Graduate & Undergraduate Training
At Loyola Community and Family Services we are strongly committed to the training of our graduate and undergraduate students.
We currently ONLY work with students who attend Loyola University Chicago. Our graduate students come from a wide variety of programs including: Social Work, School Psychology, and Counseling Psychology.
Due to the various nomenclature of training experiences by different professions (such as practicum, internship, externship) all of our students at LCFS are identified as trainees.
There are several areas that we emphasize that can make graduate training at LCFS a fruitful and unique experience. These include:
Supervision of our Trainees – We strongly believe that open and numerous supervision opportunities is the key to a training experience where one can strongly develop their professional skills as a therapist. Graduate trainees receive weekly individual and group supervision. Graduate students also get supplemental supervision for various experiences they may participate in such as for psychological testing, school-based services or group therapy. We at LCFS have a strong “open door policy” and at any time while conducting clinical work a trainee feels a need for consultation we strongly encourage the trainee to immediately seek a licensed staff for consult.
Multicultural and Diversity Issues – Rogers Park and Edgewater are considered one of the most diverse areas of Chicago. Many of the schools we partner with have students from all over of the world. The language diversity alone is about 70 different spoken languages in the area. In our training model we strongly address the issues of intersectionality and immigration. We emphasize the understanding of the multiple identities and experiences our clients come with when seeking services. Our diagnosis and treatment models take these experiences into account.
We at times struggle with how to best support such a diverse community but we are always willing to explore new avenues to better address the needs of our communities and our trainees are part of that journey.
Systemic Issues – LCFS also strongly believes that mental health does not happen solely within the individual or family. Our families and clients are embedded in multiple systems. We train our graduate students to understand how various ecological systems can impact the mental health of each client and family.
We also teach our trainees how to advocate for their clients. We believe that addressing basic life needs may take precedent before addressing mental health needs. In these times, with community resources waning navigating the various systems to access resources can be daunting particularly for new immigrants. At LCFS, we partner and work with various agencies and schools to better support all our client’s needs so we may better serve their mental health needs.
School-Based Services – Related to addressing system issues we have partnered with multiple schools in the neighborhood to better provide mental health services. Children spend most of their time at schools and schools serve as a strong referral base for our clinic. Each trainee is assigned to a school with a LCFS staff to learn how to better understand how school ecology can impact our client’s mental health needs.
Interdisciplinary Training – LCFS is sponsored by both the School of Education and the School of Social Work. This gives our graduate trainees the opportunities to collaborate with individuals across disciplines such as social work, school psychology, counseling psychology and clinical psychology. In-house trainings (didactics) take a variety of professional perspectives that can only enhance the understanding of therapeutic work with children and families as trainees see how different professions engage with clients and systems and address their client’s mental health needs.
Didactics by LUC Faculty – Every Wednesday we have in-services where professors come to present to our clinic. The School of Education and School of Social Work professors have been most supportive and excited to come and speak to our students and staff about their work and how it applies to the therapeutic services our clinic offers. It is the rare training program to have access to top research professionals for your graduate training.
“Community First” – In the name of our agency we have placed community first. We strongly believe that a healthy and strong community can better support our families and clients. LCFS has no agenda when partnering with various organization and schools and prefer to respond to the needs of the agency/school we are partnering. Though we have tools at our disposal through our various trainings and professions we believe that the community is its own expert on its necessities and we try to support them the best we can.
Research in Action - Our staff all come from research institutes and understand the necessity of current research and empirically supported models in addressing our work with clients and our communities. However, note that we said support and not directed by these models. We understand that research models can be flawed when applied to communities and we critically look at each model and see how best it can be used to support our client’s and the community’s needs.
Social Justice in Action – Loyola University Chicago has a long tradition of promoting social justice. LCFS is an exemplary model of the University’s vision of social justice in action. Our mandate from the President’s and Provost’s office has always been to serve the community. All staff at LCFS take this mandate strongly as we provide equal access to therapeutic services and resources to all communities’ members despite SES, immigration, documentation, and other status background. Also, as mentioned above we also strongly advocate for our clients and families to help build a stronger community for all member to thrive and reach their potential.
Staff at LCFS Strongly believe that each of these areas mentioned above make us a unique training opportunity for your graduate career. These experiences will help you develop as a multicultural and multidisciplinary clinician that will serve you well in a wide variety of clinical professional settings.
For specific information on duties during your traineeship year, please click on your program below:
For undergraduates at Loyola University Chicago we are looking for ways to create unique experiences that can help develop skill sets that can be used in a wide variety of future professions. We have created an “interpreter / cultural broker program” where undergraduates who speak multiple languages can help LCFS better support families and children in Rogers Park and Edgewater that hail from around the world and who have limited to no English proficiency. Look for internship description each Fall on Rambler Link.
There may be future opportunities for undergraduates as LCFS grows and we better understands the needs of Rogers Park and Edgewater families.