Mental Health Therapist for Foster Youth

Oakland, California
58,500 +, including benefits
Apr 06, 2021
May 06, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Our Screening, Stabilization, and Transition (STAT) Program is an innovative, model program that provides mental health Screening, Stabilization and Transition (STAT) services to children as they enter the foster care system in Alameda County. Mental Health Therapists for Foster Youth, as part of the STAT program, complete a mental health screening and informal assessment of every child who arrives at the Assessment Center, providing both individual and milieu-based therapeutic interventions. In addition, clinicians provide community-based transition services (usually combining individual sessions and collateral contacts) to help children adjust to placement in foster or group homes. The STAT program serves children and young adults, ranging in age from just a few days up to their 21st birthday. The program is committed to helping them cope with the traumas of abuse and neglect while working to minimize the impact of being separated from their family, home, and community. In addition, the Mental Health Therapist for Foster Youth may carry a small caseload of clients who experience chronic placement instability for whom treatment could extend up to a year.

As a Mental Health Therapist for Foster Youth, you will:

  • Provide screening, assessment and therapeutic interventions as children enter into or change placement within the child welfare system. Consults with county social workers and makes recommendations regarding mental health needs of clients.
  • Provide short-term therapeutic interventions to clients as well as collateral support and guidance to foster parents, relatives and group home staff in order to facilitate children’s transition to and stabilization in their placements.
  • Provide individual and family therapy, caregiver guidance, collateral contacts and case management to children with chronic placement instability for a period of 3-12 months (in both English and Spanish). May work with a case manager as part of a team to best serve youth.
  • Provide services at WCC program sites and in the community (youth’s homes, communities, other agencies, and schools); travel is required up to 90 miles one way.
  • Maintain clinical caseload minimum; meets billable hours & goals as set by the agency.
  • Collaborate with other professionals within WCC and partnering agencies to ensure the highest quality of service to WCC clients.
  • Make collateral contacts on behalf of clients as needed.
  • Comply with WCC policies, procedures, and deadlines related to billing, record keeping, and documentation.
  • Participate in agency and program meetings and professional development trainings as required, including: Agency and program- specific meetings (3 hours/week), Individual Clinical Supervision/consultation (1 hour/week), Clinical Case Conference (2 hours/week).

*Note that this position is not remote and will require some onsite work at the Assessment Center.

The ideal candidates have…

  • A Master’s or Doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, or social work. Master’s level candidates must be currently registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
  • 1-2 years of post-graduate experience with children/youth.
  • Prior residential or milieu experience preferred.
  • Current California mental health license preferred. (Based on our funding sources, California Department of Mental Health requires all unlicensed psychologists to apply for a professional licensing waiver or show proof of a valid waiver prior to hire date)
  • Proven experience providing individual psychotherapy, parent support, and family therapy to children, adolescents and their families, particularly where children are or have been in foster care.
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse communities
  • CPR, First Aid, and Bloodborne Pathogens certification is required.
  • Knowledge of de-escalation techniques is preferred.
  • Clean CA DMV record and current car insurance and car; travel is required.
  • Demonstrated clinical experience with foster care, DSS, and community mental health.
  • Weekend availability preferred (but not required)

Competencies (skills, abilities & knowledge):

  • Clinical service skill — assessment/evaluation, clinical skills, crisis intervention, ability to use supervision effectively, ethical and legal responsibilities, high quality clinical documentation.
  • Knowledge of attachment theory, brief psychotherapy modalities, early childhood and adolescent development, trauma, and principles of milieu therapy.
  • Cultural competence – knowledge of issues of race, class, and ethnicity.
  • Ability to work effectively with clients who have complex, multiple diagnosis histories
  • Efficiency and time management – ability to be well-organized and complete timely documentation.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills.
  • Knowledge of or ability to learn Medi-Cal reimbursement procedures and billing.
  • Collaboration and team functioning – able to work independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Prior knowledge and experience with EHR such as Welligent, preferred.
  • Professional conduct.

Bilingual clinicians and clinicians of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Why work here?

-Be part of a compassionate, driven team that is social justice-focused: We have Staff Affinity Groups such as Staff of Color, LGBTQ+, Equity and Inclusion, Health and Wellness, and more!

-Make a difference for the Bay Area’s most vulnerable populations: We serve hundreds of vulnerable kids and their families each year to create positive changes in their lives!

-Access a growth-oriented learning community: As a Joint Commission Accredited agency, we are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care, and offer extensive clinical trainings and seminars led by field experts. Some of our trainings include:

  • CSEC and CSE-IT
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Complex Trauma/Trauma-Informed Care
  • Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)
  • Supervisor in Training program, and much, much more!

-Receive clinical supervision (individual and group) by a dedicated supervisor to assist toward licensure

Position details and compensation:

Salary range for all clinician positions is $58,500-$64k+ annually depending on experience and current licensure status, plus a 5% language differential, if applicable.


  • Competitive pay commensurate with experience (base salary starting at $58,500 post-masters)
  • Bilingual pay differential for qualified candidates (5% of yearly salary)
  • Quarterly and yearly incentive compensation and retirement plan contribution
  • 100% Employer paid medical (base plan, Kaiser HMO), dental, vision, life insurance, and long-term disability coverage for full-time employees
  • Variety of medical plan options including a variety of carriers and types of plans
  • 403b retirement plan with ROTH and 403b contribution options
  • Flex-spending options - Medical, Dependent Care and Commuter Plans
  • 20 days paid time off per year (equivalent to 4 weeks), 11 Paid Holidays, plus Self-Care Leave (additional PTO accrual with increased years of service)

WCC is passionate about leading and encouraging open conversations around race, gender, power, and privilege, and how these impact community mental health. Our staff affinity groups include Staff of Color Council, LGBTQ Staff Group, White Accountability Group, and Equity and Inclusion Council.

We are  an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diminishing the influence of privilege and discrimination in our field and our workplace, whether due to differences concerning age, citizenship, color, disability, marital or parental status, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

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