Child First Clinician

Bridgeport, CT
Feb 27, 2019


Job Description

To be part of our organization, every employee should understand and share in the YNHHS Vision, support our Mission, and live our Values. These values-integrity, patient-centered, respect, accountability, and compassion - must guide what we do, as individuals and professionals, every day.


Child First is an evidence-based, early childhood intervention that helps very vulnerable families build strong, nurturing relationships that protect and heal young children from the devastating impact of trauma and chronic stress. Most families have experienced multiple challenges, including poverty, violence, depression, substance use, and homelessness.

The Child First Mental Health and Developmental Clinician partners with a Care Coordinator to engage families who are referred to the Child First home-based intervention. Child First?s primary goal is to strengthen the caregiver-child relationship so that it serves both as a protective buffer to unavoidable stress and directly facilitates the child?s emotional, language, and cognitive growth. The Clinician uses trauma-informed CPP, a relationship-based, dyadic, parent-child treatment model, which focuses on the primary attachment relationships of the young child. The Clinician engages with the caregiver in a supportive, reflective, and exploratory manner which, via ?parallel process,? fosters protective, nurturing, and responsive parenting from the caregiver. The Clinician?s therapeutic intervention focuses on: 1) helping caregivers understand typical developmental challenges and expectations; 2) increasing caregivers? ability to reflect on the meaning and feelings motivating a child?s behavior; 3) promoting a safe and nurturing caregiver-child relationship; 4) supporting caregivers? problem solving; and 5) helping caregivers understand the psychodynamic relationship between parental feelings, history, and the caregiver response to the child. The Clinician also provides consultation to teachers in early care and education settings, as needed.

  • 1. Engage with the Child First family and the Care Coordinator in the collaborative family assessment process (i.e., gather information from interviews, observations of interactions and play, reviewed records, collateral sources, and standardized measures).
  • 2. Use all available information to develop a thoughtful, well-integrated clinical formulation and Child and Family Plan of Care, in partnership with the Care Coordinator and family.
  • 3. Provide Child First home-based psychotherapeutic intervention with young children and their caregivers using relational, dyadic psychotherapy (CPP) and other modalities.
  • 4. Help the caregiver gain insight regarding personal history (including trauma history), feelings for the child, and current parenting practices.
  • 5. Avert crisis situations by assisting the family in times of urgent need (e.g., risk of harm to child or caregiver, pending child removal), in consultation with the Care Coordinator and Clinical Director.
  • 6. Provide mental health and developmental assessment and consultation within early care and education settings and to other early childhood providers.
  • 7. Embrace use of videotaping to enhance both therapeutic work with families and reflective supervision.
  • 8. Engage in weekly individual, Team, and group reflective clinical supervision with the Clinical Director.
  • 9. Engage actively in all aspects of the Child First Learning Collaborative, including in-person trainings, distance learning curriculum, and specialty trainings.
  • 10. Keep all appropriate documentation for clinical accountability and reimbursement.
  • 11. Participate in other clinical and administrative activities as assigned.

    Other information:

    Licensed mental health provider such as LCSW, LMFT, or licensed clinical psychologist is preferred. If unlicensed at hire, employee must have a Masters level degree such as MSW, MFT, MA or MS, and obtain clinical licensure within 1 year of their hire date. (Note: The LMSW does not qualify for clinical licensure.)

    Experience working psychotherapeutically with culturally diverse children and families, including parent-child therapeutic work and play therapy with very young children (0-5 years), for a minimum of three years. Past CPP training is highly valued.
    Knowledge of relationship-based, psychodynamic intervention and early child development; parent-child relationships and attachment theory; effects of trauma and environmental risks on early childhood brain development, especially violence exposure, maternal depression, and substance abuse; and community-level risk factors (e.g., poverty, homelessness).
    Experience providing mental health assessment and consultation to early care and education sites.
    Knowledge and experience working with adults with mental health, substance use, and cognitive challenges.
    Experience providing intervention within diverse home and community settings.

    Licensed mental health provider such as LCSW, LMFT, or licensed clinical psychologist is preferred. If unlicensed at hire, employee must have a Masters level degree such as MSW, MFT, MA or MS, and obtain clinical licensure within 1 year of their hire date. (Note: The LMSW does not qualify for clinical licensure.)

    Openness to learning, capacity for self-reflection, and eagerness to participate in reflective clinical supervision.
    Ability to speak a second language (Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, other), highly valued.
    Strong commitment to the vision, mission, and values of Child First Greater Bridgeport: Client-Centered, Acceptance, Compassion, Hope, Humility, Innovation & Creativity, Integrity, Professionalism, and Respect.
    Highly organized, self-motivated, reliable, and flexible.
    Able to work successfully as part of a team.
    Able to communicate well verbally and in writing.
    Comfortable with computers and experienced with Word and Excel and web-based applications including electronic client records.

    Reports to the Child First Clinical Director.

    Willingness to work flexible, non-traditional hours when necessary to meet the needs of families. Available to work a minimum of one evening a week to accommodate a home visit starting no earlier than 5:30 pm.
    Valid driver?s license and use of personal vehicle with appropriate insurance.
    Ability to conduct home visits including but not limited to walking, climbing stairs, standing, sitting (in chairs and on the floor), bending, and carrying no more than 25 lbs.

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    Job Info

    Job: 4983

    Department: Child First
    Category: Behav Hlt/soc Work
    Status: Full Time
    Shift: DAY/EVENING
    Hours: 40.00