Senior Therapist, Early Childhood Wellness Program

Alexandria, VA
$62,657.92 - $85,864.74 Annually
Jul 03, 2019
Jul 17, 2019
Full Time
Senior Therapist
Early Childhood Wellness Program

The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of 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 square miles in the city have been designated 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 Senior Therapist position.

An Overview
The Senior Therapist for the Preschool Prevention Team provides mental health prevention and early intervention services to support the healthy social and emotional development of children birth to age five across child serving systems. The Senior Therapist focuses on early identification of concerns through clinical assessments and the provision of mental health consultation services to caregivers (e.g. parents, early care and education providers) regarding young children's social-emotional, relational, behavioral health and development. The Senior Therapist provides infant and early childhood mental health consultation services in a multi-level intervention approach both child and family centered as well as program centered. (e.g. Early care and education settings, programs serving children birth to age five and their families).

The Senior Therapist collaboratively develops child centered support plans and coordinates plans with families, caregivers, teachers and administrators for the purpose of consistent implementation. The Senior Therapist supports the implementation of Al's Pals, a SAMHSA evidenced-based social emotional curriculum for preschool children; monitors and supports the integration of key concepts into the daily operation of the classroom.

Services may be provided in a variety of community settings to include natural environments (clinic, preschool, home). The Senior Therapist develops and conducts workshops for preschool staff and parents on a variety of early childhood mental health topics, development of attachment, parenting and emotional wellness. The Senior Therapist assists families to access community resources and services as needed. Families and children served may present with developmental delays and disabilities, complex trauma, involvement with social services and foster care. The Senior Therapist provides services to a culturally and ethnically diverse population within the City of Alexandria, many of these families are from Spanish speaking countries, Africa, and from the Middle East.

What You Should Bring
The ideal candidate should have strong knowledge of infant and early childhood typical and a typical development as well as effective intervention and prevention strategies for children aged birth to five and their parents; Strong knowledge of caregiver-child attachment and effective therapeutic modalities; Ability to engage early care and education providers, preschool staff, young children and their families and the ability to collaborate effectively with other agencies; Ability to assess behavioral and emotional problems to develop an effective support plan; Training and consultation skills and experience in working with young children and their families and caregivers; Excellent ability to communicate clearly and effectively, orally and in writing, with other professionals and with the general public; Ability to work effectively as part of a team, demonstrating flexibility and the ability to evaluate fluctuating levels of need.

The Opportunity
  • Provides infant and early childhood mental health consultation and coaching to families with children birth to age five receiving services through the Parent Infant Education Program and ACPS Child Find, special education services.
  • Conducts clinical observation and assessment of preschool children and develops strategies for supporting functioning;
  • Identifies functional and dysfunctional aspects of the child's behavior within the context of individual, family and environment processes;
  • Develops and adjusts behavioral support plans based on the children's strengths and needs and caregiver preferences;
  • Provides mental health consultation services to at-risk families with young children receiving services through DCHS child welfare programs;
  • Maintains a caseload of clients receiving early intervention services; child and family therapy services which are provided in home, preschool, and/or clinical settings to focus on child-centered goals identified in assessment, with overall goal of strengthening caregiver/child relationship.
  • Maintains communication with referring agencies in order to coordinate behavioral support plan;
  • Conducts early childhood development presentations to preschools, parent groups and other organizations/groups that work with young children;
  • Prepares a variety of written reports including behavior action plans, case notes, quarterly updates, and reports to referral agencies;
  • Refers children and their parents to outpatient programs and/or agencies which provide supplemental services;
  • Provides crisis intervention to young children and their parents;
  • Attends staff meetings, relevant training sessions and conferences;
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

About the Department
The Center for Children and Families (CCF) provides programs and services for Behavioral Health, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Child Welfare & Child Protective Services, Early Childhood and Youth Development. CCF provides compassionate, collaborative and effective person and family-centered services based on best practices. Our teams support self-determination, safety, recovery and resiliency for Alexandria children and all residents affected by abuse, neglect, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse disorders.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Possession of Master's degree in Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology, Education or related field; at least two years of post-graduate work experience in providing direct clinical services to consumers having one or more substance abuse, psychiatric, and emotional disorders; and licensure or license eligible (has completed all required education and supervision as required by applicable board) as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP) or Clinical Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time of appointment; 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. Must have a valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications

At least 2 years of experience providing mental health counseling services to diverse populations of young children, age 0 - 5, and their families; Must be certified by the State Lead Agency as an Early Intervention Professional or Early Intervention Specialist; Fluent and Bilingual in both English and Spanish.


This position requires the successful completion of pre-employment background checks including but not limited to: FBI/Federal Records Check; VA State Child Abuse/Neglect Registry; Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Database; education/certifications; and driver's license.

Schedule: Monday through Friday with a flexible schedule and availability for two evenings a week.

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