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Trauma Informed, Strength Based Psychotherapy Training

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What We Are

HCN is a 501c non-profit organization that provides comprehensive consultation support, mental
health services, case management,
family education and support services, violence prevention
services, community leadership, and advocacy training to currently or formerly affected by
houselessness children, youth, and families.  Our programming includes mental health therapy, early childhood mental health consultation, case management, and youth leadership.


Our Mission: 

To decrease the trauma of houselessness and domestic violence for children, youth and families,
empower families for s
elf-advocacy and change; and increase efficacy of continuity of care
amongst service providers to better meet clients’ needs. Every part of our work is intended to
end the cycle of houseles
sness and the epidemic of poverty through support, advocacy, and
social change.

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. Our clients in our internship
program are part of the MediCal system, and will be referred through the social work at the elementary school site assigned to the trainee/intern. 


Our Clinical & Medical Programs:

We provide clients 0-18 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 therapy rooms in our two home offices.


What You’ll Do As An Intern Trainee:

Trainees are significant members of our team of mental health professionals. Interns provide
children and families with individual, family, and dyadic therapy through our MediCal-funded
programming. Interns are assigned one elementary school in San Francisco to provide these
services and collaborate closely with school staff. Intern caseloads vary dependent on their
master’s program requirements. First year students carry a caseload of approximately 4-5 clients
and second year students carry a caseload of approximately 7-8 clients. Trainees
 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 two
 week orientation and training
process which includes learning CANS assessment, documentation, child abuse reporting, and
various clinical trainings. Throughout the remainder of the year, bi-weekly trainings are held on
Tuesday mornings from 9:30am-11am with staff members. Once a month interns will have a
clinical training concentrated on their skill development. 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.

MA’AT EPSDT Interns:

If you identify as Black or part of the African -Descended community you will be joining our
MA’AT EPSDT program. Our Ma'at EPSDT program provides mental health services to children
0-18 who live or go to school in San Francisco and identify as members of the
Black/African-Descended community. Clinicians in this program also identify as members of the
Black/African-descended community and work specifically in Ma'at to provide
culturally-appropriate care to individuals who often cannot get such services in other systems.
Afro-centric, community-based values and perspectives are central to the way clinicians in the
Ma'at program view and address a client's barriers and difficulties.

How This Internship Can Benefit Your Career?

This internship will prepare you for a position in the field of mental health 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:

Two stipends of $550.00 are provided throughout the academic year (one per semester
completion). Financial support is available for therapy supplies such as art materials or
supplies therapeutically relevant to a client’s progress on treatment goals. Laptops are provided
to support documentation work off-site. Please refer to the table below for stipend information. 










Important Dates and Information:

The internship year begins and ends with the SFUSD school year (August-June).
Administrative documentation will be requested to be completed at the end of the summer,
before orientation begins. Your intern year will be based on school requirements, scheduling,
and intern needs. First year students carry a caseload of approximately 4-5 clients and second
year students carry a caseload of approximately 7-8 clients. Mandatory trainings are held on
Tuesday mornings from 9:30am-11am. Group Supervision is provided every week for two hours.
Individual supervision is scheduled based on your availability.


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

Candace Kavanagh LMFT 131131
Clinical Training Program Manager
Homeless Children’s Network

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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 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

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

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