Juvenile Forensic and Child/Adolescent Inpatient Treatment Fellowship at CSTC

The University of Washington (UW), the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and Child Study and Treatment Center (CSTC) sponsor a year-long fellowship in juvenile forensic services and child/adolescent psychology. Applicants must have obtained their doctoral degree from an APA-accredited institution and completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship.

This fellowship is designed to promote a variety of experiences in working with children and adolescents. Fellows divide their time between conducting court-ordered evaluations of minors and delivering evidence-based interventions to inpatients and their families. CSTC is the state-supported psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents and serves approximately 45 patients referred from community programs for long-term inpatient care. The program has faculty with advanced expertise in juvenile forensic evaluations and child/adolescent development and psychopathology. All activities occur within multi-disciplinary settings, including exposure to the administrative functioning of a hospital setting.

The forensic mental health aspect of the fellowship offers training and experience in pre-adjudication evaluations for juvenile courts with a primary focus on age-appropriate clinical diagnosis and forensic opinions regarding competence to proceed. Other evaluations are occasionally performed for mental state at the time of the offense, competence to waive Miranda rights, or age-dependent status (e.g., “infancy” or referral to adult criminal court). Competence restoration is provided to a small proportion of the youth evaluated. There is a strong focus on interviewing and report-writing skills. Depending on type and number of forensic cases, fellows receive about 60 minutes per week of individual supervision in diagnosis and forensic interviewing with about 30 minutes of group supervision.

Fellows provide evidence-based treatment to children and adolescents who are receiving long-term inpatient treatment through voluntary admission or involuntary civil commitment. Patients are housed in three cottages sorted by age and developmental level that serve children as young as six and as old as 17. Patients present with a variety of developmental delays and mental health conditions. Each cottage’s treatment team includes a psychiatrist, a licensed psychologist, a social worker, nursing staff and psychiatric child care counselors. Clinical supervision is geared to the fellow’s current cases (whether individual, group or family work) and is conducted by one of three clinical psychologists. In general, fellows receive about 60 minutes per week of individual supervision with additional, variable amounts of group supervision.

Forensic Didactics
CSTC Fellows are encouraged to participate in the didactic programming which widely addresses issues in forensic psychology. Three-hour seminars are offered on a weekly basis. In addition, a weekly discussion group reviews and discusses landmark cases and other essential readings in the field.

Fellows may complete a research project or a scholarly work under faculty supervision during the year. The fellow may join an ongoing project or choose to begin a project in his/her area of interest. However, this fellowship is based in a clinical setting and does not have the structure of a research-oriented fellowship.

The fellowship program is located in wooded and attractive Lakewood, Washington, in the South Puget Sound area. Lakewood is minutes from Tacoma, one hour from Seattle, two hours from Portland, Oregon, and four hours from Vancouver, B.C. The scenic Puget Sound and surrounding mountains offer unparalleled recreational opportunities, with year-round hiking, seasonal skiing and snowboarding, mild summers and almost no mosquitoes ever.

Salary and Benefits
The stipend for the postdoctoral fellowship in psychology is in line with the postdoctoral stipends of NIH per year plus benefits. Benefits include vacation leave, sick leave, educational leave and medical/dental insurance.

Funding for the position is in the budget of the sponsoring institutions but offers are contingent on approval of the state budget.

Application Procedure
Successful applicants are those with a doctoral degree from an APA-accredited program in psychology. If the candidate has not received the degree at the time of application, s/he must supply letters from the director of his/her training program and dissertation chair (when applicable) attesting that the candidate is expected to receive the doctoral degree before the fellowship start date.

Completion of an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship program is required. A letter from the director of the program attesting that the candidate is expected to complete his/her pre-doctoral internship before the start date is required.

Application Materials
Application materials must be complete by January 5 of the year of the fellowship start date. Please forward to the address below:

  • Documentation of a completed doctoral degree,
  • Documentation of a completed internship,
  • Statement of interest and career intent,
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies,
  • Three letters of recommendation,
  • Curriculum Vitae, and
  • Sample of a completed and sanitized clinical report (forensic clinical evaluation preferred.)

Questions and application materials:

Debbie Harper
Child Study & Treatment Center
8805 Steilacoom Blvd, SW
MS W 27-25
Lakewood, WA 98498-4771
253-761-3373 v
253-879-7933 f

Program content questions:
Fran Lexcen, Ph.D.
Director, Forensic Services