Program Overview

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | About Us

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Program Overview


The Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR), founded by William Healey in 1909, was the first institution in the world devoted solely to the study and treatment of mental health and illness in children and adolescents. IJR has a long and distinguished history of commitment to excellence in child and adolescent psychiatry research, clinical care and education. Read more about the history of IJR here: Institute for Juvenile Research. Since 1990, IJR has been part of the University of Illinois of Chicago Department of Psychiatry. UIC/IJR now constitutes the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The head of IJR is Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD, the chief of the child psychiatry division is Mathias Lillig, MD, and the head of the Department is Anand Kumar, MD. The core of our program is an outstanding and dedicated faculty and staff who exemplify the UIHealth values of compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence.


Mission and Values

Our dual mission is to provide high-quality education to prospective child psychiatrists while also providing high-quality mental health services to the youth and family in the communities surrounding IJR through outstanding clinical care, education, research, and social responsibility.   

Our training environment will be a supportive, inclusive environment that is patient-centered and meets the needs of our community.   

Our graduates will be able to successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape of childhood mental health and advanced technology while contributing to the field through education, ongoing practice improvement, research, and advocacy.   In doing so, we will be better able to meet the diverse mental health needs across systems of care for the youth and families in our communities.  

We aim to achieve the values of our institution: Inclusion, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence (ICARE).


Education Objectives

The program's main goal is to engage with our fellows in education as they become the child and adolescent psychiatrists of this generation. Our field is an evolving science in

which the process of acquiring, evaluating, integrating, and applying knowledge is a life-skill that, once acquired in training, becomes a part of our graduates' professional identities. At the completion of their training, our fellows will be competent child and adolescent psychiatrists who can skillfully apply both the science and the art of medicine. They will acknowledge and respect the cultural heritage of a variety of patient populations, with special emphasis on IJR's longstanding commitment to public psychiatry and research.

The core of the CAP psychiatry fellowship is two years of supervised clinical work with infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents along with their families, schools, and communities. UIC/IJR is a core training site for child and adolescent psychiatry fellows, psychology interns, externs, and postdoctoral fellows, advance practice nursing students, and social work interns. Educational activities are thoughtfully planned and integrated to provide in-depth training across professions in an interprofessional environment. Fellows work within the hospitals and clinics at UIH in a collaborative manner as well. The outpatient clinic’s subspecialty model allows for in-depth training on the many facets of child mental health assessment and treatment. UIC/IJR also provides consultation services to mental health facilities throughout the state, including the Department of Children and Family Services. A collegial, supportive atmosphere is highly valued, and we actively seek fellows and faculty who will continue in this tradition. The fully accredited child and adolescent psychiatry training program currently accepts three fellows in each year of training for a total of six fellows.


First Year
During the first year of training, CAP fellows gain basic skills in assessment, treatment planning and in the broad range of inpatient and outpatient treatment modalities. With supervision, fellows are consultants in multiple settings, such as inpatient and outpatient pediatrics. They also have two inpatient experiences: one on-site within a longer-term, DCFS-sponsored unit for adolescents and the other off-site with a diverse child and adolescent patient population at Hartgrove Hospital. The first year is a period of transition between the general residency and specialization. Mentorship and education activities focus on making this transition successful and promoting understanding of working with children and families.


Second Year
In the second year, child and adolescent fellows' knowledge and skills are further consolidated as they are further integrated into the outpatient clinics of Colbeth Clinic. They have opportunities to work off-site in different treatment settings and models of care including school settings and partial hospitalization programs. They have the opportunity to provide consultation services, advance their psychotherapy and psychopharmacology skills, and further develop their knowledge of research methods and areas of special interest. This year also focuses on the upcoming transition into clinical practice and/or further academic pursuits.