Hire Therapeutic Support Staff
Caring for children who need extra support and improving their emotional health requires specialized skills, knowledge, patience, and empathy. For children who have behavioral or social issues, it can be particularly challenging to interact in school and other social environments. The value that therapeutic support staff bring to these children and their families is immeasurable.
Therapeutic support staff work closely with parents, teachers, counselors, and healthcare professionals to guide, support, and lead children towards emotional health. Therapeutic support staff commonly work in schools, mental health clinics, or community centers on a part-time or full-time basis. Although their work usually runs on a daytime schedule, evening work may be required depending on the need or if there is an emergency.
When hiring for therapeutic support staff roles, hiring managers search for candidates who have the necessary skills, patience, and compassion for children. A detailed and accurate job description starts the recruitment process with a strong foundation. Make it compelling by including information about the hiring organization, school, or clinic and share some interesting facts. Are there benefits that therapeutic support staff can look forward to upon being hired? Are there available opportunities for training or career advancement? Be creative in presenting the job description.
Finally, think of the platforms or sites where ideal candidates are likely to see your posting. Try your best to target industry-specific online groups, forums, and communities. Posting your job vacancy on these sites will increase your chances of attracting candidates. Don’t forget to post on hiring websites, the hiring organization’s social media platforms, and relevant job boards. Consider asking existing employees for referrals as well, or starting a referral incentive.
Responsibilities of a Therapeutic Support Staff
Therapeutic support staff assess children in a natural social setting like a classroom. They observe the children’s behavior towards their peers and teachers and take note of any defiant or unruly behavior. Together with teachers, school administrators, doctors, or other people involved in the child’s care, they develop a specific treatment plan. Implementation of the treatment plan is the responsibility of therapeutic support staff. They provide emotional support, guide therapeutic play and activities, and teach the child strategies to avoid unacceptable behavior. Interaction with the child commonly occurs in school. However, they could work with the child at home as well.
Therapeutic support staff are in charge of recording the progress of the child and notes other observations as well. They frequently update families, teachers, and other doctors involved and modify the treatment plan as needed. Lastly, therapeutic support staff respond to emergencies as needed.
Skills and Qualifications of a Therapeutic Support Staff
To qualify for this role, candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or in a related field. Training in psychotherapy and behavioral analysis is preferred. Previous experience in the same role or crisis intervention is an advantage. If needed, candidates should be available to work in the evenings or after work hours.
The ideal candidate for this role is compassionate and patient with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to stay calm and professional under pressure is likewise helpful. CPR training and a valid driver’s license are usually required of candidates.