GENERAL SUMMARY: Under the direction of the Director of Mental Health, The Mental Health Program Advisor promotes the practices and conditions required to support children, families, and staffs’ social and emotional well-being, while ensuring that services are designed to assist children in their emotional, cognitive, and social development toward an overall goal of social competence and school readiness. The Mental Health Program Advisor provides ongoing, relationship-based mental health consultation, technical assistance, training, and referral services to Carole Robertson Center for Learning site-based, community-based, and partner programs. The Mental Health Program Advisor promotes continuous quality improvement for all Carole Robertson Center for Learning programs by embedding, scaling, and codifying the Center’s Mental Health/ Social Emotional Learning (MH-SEL) framework. MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES AND KEY TASKS:In collaboration with the Director of Mental Health and other Program and Impact leadership, cultivate an organization-wide culture that promotes child, family, and staff well-being in all program components and levels, including the classroom, handbooks, meetings, discussion groups, family assessments, and home visits. Such a culture includes an environment of mutual respect among staff and families that welcomes and supports diverse cultures, languages, traditions, and experiences; strives to build long-term, stable relationships with staff, families, and community; and provides access to resources that support child, family, and staff emotional and physical well-being;Assist children in their emotional, cognitive, and social development, toward an overall goal of social competence and school readiness and identify problems that may interfere with the development thereof;Assist parents, staff, and caregivers in developing positive attitudes toward mental health services and in acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and deal more effectively with common development and behavior problems seen in children;Provide parents, staff, and caregivers with an understanding of child growth and development, an appreciation of individual as well as cultural/ethnic differences, and the need for a supportive environment;Provide for prevention, early identification, and intervention of problems that may interfere with child and family social functioning/relationships;Support parents, staff, caregivers, and children in implementing the goals of the Individual Education Program (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP);Provide children with disabilities and their families with mental health support services to ensure that the children and families achieve the full benefits of participation in the program;Provide assistance and intervention to families in crisis;Provide assistance and intervention to staff in crisis;In collaboration with the Director of Mental Health and other Program and Impact leadership, lead programmatic efforts that ensure embedding, scaling, and codification of the Center’s Mental Health/ Social Emotional Learning (MH-SEL) framework by collaborating with a cross-functional team of Carole Robertson Center for Learning staff in implementing MH/SEL best practices to improve child and family resilience and ensure children are ready to learn and are on the path to becoming successful adults;Increase staff access to professional development focused on evidence-based SEL practices;Improve staff skills/abilities to support SEL in children, including hands-on, in-classroom support and modeling when children are in active crisis;Improve staff ability to recognize when child/family is facing trauma and identify the best course of action;Improve staff use of data to reflect on and improve practice;Improve children’s relationship building and problem-solving skills;Build critical life skills, protective factors, and developmental assets;Improve family ability to support SEL in their children;Improve parent-child relationships and foster secure attachments;Ensure strong SEL and mental health competencies for children, youth, and families;Provide education and information to staff and families. This education and information may be delivered through a variety of methods, including but not limited to discussion groups, meetings, trainings, workshops, and informational materials/newsletters, based on resources and the needs of the organization and target audience;Provide Reflective Learning Group (RLG) opportunities with various staff groupings;Provide general classroom/ child observations for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children;For children with emotional/behavioral disorder that have an IFSP or IEP, the mental health program advisor in collaboration with the mental health senior manager, and designated program leadership supports classroom staff, home visitors, caregivers, and families to ensure that the children’s social-emotional needs are being met;In collaboration with the Director of Mental Health and other Program and Impact leadership, ensure the fulfillment of the DFSS mental health services plan as outlined in the Chicago Early Learning Standards;Make a schedule of mental health consultant services available to staff and parents;Meet with staff and parents on a regular basis to discuss children’s changing needs;Develop well-being activities for staff and parents;Review referrals for children that result from behavioral screenings;Foster the development of a warm and welcoming classroom, center, and home environment, where children feel safe to express their feelings and develop a strong sense of self;Ensure parents are included as a part of the child’s team in discussions about challenges before it is determined that interventions are needed;Discuss child’s strengths as well as concerns with parents, e.g., typical development, how child responds to stressful situations;Develop appropriate responses to address challenging behaviors, and strategies to strengthen results;Recognize and address the difficulties with separation and attachment for child and parent;Support healthy child-rearing practices;Help children adjust to changes in family circumstances;Address domestic violence situations;Promote stress reduction;Facilitate support groups or other activities that meet the needs of the program children, families, staff, and community;Solicit information, including from parents, about all aspects of children’s development in order to plan individual programs. This information can be gained from the following sources and events, among others: child’s orientation visits, daily contacts during drop-off and pick-ups, conversations and discussions about the child’s strength, needs, special interests, typical and atypical development, health issues, and any concerns about the child’s mental health, and home visits;Review screening and assessment results;Review health and nutrition interviews;Assist in collecting data with various assessment tools including ECERS, ITERS, SACERS, FCCERS, CLASS, DECA/DARS, PQA, and DESSA for Carole Robertson Center for Learning programs and partners;Assist in managing Teaching Strategies GOLD (TSG) observational data and maintaining TSG/Creative Curriculum fidelity; andPrepare reports and maintain relevant documentation. REQUIRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work, in early childhood education, early childhood administration, education, or a related field or a related discipline;Proven understanding of early childhood development, anti-bias education, trauma-informed learning, and approaches to mental health and social-emotional learning;Ability to gain and maintain reliability on various assessment tools in order to assist in collecting data using these tools (ECERS, ITERS, SACERS, CLASS, DECA/DARS);Working knowledge of Teaching Strategies GOLD system, Coaching to Fidelity, NAEYC accreditation standards, and Head Start standards;Advanced knowledge of child and adult learning theory, practice, and implementation;Advance knowledge of reflective supervision, teacher coaching best practices, and implementation;Advanced skills in Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint;Excellent oral and written skills;Must be willing and able to work evenings, weekends, or other times as required;A high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness;Proven ability to work in diverse settings with multiple stakeholders;Excellent project management skills and ability to multi-task with demonstrated attention to detail;Ability to oversee multiple concurrent projects effectively and ability to work well under tight deadlines;Assists with other duties and projects as assigned;Flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and requirements; andBilingual (English and Spanish) preferred. COVID REQUIREMENTS: Fostering a safe environment for the children, families, and communities we serve and our employees is of the utmost importance. In this spirit, please note that upon accepting an offer of employment, you will be required to share proof of full Covid-19 vaccination status. To be considered fully vaccinated it must be at least two weeks since you received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine or the only dose of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Accommodation requests will be considered in compliance with applicable laws. Carole Robertson Center for Learning is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. Carole Robertson Center for Learning evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally protected characteristics.
The Carole Robertson Center for Learning (Center) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children a
Carole Robertson Center for Learning
Why Work Here?
We are NACEY accredited and operate under Excelerate - Gold standards, and serve over 1,000 children daily.
The Carole Robertson Center for Learning (Center) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children and families through comprehensive child and family development programs. Our vision is to help build a just and equitable society, in partnership with families, and be a beacon of best practices, innovation, and impact in early childhood and youth development.
The Center is named in memory of Carole Robertson along with Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair — the four girls killed by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement.
Today, the Center serves over 1,000 children and families daily through three site locations on the west side of Chicago. Programs serve children at every stage of development - from birth to age 17. Current programs include center–based, family childcare homes, and home-based child development programs for children ages 6 weeks through age 5, youth development programming for children 5 through age 17, extensive family support and well-being, mental health, and community training.
The Center strives for excellence to provide the highest quality programs and services to the children, families, and communities we serve. The Center is a recognized leader in early childhood education and is accredited through national and state entities like the National Association for the Education of Young Children and ExceleRate ® Illinois Gold Circle of Quality. We welcome and serve children with special needs in all programs and have a deep commitment to offer all the Center’s programs in English and Spanish. The organization was founded for the community, with the community, and by the community, and our commitment to social justice and equity are at the forefront in all we do.