Training 2019-11-06T21:44:12+00:00

Student Training Programs

San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc. has a well-known and highly respected student training program for mental health professionals. For nearly 50 years, the Center has offered the opportunity for hundreds of students to be trained as mental health professionals. They’ve been able to build their skills in a cutting edge environment while providing essential services to the Center’s consumers. Training opportunities in a variety of populations (children, families, adults, homeless, etc.) are provided to Master’s Level Students working towards their degrees. They include:

  • MFT Trainees
  • MSW Interns
  • LPCC Trainees
  • Ph.D. and Psy.D. practicum and interns

Associates interested in positions may apply for full-time paid employment.

In addition, Bachelor (BSW) Practicum Students can volunteer through the Center.

East Valley Youth & Family Center
Family Links/North Valley Youth & Family Center

About the Programs

Both programs are Department of Mental Health contracted and work with children (and their families) aged birth – 18 (or older if still in high school). Services are geared toward increasing the adaptive functioning of children in their homes, schools, and communities by providing supportive and individualized intervention, which may include:

  • Mental Health Services – assessment, individual/family/group therapy, collateral work with caregivers, and rehabilitation to increase specific skill sets. Clinicians at these clinics are trained in a variety of evidenced-based practice models as well as traditional therapeutic approaches.
  • Medication Support Services – psychiatric evaluation and ongoing medication management as needed.
  • Targeted Case Management – linkage to and collaboration with other public and private agencies, providers, and services.
  • Crisis Intervention – immediate intervention to stabilize or ensure linkage to a higher level of care.

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Family Support Services (CAPIT, CHAT, & Family Preservation programs)

About the Programs

The Family Support Services site provides mental health and case management services to residents of Los Angeles County at no cost to the client. Student trainees/interns will have the opportunity to develop clinical skills while working with children, adolescents, and adults in individual, couples, group, and family sessions within both clinical office and community/home-based settings.

Centrally located in Van Nuys, the site provides student trainees/interns the opportunity to develop clinical skills while working with children, adolescents, and adults in individual, couples, group, and family sessions within both clinical office and community/home-based settings. Typical reasons for treatment include: parent-child relational issues, issues due to experiencing sexual/physical/emotional abuse or neglect as a child or adult, issues due to experiencing intimate partner or domestic violence, parenting difficulties, phase of life issues, and issues due to experiencing traumatic events. This site offers a unique opportunity to learn about and collaborate with LA County representatives from the Department of Mental Health, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Probation, and the Department of Public Social Services. Weekly group and individual supervision, as well as quarterly trainings, are provided to all students at this comprehensive practicum site. Applications for placement are accepted throughout the year, and a minimum 9 month commitment is required.

Types of Students Accepted

Master’s level students pursuing degrees in Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, Clinical Counseling, & Clinical Psychology. Bachelor’s-level students pursuing degrees in Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, and other Social Service Majors. 

Types of Training

Suicide/Homicide Identification and Intervention;  Child Abuse Identification and Mandated Reporting Responsibilities; Identification and Intervention for Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence;  Collaborating and Working with DCFS and Dependency Court; Identification and Intervention for Bullying; Working with Victims of Crime (including Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/Human Trafficking); & Identifying and Working with Trauma

Length of Training Program

40 hours of self-paced study

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Milestones Continuum – AB 109 and Diversion 50 Programs

Individuals in the AB 109 program are referred through the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and/or AB 109 probation HUB clinicians. Clients have a history of mental illness and are also currently on AB 109 probation.  

The Diversion 50 program clients are referred from the San Fernando or Van Nuys Courts. Clients have select misdemeanor or felony cases and a history of mental illness, homelessness and in some cases a co-occurring substance use disorder. MORE

The program utilizes recovery principles to stabilize and reintegrate post incarcerated, homeless, mentally ill adults back into mainstream society while providing comprehensive support services to increase self-sufficiency and quality of life.

Services include: intensive case management, psychiatric support, nursing support, medication management, therapeutic services, vocational and educational services, substance abuse services, and community linkage. The continuum focuses on:

  • Enhancing independent living skills
  • Addressing basic survival needs (housing, shelter, stabilization)
  • Decreasing mental health symptoms
  • Increasing financial benefit entitlements
  • Reducing need for emergency services
  • Promoting stabilization
  • Obtaining permanent housing
  • Educational and Vocational Services 

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Older Adult Recovery, Resilience and Reintegration (RRR),
Homebound Program, Older Adult Full Service Partnership Program

About the Programs

The Older Adult RRR Homebound Program, (OA RRR Homebound Program) and Older Adult FSP Program, offers specialized field-based services to older adult clients who are 55 or older and have a serious and persistent mental illness. More clients also have a severe functional impairment in their ability to complete activities of daily living. Types of services include: clinical and psychiatric assessments; mental health services; case management services; and psychiatric services, which are provided in the client’s home, assistant living facilities, independent living facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities as well as other field based locations. There are also some cases in which the client receives services in the clinic. The goals of the programs are to improve access to supportive services for those older adults who unable to receive services due to their impaired mental health, mobility, fragility or geographic locations. Client’s mental illness has to fit a major Axis I diagnosis. 

Training Program Details

Practicum Length:  912 months

Approximate Start Dates:  January, May, August

Total Hours Per Week:  minimum 14 

Mandatory Days/Hours:  There are 2 group supervision times Thursdays 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Wednesdays 12 – 2 p.m. and a mandatory disposition meeting Wednesdays from 3 – 5 p.m.  Another group supervision to be arranged as needed.

The facility is open from Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Clientele and Services Provided: Students will provide therapy to individuals and groups.  Students will also provide case management and advocacy services.   Students will work as a part of a multidisciplinary team made up of a nurse, substance abuse counselor and psychiatrist.

Most Frequent Diagnostic Categories: anxiety, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, co-occurring substance abuse and/or medical problems.  

Special Note: Students will provide services in private homes, independent living facilities, assistant living facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities and in the clinic.

Supervision: 1 hour of individual and 2 hours of group supervision are provided by a LMFT, LCSW or Ph.D.   

Students accepted into the program will need to have a Social Security Number, pass a DMV clearance with no more than 2 points on their record and pass a fingerprint clearance.


Michele Shepherd (Assistant Director of Older Adults)
Cassandra Adams (Contact Person)
14600 Sherman Way Ste 100D
Van Nuys, CA 91405
Ph:  818-374-6901;  Fax:  818 374-6908