Christine Speiser Post Graduate Social Work Fellowship in Child Protection

Please note, this position is currently filled.

Overview

The Protective Services Team (PST) at Lurie Children’s assesses approximately 700 cases of child maltreatment per year. Social workers have a critical role in the prevention, assessment and intervention of child abuse and neglect as the causes are psychosocial in nature. The social work interview is crucial to the correct medical diagnosis and management of the case. While issues of child maltreatment are seen across the spectrum of social work practice, many social workers graduate from Master’s programs in social work with little direct training or experience in the field of child maltreatment. Lurie Children’s is dedicated to the education and training of professionals and contributes to knowledge in the field by offering a two year postgraduate social work fellowship. This fellowship provides intensive and comprehensive training by our team of child abuse experts.

The Protective Services Team provides intensive clinical training in the prevention, assessment, and intervention of child abuse as part of a specialized interdisciplinary team of social workers, child abuse pediatricians, child protection agencies, and the legal system. The fellow will be provided with no less than three hours per week of clinical supervision by a social worker with years of child welfare expertise.

The fellow will be integrated into both the medical social work department and the Protective Services Team. The fellow will be trained to complete detailed inpatient and emergency room evaluations involving injuries or medical conditions that are concerning for physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and other forms of child maltreatment.

The program is greatly enriched by interdisciplinary expertise and collaboration with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Cook County Juvenile Court, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the police departments of Chicago and surrounding municipalities, and other groups concerned with education, community outreach and advocacy.

Additional activities the fellow participates include:

  1. Weekly clinical supervision by a LCSW social work expert in child maltreatment
  2. Presentation of clinical cases in weekly interdisciplinary Protective Services Medical Rounds
  3. Assessment of mental health needs and collaboration of mental health services coordination for victims of child abuse and trauma
  4. Presentation of cases and coordination of mental health referrals to the hospital’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for victims of child abuse and trauma
  5. Attendance of didactic trauma treatment seminars through the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  6. Observation of court proceedings in which the Protective Services Team members are testifying
  7. Program development and community training in the areas of prevention and outreach
  8. Refinement and facilitation of a six week community training program, to take place during the second year, which offers Saturday and/or evening trainings in the assessment of child maltreatment to social workers outside of Lurie Children’s.
  9. Attendance of local and national conferences specific to child maltreatment

The primary objective of the postgraduate fellowship is to provide two years of intensive specialized training for exceptional social workers wishing to gain knowledge and skill in the field of child maltreatment. At the completion of both the first and second year training period, the fellow’s progress toward this objective will be evaluated through his or her ability to:

  • Demonstrate expertise in the clinical evaluation of child maltreatment through psychosocial evaluation of physical abuse, sexual abuse, failure to thrive, medical neglect, and medical child abuse. This goal is evaluated through weekly clinical supervision 3 times per week, review of documentation for quality, accuracy, and consistency, and quality of case presentation at interdisciplinary meetings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform community trainings on child physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect to increase proficiency of child maltreatment assessment and intervention among area professionals. This goal is evaluated by participant evaluation forms and clinical supervisor feedback.

Development of Toolbox of Best Practices in the Assessment of Child Maltreatment

In the first year the fellow will work with her/his supervisor and the PST physicians to develop a best practices toolbox for implementing a standardized social work assessment program for outside hospitals. The fellow will travel to area hospitals to present this material to social work departments.

Community Training Program

The fellow will also refine and facilitate a community training program that will take place during the fall of the second year.

This program that the fellow, in conjunction with social work leadership, will educate social workers from hospitals, schools, mental health centers and others settings, in how to assess different kinds of child abuse and neglect in coordination with current PST research.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Lurie Children’s?

A: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is located at 225 E. Chicago, Ave

Q: What is a Protective Services Team?

A: The Protective Services Team (PST) at Lurie Children's Hospital assesses approximately 700 cases of child maltreatment per year. The PST consists of three board certified child abuse pediatricians, one child abuse physician fellow, two social worker clinical coordinators (inpatient and emergency department) and six other emergency room social workers.

Q: What does a protective services team social worker do?

Social workers have a critical role in the prevention, assessment and intervention of child abuse and neglect as the causes are psychosocial in nature. The fellow will be integrated into both the medical social work department and the protective services team. The fellow will be trained to complete detailed inpatient and emergency room evaluations involving injuries or medical conditions that are concerning for physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and other forms of child maltreatment.

Q: Would I have an opportunity to meet with a staff person at some time during the application process?

A: After reviewing the applications, Melinda Gronen MA, LCSW (clinical supervisor for the fellowship), social work managers and other senior social workers interview selected applicants. Six to eight applicants will be invited to participate in a phone interview and three to four applicants will be invited (at applicant’s expense) to participate in an in person interview.

Q: Do I need my Illinois social work licensure (LSW) before I apply?

A: Fellows MUST have their Illinois licensure (LSW or LCSW) by the start date of the fellowship (July 14, 2014). You do not need to have the licensure to apply.

Q: How long is the fellowship?

A: This is a two year fellowship including both clinical duties and the development of a clinical toolbox for community hospitals and facilitating a comprehensive community training on child maltreatment (co-facilitated with the fellowship supervisor).

Q: What is the stipend amount for the fellowship?

A: The fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend the first year with a 3% increase the second year.

Q: What other benefits are included in the fellowship?

A: In addition to the yearly stipend, the fellow will be entitled to other benefits available to hospital employees, including health insurance and paid vacation time.  The fellow will also be provided with a yearly education allowance to participate in, and travel to, educational conferences related to child maltreatment.

Q: What days/hours will the fellow work?

A: There will be flexibility in the schedule based on educational opportunities, but the fellow should be prepared to work full time including one weekday overnight (Thursday) in the Emergency Department and one weekend day. The fellow will have two consecutive days off every week.

Q: If I am chosen as the fellow, what kind of orientation and supervision will I receive?

The fellow will receive a comprehensive orientation to the hospital system and social work department. The protective services team will provide intensive clinical training in the prevention, assessment and intervention of child maltreatment. The fellow will be provided with no less than three hours per week of clinical supervision by Melinda Gronen MA, LCSW.

Q: Will all of my experiences be at the hospital?

A: The program is greatly enriched by interdisciplinary expertise and collaboration with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Cook County Juvenile Court, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the police departments of Chicago and surrounding municipalities, and other groups concerned with education, community outreach, and advocacy.

After reading the Fellowship FAQs, if you have additional questions, please drop us a line at mgronen@luriechildrens.org.