Under the direction of the Director of Consultation Programs, the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for Early Learning Programs ([Head Start/Early Head Start/ PFA/ PI) will provide ongoing, relationship-based infant mental health consultation, technical assistance, brief crisis counseling, advocacy (related to IFSP or IEP conferences), professional development, referrals to community based services, and referral follow-up for Head Start, Early Head Start, Preschool for All, and Prevention Initiative program staff in the south suburbs of Cook County. The ECMHC will provide support and services to teachers, program administrative staff, school district administrators and parents. The ECMHC will work proactively to educate, promote, and advance the understanding of childrens social emotional development and its relationship to learning and cognition, as well support for children and families and their mental health needs.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Provide on-going infant mental health consultation and technical assistance through an embedded model for Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-School for All (PFA), and Prevention Initiative (PI) sites.
2. Focus of consultation
a) Support educators and administrators, targeted to increase knowledge, build competency, capacity, and sustainability to support childrens social emotional development. Working with families in an effort to inform, support, educate, and provide viable resources.
b) Establish and maintain supportive relationships with early childhood teachers, directors, and support staff.
c) Working in partnership with teachers, administrators to assess consultation needs (child-focused, program-focused, and/or classroom-focused); secure consultation agreements, collaborate on the development and planning of consultative plans, address targeted needs, goals, and intended outcomes for educators/program staff regarding childrens social-emotional needs, development and working with families.
d) Conduct planning and goal setting in collaboration with administrators and teachers.
e) Facilitate professional development trainings which are applicable and align with the goals of consultation.
g) Provide support and advocacy during the IFSP/IEP process.
3. Facilitate referrals as needed, assist providers and families with linkage to appropriate resourcessuch as Early Intervention, school-based special education and enrichment programs, mental health agencies/providers.
4. Assist in the gathering of data, recording and preparation of reports as required by IAFC and funding agencies.
5. Provide consistent and regular parent support services including, however not limited to:
Parent Orientation (to Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation & services)
Monthly parent cafes
Crisis counseling sessions (3 to 4 sessions) then parents are referred to external agencies for continued sessions/services or resources.
Parent psycho-educative groups (Training)
6. Facilitate monthly reflective groups for home visitors. Using the Blue Skies model, the ECMHC will facilitate small group discussions and reflective sessions monthly with home visitors. Topics will vary based on the needs of the staff and the focus will be on building the reflective capacity of the home visitor as well as the parent.
9. Attend bi-monthly reflective individual supervision and reflective group supervision, and monthly reflective group learning sessions
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:
Masters degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, Early Childhood Development or a related field.
Minimum of five years of direct practice providing therapeutic services to children 0-5 and/or families with young children.
Minimum of three years of experience facilitating groups for parents.
Minimum of three years of experience providing consultation services in either Head Start/Early Head Start, Preschool for All, and/or Program Initiative settings.
Knowledge of child development, understanding of family dynamics and the importance of child-caregiver and family-caregiver relationships.
Valid drivers license, access to reliable personal transportation with insurance.
This is a full-time position with benefits. Most hours will be during the day but candidates must also have scheduling flexibility.
Location: Homewood, IL
Illinois Action for Children is EEO/M/F/D/V Employer.