Students in the Child Protection concentration within the Licensure Track of the M.A. Forensic program learn about child maltreatment and trauma, as well as engage in the application of empirically based treatments with children and families involved with a state agency. Students develop the critical knowledge, values, and skills necessary to respond effectively to complex problems confronting children and families in the child protective services system. Students select a two-course sequence (i.e., Theoretical and Clinical Application of Empirically Based Treatment I and II) and gain a mastery of forensic psychology, enabling them to bring its approaches and methods into the legal and public policy arenas in an ethical, academically informed, and research-based manner.
Chicago Campus students in the M.A. Forensic program gain hands-on experience at The Chicago School Forensic Center, which provides high-quality forensic psychological services and programming (such as evidence-based interventions, policy advocacy, and program development) to improve the health and well-being of individuals within diverse communities.
Through a range of community partnerships, the center gives students powerful service-learning opportunities that prepare them to be competent and civically engaged forensic mental health practitioners. Internship placement rates typically are 100% for students enrolled in the Forensic program licensure track. TCSPP offers students a wide range of applied forensic psychology learning experiences rarely available at other schools, such as providing expert witness testimony in front of practicing judges and attorneys during a realistic mock trial experience, participating in a hostage negotiation simulation, or providing Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) to families involved with the juvenile court system.
Prepares licensure track students to sit for the professional counselor licensure exams in Illinois (LPC and LCPC).
Violence and Risk Assessment
Provides students with the fundamental aspects of conducting violence and risk assessment evaluations and the manner in which opinions are communicated. Students gain an understanding of empirically-based risk factors and assessment tools used to conduct violence and risk evaluations, as well as management strategies employed to ameliorate risk/risk conditions. Practical exercises drawn from actual cases are used to illustrate key concepts.
Theoretical and Clinical Application of Empirically Based Treatment
Provides students with the opportunity to learn about empirically-based treatment and to apply knowledge through direct service to children and families involved with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Students learn to identify and address specific issues often found in abused children and at-risk parent-child dyads through the use of live supervision and direct individualized therapist coaching (e.g., use of an ear-bug system and one-way mirror). Students learn to administer and analyze psychological assessment measures to inform treatment and for research purposes. Students interface with schools and referral sources for the purpose of continuity of care, as well as document treatment progress in the form of a report that is submitted to the referring party. Issues pertaining to child protection matters, family law, and court procedures are discussed. Opportunity to observe testimony in child protection court may be available.
Family Systems and Family Therapy
Introduces students to treatment within the major models of family therapy. Primary theorists, assumptions, and techniques of each family systems model are discussed and students have the opportunity to learn through video examples of various theoretical approaches. This course focuses attention on working with multi-stressed and diverse families.
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