Each year, the City’s Youth & Family Services (YFS) interns provide counseling to more than 500 local children and families. The counseling interns contribute more than 18,000 direct service hours while working at K-12 school campuses across the Fremont Unified School District. A number of the interns also serve children, adolescents, and families at the YFS main clinic counseling offices located at the Fremont Family Resource Center. Additionally, interns support a counselor located at the Fremont Police Department working to divert youth headed for the criminal justice system. This volunteer workforce saves the City more than $800,000 annually.
All YFS interns are graduate students or post-graduates in counseling, clinical psychology, or social work. Each is committed to volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per week under intense licensed supervision. Many counseling interns bring skills they used in previous careers as teachers, behavioral intervention specialists, attorneys, technology workers, medical providers, and more. A number of YFS interns are also bilingual in Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, Tagalog, Punjabi, Farsi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese, expanding the City’s capacity to serve Fremont’s diverse community.
YFS, which is a division of the City’s Human Services Department, has worked diligently over the years to establish close working relationships with local colleges and universities and to establish a solid reputation as an organization that provides outstanding training and support for interns. YFS receives hundreds of applications every year for less than 20 intern counselor placements.
YFS interns work in public elementary, middle, and high schools. They serve a wide range of children coping with problems ranging from anxiety, social deficits, truancy, grief, bullying, mood disorders, behavioral disorders, substance use, familial divorce, undiagnosed developmental or learning disorders, immigration adjustments, and trauma. Children may receive support in individual counseling, build skills in small group counseling sessions and improve family dynamics in family and caregiver counseling. By improving the overall school climate, the YFS school-based counseling program benefits even the children who do not receive direct services. Intern counselors partner with principals and teachers to reduce classroom disruptions, combat bullying, improve school attendance, and respond quickly to students in distress. Intern counselors also provide family therapy and assist with parent education classes and workshops to teach parents how to handle common concerns in childhood and adolescence.
Each of the participating school campuses contributes approximately $9,200 per year to receive mental health consultation and direct services which would be valued at more than $64,000 per year in the private sector. The program also receives MediCal insurance reimbursement if children and their families are eligible.
For more information about the YFS intern program contact Laurie Linscheid, MFT, Clinical Supervisor at 510-574-2100 or by e-mail, or visit our Youth and Family Services webpage.