Social Work Training


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Training in Clinical Child and Family Social Work


The Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) / Colbeth Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic offers exceptional training in child and family mental health with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. Students are prepared for a career in clinical social work with children, adolescents and their families in a multidisciplinary context, while attending to larger systems of care and striving for cultural competence. Students have opportunities to do individual, family and group interventions with children, adolescents, and their families. Collateral work with child welfare, and schools is encouraged. The children and families are predominantly low-income, inner city, racial/ethnic minority children and families. Clients live across the Chicago metropolitan area and are self-referred or referred by schools and pediatricians. Trainees receive intensive supervision and participate in brief seminars and other learning opportunities offered by the Department of Psychiatry.



  • Apply a strengths-based approach in understanding risk and protective factors when assessing and intervening with children and families.
  • Implement culturally-sensitive, evidence based treatments specific to mental health problems of inner-city children, adolescents, and their families.
  • Understand the impact of various systems on children and to intervene with those systems (i.e. families, schools, DCFS, community) on behalf of the child.
  • Function as an active and engaged member of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Understand and use knowledge of how our personal views and personality traits affect our relationships with clients and with co-workers.



Trainees are assigned to a multi-disciplinary team in the Colbeth Child & Adolescent Psychiatry outpatient clinic.  Within these teams, trainees conduct mental health assessments, develop treatment plans, and build their clinical caseloads. Trainees will practice with 7-10 families at any given time during the 10 month placement. 

Interventions include family systems, individual, and group work with an emphasis on evidence-based practices.  Collateral work with child welfare agencies and schools is strongly encouraged. Students are assigned a primary supervisor in their clinic and participate in weekly individual and bi-weekly group supervision with other social work trainees.  Students are required to videotape at least three client sessions for review with a supervisor and have the opportunity for live supervision. 

Start date is July 1 for three days per week (typically Monday, Wednesday, Friday) continuing through early May.  Small stipends are available for July and August. 

Most appointments are scheduled after school or parent’s work, between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; evening hours are required. 

Access to a car is not required but may be useful for periodic school or home visits.