Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School
  • 27-Feb-2018 to 28-Apr-2018 (CST)
  • Administration
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Full Time

General Summary: Director of Residential Programs:  Oversee and manage the residential treatment programs, including the 4 dormitories (Dorms) and the Transitional Living Center (TLC) in a manner that actualizes the vision, mission, and values of the organization as a relationally based learning community. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, ensuring the programs are structured, staffed, and supervised in a manner that meets or exceeds the requirements set forth by our licensing agent (Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Licensing Department), our accreditation body (Council of Accreditation), and all other regulations related to any specific funding sources, such as a State other than Illinois, or a particular governmental body (i.e. Department of Health and Human Services of Illinois). Similarly, ensure that clinical interventions utilized are done so in accordance with current best practices and within the ethical guidelines associated with mental health practices in terms of assessment, treatment planning, implementation, and documentation. As part of the leadership of the school, help to ensure that all activities on the residential program are being completed in a timely manner, thoroughly and thoughtfully and reflect the values and mission of the school. Lead a culture that constitutes a balance of a high degree of professionalism and responsiveness with clinically informed treatment.  Supervise up to five Dorm Managers in the daily operations of the Dorms and TLC that serves up to 42 severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents and/or those on the Autism spectrum. Oversee the completion of all required documentation in a timely and thorough manner and attend clinical and IEP meetings when appropriate. Provide clinical supervision for the Residential Coordinator, 4 Dorm Managers and the TLC Manager, and some members of the Crisis Intervention Leadership team.  Oversee the staffing and activity schedule for the residential program, in cooperation with the School's Principal, to ensure the students are well cared for and the milieu is therapeutic. Ensure, in collaboration with the medical staff, that each student's medical, dental, and optical screenings are current. Participate in organizational activities such as program improvement and planning, development and fundraising, marketing and networking, and activities with Board of Directors, community leaders, and professional organizations. As a leader within the therapeutic milieu, serve as a role model, particularly regarding treating oneself and others with respect and dignity, in a thriving learning community.

Essential Functions:

40% -  Residential Program Supervision:  Attend and participate in Dorm meetings on a weekly basis, daily staff briefings, and all staff meetings. As leader in the milieu, establish a standard of self-respect and social responsibility through modeling and supportive redirection. Supervise daily dormitory plans in a manner that provides for the safety and general well-being of the students and staff members, ensuring adequate support for 24 hours of care. Interact with the students and the staff in a manner that fosters emotional growth and development. Direct, supervise, and participate in activities that encourage and grow family engagement with the program, including but not limited to parent phone calls, family therapy, family events at the school, quarterly progress meetings, and all school events. Work in concert with the school's Principal, Clinical Director, Director of Transitional Services, Medical Director, Director of Psychiatric Services, Facilities Manager, Food Service Manager, Director of Human Resources, Chief Financial Officer, and Director of Compliance to help ensure the best quality of care possible for the students, their families, and staff members.  Collaborate with the Admission team to identify when there is an anticipate opening in the residential program, to assist in the admission process of selecting new students, preparing for the eventual intake of new students, and completing the intake of new students as they arrive.  Oversee all contact logs and daily notes, quarterly reports, and intake and discharge paperwork to ensure that it is completed on a timely basis and in accordance with school guidelines.  Ensure on-going outcome data collection is completed and utilized to track and improve clinical interventions and that the Residential Program as a whole is identifying and completing continuous quality improvement projects.  Attend identified clinical and school meetings when necessary and appropriate. Participate in special dormitory activities: including birthdays, anniversaries, new student arrivals, and graduations.

20% -  Personnel:  Review applicants' resumes and select appropriate candidates. Complete reference checks on candidates. Schedules candidate interviews and pre-employment visitation. Collect and compile candidate feedback, and make final hiring decisions. Maintain database tracking applications and hiring decisions. Facilitate and assist in coordinating orientation and in-service training of residential staff. Ensure the complete regularly scheduled professional growth plans and evaluations of residential personnel are in accordance with the school's commitment to professional learning and growth. Oversee and help implement any progressive corrective action when addressing staff performance issues and keep the Co-Executive Directors and Director of Human Resources informed about performance issues requiring follow up.

20% -  Scheduling:  Complete staffing schedule to ensure adequate monitoring and support to provide for therapeutic and safety needs of students. Maintain schedules that include vacation, sick, and personal time off requests of staff.  Track staffing costs as compared to the year's budget to ensure costs remain within budget unless there is an identified emergency or extenuating circumstances. Verify and sign off on absence reports.

10% -  Communication:  Assist Residential Coordinator, Dorm  and TLC Managers in maintaining contact with all aspects of the milieu including medical and psychiatric staff, educational staff, therapists, consultants, and outside funding agencies. Oversee process where Dorm Managers consistently complete  comprehensive progress reports and their mailing to home to parents, guardians and outside agencies. Represent the Orthogenic School to outside agencies, professionals in the field, and families with thoughtfulness and expertise. Provide written summaries of residential program's activities, growth, and challenges to be used for the school's advancement with the Board of Directors, marketing materials, grant requests, newsletters, and similar venues.

10% -  Milieu Maintenance:  Participate in the development of policies and procedures for all-school programming and individual dorm programming. Serve on a rotating basis as a member of the "On-Call" staff. Model therapeutic and effective interactions with the students. Demonstrate a commitment to the single milieu approach. Complete other duties as assigned by Co-Directors.


Qualifications: Licensed Psychologist with Ph.D. or Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor required; a minimum of three years experience supervising a mental health program required; certification in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) required within three months of employment; experience working with children and families strongly preferred; proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel required; excellent oral and written communication skills required; strong commitment to strength perspective, empowering families and a willingness to work in a high demanding work situation that requires flexibility and innovative required; cultural competency required; physical capacity to be trained in and to utilize non-violent physical intervention techniques required. A cover letter, resume, and writing sample are required to be considered for this position.


Mental Demands: Must be well organized, task oriented, and capable of completing a number of responsibilities at one time. Must have the ability to attend to both the children's needs and that of their co-workers to ensure effective and efficient daily operations in the dorm. Must have the ability to determine what presenting concerns can be addressed within the team and those that need to be brought to a broader programmatic level. Must be able to prioritize the needs of the children, ensuring that situations involving dangerousness are given full and immediate attention.


Physical Demands: Must possess the stamina necessary to help run an around the clock treatment program. Must have the physical capacity to be trained in and to utilize non-violent physical intervention techniques, if needed. Must have the physical ability to monitor and supervise an active group of school-aged children.



Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School
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