The Family Development Therapist works with young parents who are in the care and custody of the State of Illinois and their children. The Family Development Therapist promotes the crucial connection between parents and children by building skills, knowledge, support and confidence. The Family Development Therapist promotes healthy parent and child relationships through clinical assessment and support, psychoeducation and linkage with community resources. The primary responsibilities of this position are providing parenting and clinical support and assessment, completing New Birth Assessments for young parents and communication with and training of Network partners while utilizing UCAN’s Clinical Philosophies through Trauma Informed practice and Positive Youth Development.
Builds and Supports Emotional Well-Being and Parenting Skills
Provides clinical support to young parents to help them increase their functioning in life domains and examines how their trauma histories impact them in their daily life and the parenting of their child(ren). Provides individualized psychoeducation and support to young parents regarding parenting, child development, well baby care, and health and safety issues including safe sleep practices. Provides individualized psychoeducation to parents about methods of family planning and sexual health. Ensures linkage to the community for services that young parents need to be successful through enhancing the Community Map with the service team. Assesses young parents for post-partum depression to make recommendations and necessary referrals for services. Assists in evaluating the young parent’s desire and ability to parent and makes recommendations to the case manager for additional services such as Options Counseling or a more comprehensive parenting assessment, Psychological or Psychiatric evaluation. Engages partner/other parent in services and assists with establishing paternity and filing for child support if desired. Demonstrates insight regarding client strengths and needs and incorporates this into parenting/therapy services. Completes a New Birth Assessment (NBA) and all required assessment tools when assigned. Identifies any concrete needs of parent and child. Evaluates the current level of parent-child interaction. When necessary, provides training directly to clients; i.e. safe sleep training, appropriate caregivers.
MSW or MS/MA in Social Work, Early Childhood Education or a related Human Service field required. 3-5 years’ work experience in child welfare or human services.
Bi-lingual in English/Spanish required. Is open and respectful of cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of clients and is willing and competent to work with a diverse client population. Has an understanding of trauma-informed practice Has an understanding of Positive Youth Development. Effective verbal and written communication skills. Working knowledge of the child welfare system. Ability to work both independently and a part of a high functioning team. Experience and ability to use computers for data entry, communication and report writing Proven ability to work effectively with young parents and their children. Current Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certification. Car and valid Illinois driver’s license and insurance required. Ability to transport children in accordance with IDCFS regulations.
UCAN builds strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment. Since the Civil War, UCAN has served the most vulnerable children, youth, and families, and has grown over 145 years into a premier social service agency serving over 10,000 individuals annually. UCAN programs address the impact of trauma: with a consistent presence, meaningful programs, and unrivaled ...organizational diversity and cultural competence. These trauma-informed programs include clinical and counseling services, support for pregnant or parenting teens, foster care placement, a therapeutic youth home, a therapeutic day school, transitional living programs, workforce development, youth leadership development, and violence prevention. At the heart of it all, UCAN’s vision is that youth who have suffered trauma can become our future leaders. UCAN is a consistent and compassionate presence in the lives of those who are most at risk. We start with the premise that communities with challenges possess strengths upon which they can build. From this premise evolves an approach to community support that fosters collaboration with existing neighborhood resources to strengthen communities, one youth at a time. UCAN’s community efforts provide leadership development, supportive jobs for youth, individual healing, and mentoring. UCAN's founding is rooted in spirituality. In 1869, UCAN was founded by members of St. Pauls United Church of Christ (UCC) to provide a home for orphaned children of Civil War soldiers. The UCC and its predecessors have long advocated for social justice, including the struggle for the abolition of slavery and being the first to ordain African-Americans, women, and openly gay persons as clergy. Diversity is a core UCAN value, reflected in our staff, our minority-led Board of Directors, and our clients. It is vitally important that UCAN counteract the influence of discrimination on our communities, families and youth.