Life Skills Educator - Heisler Inpatient

Volunteers of America - Dakotas
 Sioux Falls, SD


Provide education, modeling and support to participants in an effort to develop the social skills and life skills needed for effective self-governance.

REPORTS TO: Group Life Supervisor and/or Program Coordinator


Implementation of Therapeutic & Preventative Skills

  • Facilitate effective teaching of participants through the observation, recognition & clear description of skills and behaviors.
  • Set limits utilizing positive and negative consequences to strengthen/promote positive behaviors and discourage problem behaviors.
  • Support positive behavior of participants by utilizing effective praise.
  • Assist the participants in recognizing the benefits of the skills they are learning through the use of rationales and role-playing.
  • Using Task Analysis, teach participants in an orderly and sequential way based on individual needs.
  • Provide preventive and corrective teaching opportunities to participants.
  • Teach participants how to use self-control in an effort to manage oneself.
  • Assist participants to resolve conflicts, plan ahead, and make decisions.
  • Utilize communication concepts taught in CPI such as Supportive Verbal Skills, Active Listening Skills, and CPI Supportive stance.

Participant Services

  • Provide supervision to ensure safety and well being of all residents.
  • Guide group dynamics, providing support and guidance as appropriate with The Therapeutic and Preventive Skills Model.
  • Provide individual contact with residents to praise, nurture, and consequence as necessary.
  • Participate in activities, while assisting them in achieving privileges and approving of privileges and requests, as appropriate.
  • Assist participant during meal preparation ensuring proper nutritional needs are met.
  • Provide effective role modeling for residents to encourage healthy lifestyles.
  • Provide support and guidance to participants in achieving their goals.
  • Administer medications to residents as appropriate.
  • Transport residents to appointments as needed.

Support Services

  • Maintain consistent communication regarding the progress of each resident with other residential staff.
  • Document services, activities and necessary program information.
  • Participate in meetings regarding participants as requested.
  • Attend program staff meetings.
  • Attend all trainings required by agency and program standards.
  • Perform job responsibilities professionally, consistent with the agencies code of ethics.
  • Display an understanding of agency theory base of Social Learning Theory.


  • Provide guidance and support to participants in maintaining a high standard of cleanliness in the facility.
  • Maintain safe working conditions.
  • Report any maintenance needs to Group Life Supervisors.
  • Comply with Department of Health Standards and Fire Safety Codes.


  • Provide safety-sensitive transportation services as needed.
  • Responsible for other duties as agreed upon.

HOURS: Option of either relief, part time (35 hrs / week) or a full time position, both of which requires flexible scheduling to ensure 24-hour coverage of residential program. Scheduling may include weekends, holidays, overnights, and late evening shifts.


Bachelor's degree in counseling, social work, or related human service field preferred and a minimum of one-year related work experience or an equivalent combination. All candidates must be at least 21 years of age. Effective communication and management skills are necessary. Individual must possess a genuine desire to teach and guide participants and be a positive role model to all participants. Valid driver's license required if providing transportation services. Must be able to meet the physical demands of the position as outlined in the “program description“.


Ensure ongoing supervision, safety, well-being and security of participants and provide support as necessary.


Meal Preparations:

  • Prepare a majority of the meals for the following day.
  • Plan the weekly meals and do the grocery list for the program.
  • Oversee the national school lunch program and commodities for the program.


  • File all therapeutic and medical filing for the inpatient and outpatient programs.
  • Conduct maintenance checks for the program and enter items into the system for work orders.
  • Conduct medical chart checks to ensure all clients' medications are correct.
  • Provide the nurse with a list of medications to be ordered.
  • Ensure the program is in compliance with health/fire codes.
  • Conduct inventory of program materials (toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, cleaning supplies, etc.) and provide a list to the Group Life Supervisor to place an order.
  • Assist with morning wake ups and other morning routines.
  • Cover any breaks for overnight staff in the program.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Volunteers of America, Dakotas promotes to employ and advance in employment individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, and to treat qualified individuals without discrimination on the basis of their physical or mental disability.

VEVRAA Federal Contractor