The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University announces Summer Treatment Program Counselor positions for 2018. The Summer Treatment Program (STP) provides services to children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, learning problems, and related behavior problems. The program provides treatment tailored to children’s individual behavioral and learning difficulties. Counselors will work in the STP-PreK, for children in preschool or entering Kindergarten, or the STP-E, for children ages 6-12 in elementary school. Opportunities are also available for applicants interested in working with children at-risk for pediatric obesity through the Healthy-Lifestyle Intervention Program (HIP). The Center for Children and Families is directed by William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Florida International University. Paulo Graziano, Ph.D., and Katie Hart, Ph.D., are the Program Directors for the STP-PreK, and Erika Coles, Ph.D., is the Program Director for the STP-E.
The dates of employment for the Counselor position are Monday, June 4, 2018 through Saturday, August 11, 2018. Counselor hours of employment are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, August 11. 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.
In each of the programs, 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. Children participate in a variety of classroom-based and recreational activities. Staff members implement an extensive behavior modification treatment program during all program activities. The behavior modification 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 faculty and staff members and will receive regular feedback about their performance. A brief description of daily activities for each program follows:
- Counselors in the STP-PreK 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, 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. Within the STP-PreK, we serve children with and at-risk for ADHD and related learning problems and disruptive behavior disorders. Sports experience or teaching experience is not a requirement for the STP-PreK program.
- Counselors in the HIP will assist in the following each day: (1) leading and/or supporting daily structured and non-structured physical activities; (2) supporting large- and small-group literacy and academic development; (3) supporting daily social skills and emotional development activities; (4) supporting daily nutritional activities; and (5) implementation of behavioral treatment program and tracking daily behavioral progress for assigned cases. Sports and active exercise experience is a requirement.
- Counselors in the STP-E deliver the treatment components during daily sports-based recreational periods in which children practice and play soccer, teeball/softball, and basketball. Counselors plan and conduct skill drills to address children’s specific skill deficits, provide appropriate coaching, assess children’s knowledge of the game rules and procedures, model appropriate sports skills, and encourage and reinforce appropriate effort, sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork. All counselors are required to be familiar with the rules and fundamentals of each sport and will be expected to model appropriate skill and enthusiasm. Counselors also assist with daily social skills training sessions, conduct problem solving discussions as necessary, and assist with the implementation of daily report cards and individualized treatment programs. In addition, Counselors organize, prepare and lead weekly Fun Friday activities such as video games, water slides, and field day activities that serve as reinforcers for children who met their behavioral goals for the week. Most of the daily activities take place outdoors and counselors are physically active throughout the day. Counselors in the STP-E spend a substantial amount of time coaching and teaching children sports rules and skills. Therefore, previous experience in teaching, refereeing, or coaching children is preferred. Counselors will be required to transport, setup, and breakdown sports equipment used in games, drills, and recess activities.
Prior to the start of employment, Counselors will be required to read the applicable treatment program manual and to be extensively familiar with behavior modification program and rules and procedures for daily activities, including the rules and fundamentals for the sports played in the program and other daily activities. Counselors will be required to memorize, verbatim, information such the operational definitions for the behavior modification system categories, activity rules, rules for classifying behaviors, and other related information. Counselors will need to spend a significant amount of time preparing prior to the start of employment.
During the first two weeks of employment, Counselors will participate in a variety of training activities. Training 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 games, drills, discussions, and time out. On the last day of employment, Counselors will complete rating scales regarding progress children made in the program and children’s response to treatment. In addition, Counselors will prepare and summarize information to be included in children’s final treatment reports.
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 to 2009; and at Florida International University since 2010. 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 has been 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.
Desired qualifications for Counselors include: undergraduate-level study in Psychology, Education, Behavior Analysis, Social Work, or related field; experience working with children or adolescents in settings such as summer camps, after-school programs, sports programs, daycare programs, and educational programs; and experience with activities such as organized sports activities, art, music, dance, theater, journalism, photography, and videography.
Additionally, participation in the STP requires staff members 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. Applicants must be able to meet the above requirements of the position.
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.
Florida International University is a member of the State University System of Florida and is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer.
Applications for STP positions will be accepted beginning in October, 2017. There is no cutoff date for applying. Applications received after all positions have been filled will be placed on a waiting list. Positions are competitive so interested individuals should apply as soon as possible.
For detailed descriptions of each program, and to apply for this position, please visit https://ccf.fiu.edu/opportunities/summer-treatment-program-opportunities-and-training/