, so long as primary responsibilities are consistent with the work as described.  Performance standards developed for incumbents allocated to this job class may also contain relevant job content information and are referenced hereto.
Assesses bereavement needs of patients using standardized assessment tool(s) for continuity and clarity.
• Conducts assessment of grief reactions and coping skills; determines priority cases for early intervention and strives for timely contact.
• Performs sensitive and timely telephone client contact to assess status and encourage in-home assessment and follow-up appropriate to client's need.
• Documents all client contacts and collaborative consults/referrals relative to patient assessment.
Develops/modifies Bereavement Plan of Care for surviving family members in accordance with professional standards.
• Recognizes scope of bereavement services and develops plan accordingly.
• Provides for flexibility in plan to allow for changes in client needs and circumstances; adjusts interventions to meet individual needs.
• Refers clients to appropriate resources; i.e. mental health therapists, grief support groups and informative literature.
• Updates plan documentation based on assessment and on-going evaluation.
Provides short-term therapy for clients assessed to be in need of counseling.
• Identifies specific issues and needs of clients and employs appropriate interventions and counseling techniques.
• Seeks consultation with Social Worker Supervisor/Manager and/or chaplains for clarification or assistance with unusual or complicated client issues.
• Reads literature on grief and attends audio/in-person training when available to enhance and improve counseling skills related to bereavement and to remain up-to-date on grief/loss research and interventions of care.
Educates families, staff and volunteers on loss, grief and related topics.
• Provides education for families during telephone and in-home contacts/counseling to further understanding of grief cycle/processes and to normalize grief reactions.
• Acts as presenter at in-house and community events, i.e., staff meetings, rounds, Memorial Services, volunteer training, Grief and the Holidays seminar, nursing home in-services, church groups and other community-wide activities.
• Collaborates and contributes to planning of annual education events.
Provides consultation to interdisciplinary team members about bereavement needs of individual families.
• Provides support and education regarding dynamics of grief to the Interdisciplinary Team.
• Recognizes and uses opportunities for education to ensure appropriate referrals and use of bereavement services.
• Facilitates bereavement support groups as requested.
Cultural Sensitivity and Competence:  Demonstrates proper use of communication tools/materials for effective communication and understands how the culture(s) of patient populations can affect communication, collaboration and the provision of care, treatment and services.  Patient Population Served:  Demonstrates knowledge and proper skills associated with the department’s defined specific populations served.
Performs related duties as required.


Education/Work Experience Requirements
Master’s Degree in a behavioral health field (e.g. sociology, psychology, counseling, etc.) and two years recent related work experience that demonstrates attainment of the requisite job knowledge skills/abilities preferably in a healthcare setting. 
MSW is preferred.

• Current Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
• Current Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
• Current Licensed Advanced Social Worker (LASW)
• Current Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
• Eligible for Agency Affiliated Counselor which must be obtained prior to date of hire



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