Program Manager, VIVA Counseling

Lifeline Community Services Blair Search Partners San Deigo


Our Mission: to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services.

Our Vision: to foster both long-lasting personal growth and systemic change to improve the adverse social conditions impacting youth, adults, and families. Lifeline seeks to build resiliency within those we serve, thereby empowering them to reach their highest potential.

Our Core Values:   

  • Prevention: to provide the earliest intervention to reduce system involvement.
  • Quality: to pursue excellence in client intervention and clinical oversight.
  • Collaboration: to build mutually beneficial partnerships to increase impact.

For 50 years Lifeline Community Services (Lifeline) has been helping low-income youth and families achieve self-reliance. With more than 165 fulltime staff members and 215 dedicated volunteers, we offer over 25 unique programs across our five focus areas: youth development, child abuse and domestic violence, housing and self-sufficiency, behavioral health, and human trafficking. With a current annual operating budget of $16.5M, we are continuing to grow as an organization and expand our services region-wide. From our original base in Vista, we now operate nine sites across the county including Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido, and San Diego. Last year we served 4,304 clients through intensive case management, coaching, and clinical interventions, and 27,259 with educational outreach services and referrals. Our clients are predominately low to extremely low-income from communities across San Diego County. The vast majority of our programs are clinically based, with a focus on integrating services across the organization to break down programmatic silos and apply a true wrap-around approach for the individuals and families we serve.


Lifeline is a highly trusted partner, recognized as a backbone organization of the community. We are a key service provider, convener, and collaborator. Our work is guided by an engaged and committed board of 18 community leaders from across the region. We are extremely proud of our reputation for fostering a supportive team culture and being an outstanding place to work and grow. Recently, Lifeline staff were invited to share their thoughts on the organization’s leadership and culture. Here’s what they shared with us:

  • “Everyone jumps in to help each other out.”
  • “Our leadership is highly visible and accessible.”
  • “Staff are empowered and trusted to use their autonomy as professionals.”
  • “Communication is great at all levels. Team members actively collaborate within and across programs.”

We feel this inclusive and supportive culture is the foundation of our success, with some of our team members celebrating 10, 15, and even 25 years of service at Lifeline.


  • Salary – $79,706 – $87,676
  • Medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, acupuncture, and life insurance
  • Matched 403b retirement plan
  • PTO: 0-2 years: 120 hours (15) paid days off, 48 hours (6) paid days off, 14 paid holidays
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee incentives and award programs
  • Training and education assistance
  • Flexible spending account
  • Menu of optional benefits, including short-term disability, critical illness, accident, hospitalization, and cancer policy


This is a hybrid role with an office located at 200 Michigan Ave., Vista, CA 92084.


We are looking for a dynamic and passionate Program Manager who is a client-centered, community-focused, self-starter. The Program Manager will provide oversight of one of Lifeline’s premier behavioral health programs, VIVA Counseling:

VIVA Counseling serves low-income youth in North San Diego County who are experiencing severe mental health issues including depression, anxiety, post-trauma, suicidal ideation, and other significant mental health conditions. Services are provided to youth and families at various schools in Vista and Oceanside, or at either of our Vista or Oceanside clinics. The Program Manager will join a supportive team of 22 highly collaborative professionals dedicated to the success of VIVA and the youth and families we serve. They will have 22 direct reports.

Reporting to the Director of Programs, Behavioral Health, the Program Manager will manage the program’s daily clinical activities, providing clinical and administrative supervision on intake and assignment, eligibility screening, assessment, individual and family therapy, crisis intervention, and quality assurance. They will ensure that all services provided are being implemented through a client-driven wellness and recovery model that is strengths-based, culturally relevant, trauma-informed, and outcome-based. This is a highly collaborative role, working across the organization to guarantee that the best experience is received by Lifeline’s clients, staff, and partners. This is a tremendous opportunity for an individual passionate about behavioral health and serving youth and families.

Priorities for the Program Manager include:

  • Administrative supervision of the team
  • Quality assurance
  • Stakeholder relations


  • Assure Lifeline consistently provides high-quality, professional counseling, and psychotherapy services, maintains appropriate documentation, stays current on research and developments in the field, and disseminates “best practice” information to the clinical staff as appropriate.
  • Provide clinical and administrative supervision to behavioral health trainees, interns, and licensed staff, including orientation, individual, family, and group supervision, and evaluation of performance.
  • Conduct outreach and engagement activities in settings where homeless and displaced youth interact, including behavioral health, educational, and medical settings to increase awareness of the program and services and create and maintain a consistent stream of referrals.
  • Assist with recruitment, hiring, training, and scheduling of program staff, including clinicians, peer support partners, and administrative support staff.
  • Foster a team culture that is supportive, strength-based, accountable, and values team
  • Design and supervise mental health treatment interventions and effectively develop and implement appropriate assessment and intervention methods for use in unfamiliar situations and for a range of cases.
  • Ensure quality assurance through direct monitoring of clinicians, client satisfaction surveys, chart review, peer review, and related activities.
  • Responsible for contract compliance, reporting, goals and objectives, quality assurance system, charting, billing, and documentation.
  • Engage in component and program development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Responsible for the training and compliance with legal and ethical standards, including but not limited to HIPAA, informed consent, and child abuse reporting.
  • Contribute and/or develop client-sensitive policies and procedures supporting the delivery of programs and services.
  • Under the direction of the Associate Director, coordinate or provide substance abuse and mental health services training, and other related staff development activities.
  • Assure coordination and collaboration among all programs and services and provide support to an integrated approach to client services.
  • Participate in and facilitate agency and component meetings. Attends required meetings and training as appropriate.
  • Stay informed of the legal and ethical issues involved in the counseling and psychiatric field and disseminate information to staff.


  • Passion for and commitment to Lifeline’s mission to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services.
  • Master’s degree in social work, counseling, or psychology; must be licensed for a minimum of 2 years by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC).
  • Excellent clinical acumen: experience working with complex families, effectively managing multiple priorities simultaneously and with a keen eye for detail; highly proactive and self-motivated.
  • Demonstrated management experience with knowledge of trauma-informed, client-driven, and culturally competent care.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, and coaching skills. Ability to build a collaborative and productive team culture.
  • Ability to analyze processes and information, identify problems and trends, and develop effective solutions and strategies.
  • Valid CA Driver’s License and good driving record required.
  • A solid fundamental understanding of fiscal management with experience developing and managing budgets.


Katie Do, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101