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Support Therapist Job – Friendship Academy

The Watson Institute is hiring a full-time support therapist at Friendship Academy, a special education school for children with emotional and behavioral disorders located 4 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA. This position works Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and follows the school calendar.

The support therapist is responsible for overall maintenance of a safe, comfortable, and nurturing school environment.

Learn more about what it’s like to work at the Watson Institute!

Employment Type: Full-time

Support Therapist Job Responsibilities:

  • Support the classroom therapists in the safe management of the classroom environment.
  • Maintain emotional control in the face of stressful situations and requests help when needed.
  • Contribute to building a team environment and cohesiveness.
  • Display flexibility and adapts to changes in the work environment.
  • Make appropriate decisions in a timely manner.

The Support Therapist manages the following areas:

  • Admission and dismissal from school including early morning scanning of students for contraband (weapons, cigarettes, matches, lighters, gang-related materials, etc.). At dismissal this includes the safe escort and active supervision of students.
  • Gives feedback to the students on areas of strength and needed improvement.
  • De-escalates potential crisis situations and maintains the time out area in a safe manner and follows time out procedures.
  • As assigned, provides coverage at the front desk crisis phone.
  • Relieves the classroom therapist when necessary, substitutes as assigned and provides coverage to the Sanctuary Room.
  • Proactively performs observations of students’ behavior in the hallways and classrooms.
  • Attends and contributes to treatment team, red flag, and debriefing meetings and other student-related meetings as requested.
  • Within the partial program completes at least two milieu individual therapy notes per day.
  • Supports and contributes to the school-wide behavioral support plan and other behavioral data reports including Watson Financial, behavioral Reports, restraint forms and AWOL reports.
  • Responsible for reviewing e-mail on a daily basis with specific emphasis on the Enhanced Observation list.
  • As assigned, responsible for training staff in Comprehensive Crisis Management.
  • Performs other duties pertinent to the job as directed by the Program Supervisor.

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling, Child Development, Criminology, Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, or closely related field required
  • Related work experience in field preferred
  • Certification in Comprehensive Crisis Management
  • The essential functions of the job described require the ability to exert moderate physical effort in light work, typically involving some combination of bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, kneeling, crouching, and brisk walking, and which may involve lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and material of moderate weight (40 pounds)
  • Ability to physically restrain students for their safety and the safety of others
  • Current PA Acts 34, 114 and 151 Clearances
  • Pre-employment medical examination, including a tuberculosis test required

Job Benefits:

  • Access to Tuition Reimbursement to pursue further education and advanced degrees.
  • Qualifying employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program
  • Ongoing professional development through continued education opportunities, training, and direct staff support
  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage, and additional voluntary benefits
  • 403b retirement plan with employer contributions and match after 1 year of employment