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Position Closed

DYS Director of Substance Abuse

The Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR) is a statewide service, research, policy, program development and capacity building agency. IHR designs its services based on an understanding of the impact of trauma. IHR’s mission is to develop a comprehensive continuum of care for families, individuals, youth and pregnant and parenting women affected by alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, violence/trauma, mental health challenges and other health issues. IHR’s CARF accredited treatment programs provide holistic interventions for hard to reach and high-risk individuals and families.

Summary Statement

The DYS Director of Substance Abuse position will assist the Department to ensure that the most appropriate, and current and evidence-informed policies, practices and protocols are incorporated into a substance use service delivery system for youth in the care and custody of DYS. The Director of Substance Abuse will participate in the negotiation of all substance abuse contracts; and will support the recruitment, training and retention of DYS clinical staff, enhancing clinical staff’s expertise in substance abuse assessment, prevention, treatment and recovery. The Director will interface with other State and Provider entities to further the development of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies as well as opportunities for expanding resources through grants, third party revenue sources, Mass Health/Medicaid, and private insurance. DYS works in partnership with IHR as well as other provider agencies, law enforcement and school officials, families, communities and others to ensure that the services provided are effective and that they create pathways to success for the young men and women in DYS care and custody. Candidate must be able to travel to any location statewide.

Reports to

Assistant Director, IHR/DYS Assistant Commissioner for Program Services

Essential Functions

  • Monitor the delivery of a complete array of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services to the youths in the custody of the Department of Youth Services.
  • Assist in formulating policy and regulations
  • Support the establishment of procedure and protocols, which set the standards of care for the youths in the care and custody of the Department who are at risk for substance abuse.
  • Participates in the negotiation of all substance abuse contracts; assists in the recruitment and retention of the clinical staff with an expertise in substance abuse treatment and recovery;
  • Prepares budgets, monitors spending for substance abuse services, designs and develops substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies that maximize all third party revenue sources, including Medicaid and private insurance.
  • Provide technical assistance and make recommendations to the Executive and Regional Staff about the quality and service delivery of addiction prevention and recovery services.
  • Ensure that the appropriate linkages are in place with contracted and community-based practitioners that provide incarcerated juveniles with the necessary access to addiction prevention, recovery, and treatment that responds to emergent, urgent, and routine care.
  • Implement and provide analysis of the Department’s demographic and assessment data to make appropriate recommendations with respect to the quality of care, prevention service needs, and the appropriate use of lab testing for an adolescent population.
  • Represent the agency and provide leadership about addiction, prevention, and recovery services at various forums or workgroups within the Department of Youth Services, at the Governor’s Substance Council, at the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Interagency Workgroup, and at the Children’s Behavioral Health Task Force of the MA Chapter of Academy of Pediatrics, and also for EOHHS agencies, provider organizations and/or other public/private institutions.
  • Enact the Commissioner’s directive to identify best practices to include monitoring trends, and evaluate current practices to require the use of performance standards and outcome measures.
  • Identify and coordinate staff training about evidence-based and/or best practice services to enhance the addiction prevention, the recovery programs, and the treatment services within the Department of Youth Services.
  • Adopt federal and state guidelines and mandates for the agency’s use. Consult with national and state authorities about addiction prevention, and recovery issues, and participate in the evaluation of agency programs.
  • Initiate grant applications because successful grant applications will enable the department to pilot new initiatives to provide quality care to the youths.
  • Assist in the development of integrated activities and programming that enhances the expertise and service delivery of addiction prevention, recovery, and treatment services within the Department through collaboration with the Department of Youth Services’ Directors of Education, Clinical, Health, Female and Victim Services units.
  • Communicate with IHR’s main office in Cambridge through use of shared online calendars, sign in – out board, time sheets, and check in/out with supervisor;
  • Attend team and agency staff meetings;
  • Regular attendance and punctuality is required
  • Other related duties


  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Development and Continual Learning
  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Valuing Diversity
  • Customer Focus


  • Degree (Master’s and licensed preferred) in social work, psychology, counseling or related field, or equivalent field and licensed LCSW, LICSW, LMHC, CADC
  • Knowledge of the principles of substance abuse treatment and recovery services.
  • Knowledge of juvenile justice history, philosophy and practice in the care and custody of juvenile offenders.
  • Ability to design and implement policy, program development and program evaluation processes.

Other Requirements (If Applicable)

Valid driver’s license, good driving record, and regular access to a reliable vehicle.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to sit: stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. This position requires the ability to occasionally products and supplies weighing up to 10 pounds.

Reasonable accommodation will be made for otherwise qualified individuals with a disability.

Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. This job description is subject to change at any time.

IHR offers a rewarding work environment with competitive salary, generous benefits and a strong commitment to diversity. IHR is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, seeking to create and welcoming a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

DYS Director of Substance Abuse
40 hrs/wk
DYS, 600 Washington St., Boston
Position Closed