East Hawaii Family Guidance Center (Hilo, Big Island)

1 Full Time Funded Position

General Information

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD) is a part of Hawaii’s state-wide Department of Health. The East Hawaii Family Guidance Center (EHFGC) is one of the 7 Family Guidance Centers (FGCs) under CAMHD, and provides services to children, adolescents, and their families on the East Side of Hawaii Island including the Hilo area and the Puna district. The EHFGC has staff clinical psychologists and child psychiatrists who serve as “Clinical Leads” on all the cases managed by the center, including some who provide consultation and oversight via video-conference from Oahu. 

All CAMHD FGCs provide intensive case management to children and youth with more severe mental health challenges.  This includes an ethnically diverse, primarily Medicaid-eligible client population.  Most of the FGC staff are Care Coordinators (CCs), who refer youth to clinical services, provide case management services, and track the progress of clients. The Clinical Leads oversee the cases and authorize all treatment services.  The direct treatment for the most part is provided by contracted private agencies.  The array of services provided and coordinated by EHFGC range from intensive outpatient interventions (psychotherapies, psychiatric services, intensive-in-home services, Functional Family Therapy and Multisystemic Therapy) at the least restrictive level, to hospital-based residential treatment and residentially-based sex offender treatment at the most restrictive level. All cases are reviewed regularly by the FGC team in Clinical Review (CR) meetings. CR meeting discussions are used to develop a clear understanding of the case and to develop appropriate Clinical Management Plans and Coordinated Service Plans. Through CR meetings the clinical team regularly reviews data on treatment progress, and makes decisions about on-going services. The EHFGC staff collaborates with other agencies including the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, and Family Court to try and meet the needs of youth and families. EHFGC also works with CAMHD’s Family Court Liaison Branch to provide services for incarcerated youth at Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

The Internship Experience

Interns placed at EHFGC are engaged in many aspects of the services provided. Their primary clinical responsibilities at the site are conducting mental health assessments, providing consultation to Care Coordinators, and providing therapy – including both in-office and in-home sessions. The intern placed at EHFGC may have the opportunity to engage in other supervised practice opportunities including provision of behavioral health intervention services within the HI-PIC training site at the Hawaii School District. In additional to these clinical responsibilities, interns will learn about the Hawaii child-serving system and its services, participate in clinical review meetings and larger interagency treatment team meetings, learn to develop clinical formulations and treatment plans, attend court from time to time with the Care Coordinators, and participate in other team activities. Interns may be involved with providing training or consultation to our partner agencies and to schools when needed. Additionally, all staff members at HFGC are provided in-service training sessions focused on clinical and other job-performance topics on an ongoing basis. Interns are invited to attend these trainings, as well as occasional workshops provided within the community. Interns may also have the opportunity to supervise practicum students.

Contact Information

Site Director: Jamie Armstrong, PhD