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Trauma Informed, Strength Based Psychotherapy Training

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What We Do:

We provide clients 0-25 years of age with individual, group, family, and dyadic therapy in schools, shelters, family resource centers, supportive housing, and transitional housing.  We are community based therapists, and also have three therapy rooms in our office for families with ability to attend there.


Who We Serve:

HCN works with diverse populations.  Many of our clients are of low socio-economic status.  We provide services to marginalized and at-risk children, youth, and families.  Clients may or may not be homeless, but all need additional support therapeutically.  Clients may be referred for behavioral difficulties in school, family transitions, emotional support after a trauma, and a variety of other emotional and behavioral needs.  Frequent presenting behaviors include anxiety, trauma, and depression. Our clients served via our intern program are part of the MediCal system.


What You’ll Do As An Intern Trainee:

Interns are vital players on our team of mental health professionals.  Interns provide children and families with individual, group, family, and dyadic therapy through our MediCal-funded programming.  Interns typically carry a caseload of approximately six clients and are present approximately two to three days a week.  Schedules are dependent on school requirements, scheduling, and client needs.  The intern year begins with a three week orientation and training process which includes learning CANS assessment, documentation, child abuse reporting, and different approaches to play therapy.  Throughout the remainder of the year, weekly trainings are held on Tuesday mornings from 9:30am-11am with staff members.  Once a month interns will have a training concentrated on their process.  This training will include theoretical perspectives including attachment-based psychotherapy, understanding group work, behavioral interventions in school settings, common topics present in session such as trauma and grief, play therapy and drama therapy experiential trainings, and how to maintain the client relationship at each stage of therapy.  Interns will be expected to participate in a case presentation in the second half of the internship, which will be supported and guided by supervisors on site to help clinicians articulate client needs and strengths.  Assigned readings may be associated with a topic for the intern training for deepening your clinical understanding as it relates to working with children and families.

How This Internship Can Benefit Your Career?

This internship will prepare you for a position in the field of social work and supportive services.  You’ll learn hands-on skills that will make you marketable for potential jobs, including how to navigate MediCal documentation, how to complete an assessment based on the needs and strengths of a client (or CANS), and how to work in a multi-disciplinary model collaborating with other service professionals and important figures in the clients’ lives.  You’ll develop a more thorough understanding of theory within the therapeutic relationship and how it can benefit your clients, and feel more confident as a clinician.

Intern Benefits:

Stipends are provided for therapy supplies such as art materials or supplies therapeutically relevant to a client’s progress on treatment goals.  Stipends are also provided for transportation between sites.


Important Dates and Information:

Internship year begins 8/27/19 and ends on 8/25/20.  Your intern year will be based on school requirements, scheduling, and intern needs.  This could mean your intern year ends in the spring with your school year, dependent upon your school.  Interns are expected to maintain a caseload of at least six clients, which typically means about two to three days a week..  Mandatory training is Tuesday 9:30am-11am.  Group Supervision onsite is optional for interns, and is offered Friday 12:30pm-2:30pm.  Individual supervision is scheduled based on your availability.  We are accepting approximately 10-12 masters level interns in practicum or post-graduation, and 1 BASW intern.


To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and reference to be considered for internship placement to:

Homeless Children’s Network
c/o Bonnie Harrison
3450 3rd St. Unit 1C
San Francisco, CA 94124

My time with the Homeless Children’s Network has proved to be an invaluable experience.  HCN is welcoming and supportive of new learns from its very foundation.  HCN provides a learning environment for individuals whom are seeking a conducive setting to build their own professional identity as well as gaining practical experience in the field of Mental Health.

My internship has offered me a great outlook on the workings of providing mental health services to a community setting.  HCN offered the training I needed to meet the requirements for a future school-based counseling career.  In my internship I gained skills in counseling, navigating the Medi-Cal and other billing processes, progress note formatting through the AVATAR system, planning and implementing interventions, case management, as well as utilizing best practices for time management.

HCN also provided insight into appropriate practices of diverse cultural competency in therapy.  In addition to improving my professional skills, one of the aspects I appreciated most was the development of my interpersonal skills, working and interacting with individuals from many different backgrounds.

With full support from HCN staff, I gained self-assurance with added knowledge to be both a successful therapist and a positive presence.  This internship has helped me gain self-confidence and skills as I was provided an opportunity to apply my education to practice.

It was truly an incredible experience.

Kayla, former masters level intern

My name is Jeanine and I am a licensed marriage and family therapist.  I was an intern for Homeless Children’s Network from August 2012 to August 2013.  As an intern for HCN, I received weekly training that included speakers from outside agencies, and training on completing intakes, assessments, documentation, and treatment plans.  Supervision was helpful and thorough.

My time at HCN prepared me to work with clients and families, and to collaborate with teachers, other providers, and my co-workers and supervisors.  I recommend Homeless Children’s Network as an agency that will prepare you for your future as a marriage and family therapist or social worker.

Jeanine, former masters level intern

My internship at HCN has given me the practical skills I needed after graduate school.  Classes in theory and modality have shaped my beginning work as a therapist, but HCN filled in the gaps of my training in application.  I learned clinical, business, and professional interpersonal relationship skills.

Professionally, I learned essential skills for community mental health in today’s field, like MediCal billing and the EPSDT program.  I learned how to build relationships with community partners like social workers, school employees, and family members.  I learned information multi-dimensionally regarding work in the field, including the business side of a non-profit environment as well as how to work with a team in a small work environment.

In addition to these skills, I grew professionally as a clinician.  I learned to articulate the work I was doing daily with my clients to meet the MediCal billing needs, discover appropriate interventions for each clinet, and believe in my skills as a growing clinician.  It was a thrilling feeling to realize therapy can be fun, too!

I’ve never been in a more supportive environment in the field.  My fellow clinicians and supervisory staff were there to help frame the work, as well as to remind me of my own experience.  Self-care was a consistent part of our conversations.  Different perspectives and suggestions were talked about openly and welcomed.

I would highly recommend this internship for anyone wishing to work with children in a community mental health setting.  This internship is the reason I discovered my abilities of working with children, and gave me the skills I needed to successfully find a job immediately after finishing my internship here.  I’m forever grateful for my experience at HCN, and will carry that experience in my work as a clinician for the rest of my career.  Thank you, HCN!

Kim, former post graduate intern

My name is Grace and I am a first year student in the MSW program at San Jose State University. During the 2014-2015 school year, I was a BASW intern at the Homeless Children’s Network. In the beginning, I was sure that after I graduated, I would work with a different population than what this agency serves. However, once I finished my practicum, I had a change of heart. I greatly enjoyed my time with HCN and knew that I wanted to continue working with the same population.

I learned so much during my time with this wonderful agency. I gained experience in a variety of skills ranging from case management to coordinating trainings to play/art therapy techniques. I also feel that I am much more knowledgeable in what San Francisco offers and better prepared to serve my clients. I work with adults in my current practicum, but I find myself being able to apply most of the skills and techniques that I learned from HCN. I can honestly say, that if it wasn’t for this agency, I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far in my career.

I appreciate the whole staff because they were all very supportive and willing to help us interns in whatever we may have needed. I especially appreciate the clinical supervisor, Lyora. I learned so much from her and I am thankful for the time that she dedicated to us interns. HCN helped me gain comprehensive knowledge, the confidence, and the experience necessary to enter the social work field. If anyone has an interest in behavioral health, it is extremely valuable to his or her future career to intern at the Homeless Children’s Network.

Grace, former BASW intern

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