January 27, 2014

Center for Children and Families Summer Treatment Program 2014 Summer Counselor Internship Positions

Center for Children and Families Summer Treatment Program

2014 Summer Counselor Internship Positions

The Center for Children and Families (CCF) at Florida International University announces internship positions for Summer Treatment Program counselors. Counselors will work in one of three related programs, for children in preschool or entering Kindergarten (STP-PK), children ages 6-12 in elementary school (STP-E), or adolescents in middle and high school (STP-A).  Counselors will work with children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, learning problems, or other behavior problems. The program provides treatment tailored to children's individual behavioral and learning difficulties. The STP is directed by William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Florida International University (FIU) and the Director of the CCF. 

Counselors will be needed from June 5, 2014 through August 9, 2014. Counselor hours of employment are from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and on three Saturdays (June 7June 14, and August 9). In addition, counselors continue to work with the children until 8:30 PM one evening each week while parents participate in weekly parent training groups. Counselors are paid a salary of $4,000 for the summer. In addition, current students may be able to arrange for academic course credit through their university departments. 

During the program, children and counselors are assigned to groups that remain constant for the duration of the program. Each group consists of four or five counselors and 10 to 15 children of similar age. Counselors implement an extensive behavior modification treatment program during age-appropriate activities. In addition, children participate in academic classroom activities that are staffed by teachers and classroom aides. The program includes feedback and associated consequences for positive and negative behaviors, daily and weekly rewards for appropriate behavior, social praise and attention, appropriate commands, and age-appropriate removal from positive reinforcement. Counselors will also be responsible for recording, tracking, and entering daily records of children’s behavior and response to the treatment. Counselors will work under the supervision of experienced staff members and will receive regular feedback about their performance. Detailed descriptions for each program follow. 

Counselors in the STP-PreK (children ages 4-6) deliver the treatment components within both classroom and recreational contexts. Counselors will assist in the following each day: (1) leading an academic center (i.e., English/Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, Writing); (2) leading a sport (i.e., soccer, kickball, teeball); (3) delivery of treatment components during large group instruction periods; (4) assisting in the delivery of an evidence-based reading intervention; and (5) tracking the daily behavioral progress for assigned cases. Candidates who have experience working/volunteering with young children, tutoring, coaching sports or leading extracurricular activities (e.g., dance, music, art) are strongly preferred. Sports or teaching experience is not a requirement. 

Counselors in the STP-E deliver the treatment components during three daily sports-based recreational periods in which children practice and play soccer, teeball/softball, and basketball. Counselors also carry out daily social skills training sessions, participate in an art classroom led by an art teacher, and at some sites participate in daily swimming activities. These activities take place outdoors and counselors will be physically active throughout the day. Counselors also prepare and lead weekly Fun Friday activities (e.g., movies, water activities, carnivals, parties) that serve as reinforcers to children who behaved appropriately during the week. During the recreational activities, counselors will act as coaches and referees of the games and are required to be familiar with the rules and fundamentals of each sport. Counselors in each group will be named as Sport Leaders for each sport and will plan and implement skill drills to address children’s specific deficits and to improve children’s skills in each sport. Previous experience in education, refereeing, or coaching children is preferred. 

Counselors in the STP-A will assist in the following each day: (1) leading a 50-minute elective period (e.g., art, dance, videography, journalism, Frisbee golf) designed to teach basic skills in available extra-curricular activities during the school year, (2) orchestrating a junior-achievement style student government meeting focused on fundraising and service projects; (3) delivering individual organization skills training interventions to adolescents; (4) implementing a behavioral homework intervention to students during a daily study hall, (5) supervising adolescents for 1 to 3 hours daily in a job-training program (e.g., managing sports equipment, helping with younger children, recording sports statistics, facilities management, keeping bulletin boards up to date), and (6) participating in daily sports skills (middle school only) and game (all adolescents) periods in age-appropriate sports such as soccer, softball, flag football, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, or volleyball. Counselors in the STP-A will model appropriate skills and will be expected to know or learn the fundamentals of each sport played in the STP-A. They will not be required to teach sports as much as counselors in the STP-E, but will need to exhibit appropriate skill and enthusiasm. 

All counselors will take part in a 10-day training session. Counselors will be required to read the STP manual and be extensively familiar with assigned content prior to the start of the training session. The training session will consist of lectures, slide and video presentations, testing, and daily active role-plays during which staff members will act as counselors and children during activities such as sports. 

Additionally, participation in the STP requires staff to ensure the safety, well-being and treatment of children and adolescents with mental health, learning, attention and behavior problems.  Staff must be able to visually scan the environment, effectively attend to and hear verbal exchanges between children, provide neutral, corrective feedback on children’s misbehavior (which can include aggression), provide a consistent, warm, positive climate for children, and actively engage in sports and physical activity. Counselors must be able to meet the above requirements of the position. 

The Summer Treatment Program has been conducted at Florida State University from 1980 to 1986; at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic from 1987 to 1996; at the University at Buffalo from 1997-2009; and at Florida International University from 2010-present.  The STP was named as a Model Program for Service Delivery for Child and Family Mental Health by the Section on Clinical Child Psychology and Division of Child, Youth, and Family Services of the American Psychological Association.  The STP has also been used in clinical trials conducted under the auspices of the National Institute of Mental Health, has been named a Model Program in Child and Family Mental Health by the American Psychological Association and SAMHSA, and has been named a program of the year by CHADD, the national parent advocacy group for children with ADHD.  The STP is listed in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Experience in the STP may be helpful to prepare students for further study or employment in the fields of education, mental health, physical education, pediatrics, psychiatry, recreational therapy, behavior analysis, social work, counseling, and related areas. Staff members have uniformly reported the experience to be the most demanding but also the most rewarding clinical experience of their careers.  Applications are competitive; therefore, interested individuals should apply as soon as possible. 

All finalists must clear a Criminal Background Check initiated by the Division of Human Resources at FIU before an offer of employment will be made. All finalists must be digitally fingerprinted and cleared by the FIU Division of Human Resource before beginning assignment. 

Employees placed on Temporary Appointments are not eligible to participate in employee benefit programs (i.e., paid leave, health insurances, etc.) but are enrolled in the FICA Alternative plan. 

To apply for this position, please visit http://ccf.fiu.edu/employment/stp

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. 

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