The purpose of the Substance Abuse Practicum is to provide student trainees with supervised, practical experience in a community mental setting and in the two Joliet Township High Schools. Prerequisite to the practicum and field site experiences is satisfactory completion of all or most of the core courses and approval of the academic faculty for enrollment in practicum.
One of the primary objectives of the Substance Abuse Practicum is to provide students with the opportunity to further develop their skills in interviewing, assessment, case management, documentation, and treatment planning.
Core functions include training related to screening to determine a client’s eligibility and appropriateness a particular program or service. This is followed by training on intake procedures to provide the administrative, assessment and evaluation procedures for admission to a program or service. Students in training are taught to write reports based on the results of assessments, and to develop individual treatment plans with clients while taking into consideration the person’s strengths, weaknesses, problems, needs and preferences. Additionally, students receive hands-on counseling and therapy training to assist individuals, families and groups to achieve goals through problem identification, exploration of attitudes and feelings, and considering and applying alternate solutions and decisions. Referrals for substance abuse assessment and treatment often come from the departments of Probation, Detention (both youth and adult), and the Courts.
Opportunities for Substance Abuse Practicum are in the Child and Adolescent Program, the Youth Experiencing Success in Schools (Y.E.S.S.) Program, and the Forensics Program. The supervisory staff are licensed professionals and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors.