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Behavioral Health Counselor | SAFETY Program


The Behavioral Health Counselor is a full-time clinical position responsible for providing clinical, and administrative support for children and teens who have shown a strong interest in or preoccupation with fire, played with matches, burned property, set a fire, or used incendiary materials or explosives.  This program is a specialty service directed by faculty and staff affiliated with UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH) working in collaboration with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and the Special Services Unit from Juvenile Probation, and with the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF). Our program offers individualized assessment, educational, and/or treatment services for children and adolescents who misuse fire. The program also provides consultation and training to providers or agencies. This service extends more than 30 years of research designed to evaluate the characteristics, course, history, and treatment of child fire setting. This population varies widely in terms of its levels of identified psychiatric disorders, victimization history, family conflict, social deficits, and/or other conduct problems. Treatment is often directed towards broad targets (e.g., social and relationship skills, affect regulation and dealing with traumatic reactions, family communication etc.) and may require various methods, such as child skills training and individual psychotherapy using CBT, parent training and treatment sessions, family sessions, medication, home/community visits, and school consultation. The clinician will work in collaboration with trained probation officers from the Special Services Unit of the Northern Probation Office of the Allegheny County Juvenile Court, other members of the Juvenile/Family Court and the Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF). The position also involves collaboration with other providers both within and outside of the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital community. The clinician will conduct clinical diagnostic assessments, and information via face-to-face interviews, telehealth sessions, and self-report measures from a variety of data sources (e.g., youth, parents, teachers, referral sources, other collateral sources) utilizing both tablet computers and paper-and-pencil questionnaires. This program is funded by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services/Juvenile Court and thus we do not bill for services.


  • To conduct direct treatment on an individual and family basis by conducting specialized child, parent, parent-child, and/or family interventions, as needed, especially in addressing difficult case targets, issues, or obstacles.  To do this, the clinician will work a flexible schedule which may require evening or weekend appointments (availability of at least 3 evenings per week required).   
  • The clinician will work with families who are mandated for services and/or may not be fully committed to participating in treatment.
  • The clinician will learn and deliver various evidence-based treatment strategies for use with children/adolescent, caregivers, and their families.
  • To assist in the scheduling, preparation, and administration/completion of intake (e.g., screening) and discharge clinical/diagnostic evaluations designed to address the clinical mission of this program.  
  • To develop, document/monitor, and address an individualized treatment plan for each patient that outlines the clinical goals, targets, and services to be provided to the youth and his family, as needed (e.g., based on initial evaluation findings, etc.). 
  • To co-facilitate the fire safety/science/prevention education sessions with each family referred to the program.
  • To assist in coordinating, organizing, and continuously developing/revising psychosocial assessment and treatment materials/procedures designed to evaluate and/or change common clinical targets (e.g., reduce fire setting behavior, enhance prosocial skills and community coping, manage aggressive behavior) in both the youth and their parents/families.  This includes maintenance of the program protocol binder and dissemination of new materials and identification of needed therapeutic directions/methods.
  • To schedule, organize and/or attend monthly Multidisciplinary Team Meetings with other providers involved with the case.
  • To promote the extension of treatment efforts to the community and, where necessary, the school or other service providers, via generalization programming to reach other changes agents (e.g., parents, community teachers, therapists), and, where applicable, to maintain contacts with all involved parties.
  • To provide, as necessary and/or indicated, court testimony as relevant to case assignments. 
  • To work cooperatively/constructively with the full treatment team at WPH-SAFETY and program staff/supervisors at the Juvenile Court and the Office of Children, Youth and Families in order to enrich the environment, enhance treatment procedures and all related program operations, and improve staff performances via assistance, training, and routine feedback. 
  • To demonstrate collegiality and provide supervision, instruction, and guidance to affiliated staff/other providers in the form of an effective leader/educator to assure the integrity of the program and maximize client improvements.  This includes helping to address emergent clinical problems and treatment obstacles that may require alternative programming.
  • To provide, as necessary and/or indicated, basic administrative support and liaison with others (program staff, WPH clinics, community agencies/partners).  This includes public relations efforts and efforts to procure needed resources, helping to organize all meetings, and raising system or collaboration issues, especially identifying and seeking to resolve any concerns, questions, or interpersonal conflicts/problems, in an appropriate meeting/setting.
  • To maintain basic case management functions such that all relevant materials, documents, and files are complete, clinical issues evaluated and reviewed in supervision, and identified decisions or solutions implemented effectively.  This includes discharge planning and helping to support continued follow-up work, including the completion of service/program evaluation materials. 
  • To monitor/document and enhance the quality and effectiveness of all clinical applications of existing treatment procedures through individual supervision, case reviews, and tape reviews.  Feedback based on court staff observations and reports of client outcomes (improvement) will be incorporated in this task.
  • To attend meetings scheduled by the Juvenile Probation Officers or the Office of Children, Youth and Families to discuss the assigned cases treatment progress, obstacles for treatment, and other clinical concerns. 
  • The clinician will use technologies and programs (spreadsheets, telehealth, etc.) to support documentation, coordination, and treatment delivery.


  • Masters degree in Psychology; Child Development; Applied Behavior Analysis; Early Intervention; Education; Special Education; Instruction in Learning; Social Work or a related field.
  • Two years of clinical experience working with children and/or their families highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of behavior principles, evaluation and assessment process, as well as application of current version of the DSM preferred.
  • Must have proficiency at a mastery level of the following: Microsoft Office Package including but not limited to Word and Excel and Microsoft Outlook required.
  • Experience with Cognitive Behavioral Treatment highly preferred.
  • LSW or LPC preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
Behavior Specialist Licensure and/or Certification as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, National Certified Counselor, Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner or other similar Behavioral Health license/certification preferred.

  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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