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


  • 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.


  • 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
  • Current PA Acts 34, 114 and 151 Clearances
  • Ability to exert moderate physical effort, typically involving some combination of bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, kneeling, and brisk walking
  • Ability to physically restrain students for their safety and the safety of others

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