VOLUNTEER CLINICIAN

 

The heart of the organization, Volunteer Clinicians commit to taking on one client—pro bono—for as long as it takes.  Typically, they provide one hour of therapy per week with as much consistency in day, time, and location as possible.  On average, our clients see their therapist for up to three years, though we have some volunteers who have been seeing their same client for up to 15 years.

Most Clinicians will have an opportunity to join a local consultation group. These groups provide training, networking, and expert consultation regarding this population.  At times, Clinicians may need to hold collateral meetings with various family members, foster parents, or social workers.  We rely on the experience of our volunteers, along with their consultation group leaders, to decide how and when to have collateral meetings. Clinicians have anywhere from weekly to monthly direct contact with their Consultation Group Leader and Clinical Director.

Local chapters also offer events to attend that provide Continuing Education units, training, and networking opportunities. Satellite Volunteer Clinicians (Clinicians not associated with a chapter or a Clinical Director) will, in most cases, have the opportunity to participate in a virtual consultation group and can receive clinical support from the Director of Clinical Programs and the Program Director.

The position of Clinician requires, at a minimum, the following:

  • Licensed as a mental health clinician (Couple & Family Therapist, Professional Counselor, Clinical Social Worker, Psychologists)
    • Psychiatric nurse practitioners and/or psychiatrists may be eligible, if they have relevant psychotherapy training
  • Completed volunteer application and interview with local Clinical Director
  • CV and three professional references
  • Able and willing to participate in a consultation group
  • Committed to completing three Continuing Education units per year through A Home Within throughout their tenure
  • Responds to all communications from Clinical Director and national office within three business days
  • Available to speak with research team for grant funding one time per year, if needed

VOLUNTEER CONSULTATION GROUP LEADER

 

AHW’s consultation group model promotes quality and consistency of care, prevents volunteer burnout, and creates a community of mental health practitioners who are continuously honing their practice. The consultation groups consistently demonstrate the benefits of long-term mental health care for foster youth.

Volunteer Consultation Group Leaders are responsible for leading and maintaining regular group meetings where Clinicians can get support around their cases. Typically, Consultation Group Leaders are seasoned Clinicians who have deep knowledge of trauma and the foster care population. Consultation Group Leaders and group members together determine the length and frequency of their group.  Consultation groups can meet in person or through video conference.

Consultation Group Leaders are expected to communicate with AHW staff and their local Clinical Director(s) as often as needed to provide updates on clinical issues, terminations, or other matters.

Requirements to serve as an AHW Consultation Group Leader include:

  • Licensed as a mental health clinician
  • Completed volunteer application and met with local Clinical Director(s)
  • CV and three professional references
  • Able and committed to holding a consultation group of up to six people at least once per month
  • Committed to communicating with the Clinical Director regarding clinical issues as often as needed
  • Available to support participating volunteers in instances of clinical crisis unless Clinical Director(s) or AHW program staff have committed to providing this support
  • Ability to respond to all communications from Clinical Director and national office within 3-5 business days

VOLUNTEER CLINICAL DIRECTOR

 

Volunteer Clinical Directors provide clinical leadership within their local A Home Within chapters. The time commitment is approximately two hours per week, and the primary responsibility is to ensure that the Volunteer Clinicians in their chapter are supported both clinically and professionally. Clinical Directors commit to ensuring that Clinicians feel valued, supported, and appreciated, and that they are productively connected to their peers and the broader AHW community.

Clinical Directors are supported by AHW staff including the Program Manager and Director of Programs and Research. Clinical Directors share responsibility with staff for ensuring that all Clinicians are connected with a Consultation Group. They partner with Consultation Group leaders and AHW staff to provide individual consultation as needed and engage in ongoing dialogue with the entire team regarding the experiences and needs of AHW Clinicians and their clients.

The three main elements of a Clinical Director’s responsibilities are:

  1. Work closely with the Program Manager and the Director of Programs and Research to vet, onboard, and match new Clinicians. Clinical Directors must maintain regular (at least monthly) telephone contact with the Program Manager.
  2. Ensure all Clinicians have access to Consultation Groups. Clinical Directors are expected to help recruit Clinicians and Consultation Group Leaders as well as assist with the formation and maintenance of a sufficient number of Consultation Groups to support the volunteers in their chapter.
  3. Partner with AHW staff to plan and host at least two community events per year. At least one event should be designed to build community among local Clinicians – a dinner, movie night or gathering for coffee – giving volunteers the opportunity to connect, build their professional networks, and be recognized and celebrated for their ongoing contributions. At least one event should be designed to promote A Home Within in the broader community. Clinical Directors also can plan and host local Continuing Education events, offering CE credit through AHW’s accreditation by ASWB, APA, and NBCC.

Requirements to serve as Clinical Directors include the following:

  • Licensed mental health professional
  • Completed volunteer application & interview with Clinical Director and/or Director of Programs and Research
  • CV and three professional references
  • Interested in or knowledgeable about trauma informed care
  • Interested in or knowledgeable about the foster care population
  • A natural ability to lead, present, and network
  • Available at least two hours per week
  • Committed to hosting between two and four annual events
  • Committed to partnering with AHW staff to continuously recruit volunteers
  • Committed to help train new Clinicians as needed
  • Self-motivated, organized, flexible, and willing to learn