Description: The overall goal of the Youth Affairs Division is to foster healthy individual and family functioning in families where youth have been identified as “at-risk” for entering the juvenile justice system, dropping out of school, getting involved with gangs, running away from home, substance use, and entering the child protective system. This goal is accomplished through family, group, and individual therapy, psycho-education, parent training, psychological evaluation, consultative services, and community outreach offered across community-based, office, and residential settings. Services are provided free to Palm Beach County residents.
The Palm Beach County Youth Affairs Division employs psychologists, Master’s level clinicians, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, family counselors, residential counselors, and nurses. The agency is also an interdisciplinary training site for pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychology practicum students, social work interns, mental health counseling interns, and marriage and family therapy interns, as well as the site of a Palm Beach County alternative school program. Psychology residents will receive primary supervision from licensed psychologists. Consultation from other staff will be provided as needed. The overall goal of the post doctoral psychology residency program at the Palm Beach County Youth Affairs Division is to support the development of psychology residents into professional psychologists. Psychology residents will integrate fundamental skills consistent with the philosophy of the Youth Affairs Division. This philosophy incorporates a developmental training model utilized throughout the Division with the varying levels of professional staff, behavioral staff, and trainees from multiple disciplines. A strengths-based perspective has been a cornerstone in the Division’s philosophy of training as well as prevention and intervention work with children, adolescents, parents, and families. Additionally, Palm Beach County is a culturally, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse area that is becoming more diverse with each passing year. As such, the Division’s philosophy integrates a multicultural/diversity emphasis.
Psychology residents will have opportunities to work with a range of diverse populations with a variety of presenting issues. Training Site: Highridge Family Center is a 48-bed residential facility serving at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 16 who reside in Palm Beach County. Typically, the families seeking services through Highridge have been struggling with conflicted family relations, poor academics, disruptive school behavior, drug experimentation, poor peer group choices, minor law infractions, and emotional difficulties. In conjunction with the School District of Palm Beach County, residents of Highridge are provided alternative education while they are enrolled in the program. Referral sources include schools, parents, prevention and diversion programs, as well as former clients. The facility is divided into two male and two female dormitory-style “houses,” each with the capacity for 12 residents. The youth live at the facility Monday through Friday, returning to their homes on weekends and school holidays to practice newly learned skills with their families. A Family Therapist provides family, group, and individual therapy, and three Residential Counselors (two day shift, one night shift) provide behavior management and therapeutic milieu activities for each house. The site utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to include working with psychologists, nurses, master’s level therapists, school behavioral personnel, teachers, and bachelor’s level dorm counselors.
To learn more about the Palm Beach County Youth Affairs Division, please access the following link: http://www.pbcgov.com/publicsafety/youthaffairs/