What’s it like to work in Family & Children’s Agency’s (FCA) Intensive In-Home Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) program Read a Q&A with FCA’s IICAPS Supervisor and OBH Clinician Ali to see what her role entails.
Ali has been with FCA for three years and was recently promoted from IICAPS Clinician to IICAPS Supervisor and OBH Clinician. Ali grew up in New Canaan and played field hockey in college, eventually coaching before getting her degree in counseling.
How did you start your career
Ali: Since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to do this kind of work. I was a volunteer at Healing Arts Children’s Center in New Canaan using art and music to connect with children. My internship in grad school was in Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and made a lot of referrals to IICAPS. This program keeps you on your toes and has a lot of crisis work, so I knew I was going to learn a lot When I got the job, I was so excited. You get to jump right in, which is great. I could not wait to start.
What kinds of issues are you seeing with clients
The youngest that we’ll see is age 5 up to 18. I see everything from ADHD to mood disorders, up to more psychotic disorders, and blossoming personality disorders as well. A lot of them are in crisis – that’s the point of IICAPS, to stabilize the kid that’s in crisis and the family then have them be able to use more traditional services like an outpatient therapy. We see parents that are recently divorced or there’s DCF involvement because of some neglect or abuse, and sometimes work with foster parents. I see it all which I wouldn’t get to do in any other setting, so it really gives a wide range of clients. No client is the same and it’s interesting to be able to see what is going on for this family how can I best support this family and this child. I help them feel like they have somebody. A lot of the clients that I see don’t really have that support.
What does a typical day in your role look like
I supervise one team. As we get more teams, I’ll be able to supervise two more. I have outpatient client meetings, review a team is having trouble with, and help my team develop strategies to engage a client. I coach my team to figure out how to best find a connection with their client and we talk about how the staff member is relating to a client to ensure their personal history isn’t putting gup barriers for them with their clients.
What does success look like for you in your job
No crises – that’s the ultimate success. When I get to go into a session and the person is responsive, we’re able to talk and work on the intervention that I’m bringing, and they feel like they got something. This job is very rewarding. I’m with clients in their home, seeing their environment and interactions within the family, and being able to see some of that growth – that can feel good.
What do you like about working for FCA
Overall, the experience is amazing. The biggest thing is the support that I get from coworkers but also the organization as a whole. When I come in the President & CEO knows my name, colleagues in the hallway say hello, and I feel recognized for the work I’m doing. In IICAPS I have colleagues to bounce ideas off of and it’s a supportive program with a lot of teamwork. My supervisors validate my work and it’s just a good feeling.
Come work with Ali! FCA is hiring, and we are looking for Mental Health Counselors and Intensive In-Home Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) Clinicians to join our team. Apply today – click here!