Court Services Forensic Senior TherapistOverview
The City of Alexandria is located in Northern Virginia and is bordered by the Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh-largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter of the City's square miles have been designed as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for our Forensic Senior Therapist position.What You Should Bring
Thorough knowledge of individual and group processes and of treatment issues related to trauma and a range of mental health concerns; experience working with youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system and families involved in custody and visitation disputes; adaptability and flexibility in working successfully with a variety of court-ordered clients; interest in learning and expanding skills; knowledge of multiple systems and the ability to collaborate with other agencies; the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing, with clients, other professionals and the public. The Opportunity
A Forensic Senior Therapist with the Alexandria Court Service Unit (CSU) is responsible for providing clinical and therapeutic services to youth, adults, and families involved with the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. This position requires a clinician with a wide range of clinical experiences, able to provide services to both youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system, and parents, children, and families navigating custody and visitation disputes.
A Senior Therapist engages fully and actively with youth and families when therapeutic services are court-ordered or recommended, completing assessments, providing individual and family therapy, and approaching treatment recommendations from a trauma-informed lens. Senior Therapists serve as a part of an interdisciplinary team with CSU staff, providing clinical consultation and service recommendations.
Senior Therapists also provide therapeutic services to parents, caregivers, and children involved in custody and visitation disputes. This may include co-parenting assessments, the development of parenting plans, biopsychosocial assessments, therapeutic service assessments, individual therapy, and referrals to other services in the community. Senior Therapists collaborate with multidisciplinary and collateral providers to best meet the needs of their clients and may be called upon to testify in court. The Senior Therapist will also be required to regularly facilitate the Focus on Parenting program for caregivers, a four-hour class with a curriculum required by the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Senior Therapist generally conducts these tasks during regular CSU working hours but may be required to work occasional evenings and weekends to meet client needs and to provide emergency services to clients and to the community, as needed. A Senior Therapist may serve as a clinical supervisor for practicum/intern students with the CSU’s forensic internship program.
The work is performed under the general supervision of the Therapist Supervisor with Alexandria’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Service Unit.Illustrative Examples of Work
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Engage fully and actively with court-involved youth and families, helping them to address feelings, attitudes, behaviors, fears, and anxieties related to the history of legal issues, trauma, mental health, and/or substance abuse problems, and provide therapeutic support.
- Conduct biopsychosocial evaluations, develop treatment plans, and refer to other community services, as needed.
- Collaborate and work within various systems such as Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare, schools, etc.
- Provide a full range of services to families involved in custody and visitation disputes including co-parenting assessments, the development of parenting plans, supportive therapy, psycho-education, and referrals to community resources.
- Communicate effectively in written reports to the Court and verbally in courtroom testimony.
- Facilitate Focus on Parenting education groups for parents and guardians with custody and/or visitation disputes, as ordered by the Court, and may also be required to provide parenting, anger management, or other group classes based on the needs of the Court and the community.
Background and experience in the field of forensic counseling, psychology, and/or social work, including treatment methods used in cases of mental health disorders (listed in the DSM-5-TR), delinquency, substance use, trauma, co-parenting/custodial issues; ability to apply professional methods and practices; ability to work successfully with youth and families to aid them in the constructive use of their own capabilities; ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.About the Department
The Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court Service Unit is made up of a dedicated team of professionals working to support the strategic direction of City and State governments through the commitment to excellence in Public Safety by providing effective prevention and intervention programs and services that improve the lives of youth, strengthening both families and communities. Minimum & Additional Requirements
Possession of master’s degree in Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology, Education or related field; licensed or license-eligible in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If license eligible, the employee must obtain Virginia licensure at the first available opportunity, but no later than one year after appointment; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. At least two years of post-graduate work experience in providing direct clinical services to clients having one or more substance abuse, psychiatric or emotional disorders; post-graduate work providing direct treatment services with clients who have legal, substance abuse, psychiatric and emotional disorders; providing family therapy; implementing evidence-based practices with adolescents, particularly trauma-related. Preferred Qualifications
Bilingual (English-Spanish or English-Amharic) skills are preferred in order to meet service needs. Employees must possess a valid driver's license issued by the state of residence; licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or Clinical Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time of appointment; two or more years of the following experience: post-graduate work providing direct treatment services with school-age clients who have legal, substance abuse, psychiatric and emotional disorders; providing family therapy; implementing evidence-based practices with adolescents, particularly trauma-related; excellent computer/word processing skills; basic knowledge of the juvenile court system; experience with families involved in custody and visitation disputes.