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Job ID: 219158

Clinical Screener - Department of Psychology - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (38895) EXTENDED and POSITIONS HELD STATEWIDE (Multiple Positions)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted Aug. 4, 2023
Title Clinical Screener - Department of Psychology - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (38895) EXTENDED and POSITIONS HELD STATEWIDE (Multiple Positions)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Psychology
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Professional Staff
  • Social Work
    Psychology - General


This is a position in the Integrated Assessment Program for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) under a contract with Northern Illinois University (NIU). The program involves conducting specialized clinical assessments of and interviews with children birth through 18 years of age, birth and foster parents and other significant adults in the lives of the children. The purpose of the program is to ensure that all clients entering into IDCFS custody receive an appropriate clinical assessment by a licensed mental health professional to identify any important behavioral, developmental, or mental health problems.

This is not a position on the NIU campus. The Clinical Screener works with families within the region in which they reside. Positions are available statewide.

The work of the Clinical Screener is highly specialized and is conducted to meet federal and state mandated guidelines for families and individuals who are involved with state child welfare agencies.

Position Summary

This is a full-time position with full benefits and not a time limited or temporary position. Funding is expected to be ongoing. This is a position with the Integrated Assessment Program that involves conducting specialized clinical mental health assessments of children birth through 18 years of age who are placed in substitute care and their former guardians. The primary function of the Clinical Screener is to independently conduct high level clinical forensic type assessments of human behavior and personality. The assessments will include developing a DSM-5 diagnostic impression, an assessment of violence potential as well as an assessment for capacity to parent. The Clinical Screener completes a specialized report of findings that will be presented in a court of law as part of the adjudication and determination of the permanency of the case.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conducts highly specialized trauma-focused assessments of individuals who are at high risk of serious harm toward others; the assessment provides a diagnostic impression (i.e., uses DSM-5 criteria) of their psychiatric state including their affect (i.e., symptoms of depression, mania, and anxiety), thought content (e.g., illogical, homicidal, or suicidal thoughts), and behaviors (e.g., impulsivity, withdrawn behaviors, agitation).
  • Conducts early childhood developmental screenings and other assessments of severely abused and neglected infants, toddlers and pre-school age children (i.e., those who have experienced shaken baby, head trauma, unexplained broken bones, malnourishment, and sexual abuse) to develop a diagnostic impression of the presence of developmental disorders (autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, attachment concerns, speech delay, fine and gross motor delay).
  • Conducts assessments of children and adolescents to determine significant psychiatric and behavior concerns (suicide, behavioral deterioration, assault, rape, homicide, PTSD, personality disorder, psychosis); these assessments are used to inform recommendations for treatment including the appropriate level of care (e.g., specialized foster care, residential treatment placements, psychiatric hospitalization). Uses clinical information to determine if an individual is a threat to significantly harm (assault, murder) another individual. 5%
  • Conducts diagnostic substance abuse assessments and makes a determination of the level of substance abuse intervention required.
  • Conducts parenting capacity evaluations and makes a determination of the types of parenting interventions that are necessary.
  • Conducts assessments of interpersonal violence in the home and makes appropriate recommendations for interventions, as needed.
  • Integrates information from conducted assessments, case file, and documentation of other providers and writes forensic reports informed by Illinois statutes that are used by a Juvenile Court Judge to make a determination on the status of a DCFS family case (i.e., determination of whether parental rights will be terminated); these reports include the prognosis for being able to return a child to their family in a timely fashion (based on research in this area) and recommendations for services that should be provided to families in order to improve functioning, if there is a plan to return the children to the parents’ care. 25%
  • Completes clinical documentation and shares with appropriate entities and supervisors (e.g., Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths [CANS], Early Childhood assessment and screening tools, weekly case notes). Takes a leadership role in IDCFS clinical meetings (e.g., family meetings, report staffing, priority clinical staffing, CIPP meetings).

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