Guest Blogger: Julie H.

Greetings from warm and sunny Chamberlain, South Dakota!  St. Joseph’s Indian School sends warm regards and blessings to all of you!

My name is Julie H. and I have been with St. Joseph’s Indian School for almost 11 years.  What a great 11 years it has been!  I am currently a Family Service Counselor and work with girls in grades 6-12.  I work under the umbrella of the Clinical Services Department.  The Clinical Services Department is currently made up of 13 staff.  We have nine Family Service Counselors, a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Specialist, a Family Liaison and Clinical Support staff, all led by our fearless Clinical Director.  What does the Clinical Services Department do?  Well, we do a little bit of everything!

Our nine Family Service Counselors work with all students in grades 1-12.  We offer weekly individual counseling, group counseling, and enrichment activities.  We also serve as a contact and liaison with our students’ families.

We are available to assist houseparents with questions and concerns they may have regarding student issues.  We run a group for our high school students called Sons and Daughters of Tradition.  The focus of this group is to help the students get back to their Native roots, while working on Drug and Alcohol Prevention.   Family Service Counselors are also available to help in the school should a student have difficulties throughout the day.  Family Service Counselors wear many hats, but our main priority is being here to help the students and their families with anything they need.

Our Drug and Alcohol Prevention Specialist works with the students on drug and alcohol prevention, helping students learn to say NO to substance abuse.  Our Prevention Specialist runs a group called Red Path, coordinates activities for Red Ribbon Week and our other Sobriety Celebrations.

Our Clinical Support Specialist is truly a jack of all trades!  She works on admissions, sets up travel plans for our students who participate in donor luncheons and helps out the department in any way she can.  She is a great support to all of us!

The Family Liaison coordinates and recruits families for our FAST (Families and Schools Together) program.  She works hard to get everything ready for our programs, helps transports families to the program and is an integral staff person in the program itself.  After the program concludes, she also continues to meet with the families that have graduated from the program.

Our Clinical Director keeps us all in line!  She is a great supervisor and is available to assist any of us when we have questions or concerns regarding our students and families.  Our Clinical Director oversees all of the programs of the department and is a great support and resource.

That is just a quick overview of what the Clinical Services Department does.  There is a great deal we do, but with limited blog space, I just wanted to offer you the highlights!

If you are ever in Chamberlain, at St. Joseph’s Indian School and you want a greater overview of all of the great work the Clinical Services Department does, please stop by!  Any of the departments would be happy to sit down with you and answer questions you may have!

Have a safe, blessed and great summer!

Julie H. (Family Service Counselor)

Spring has sprung at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Spring has sprung and the campus at St. Joseph’s Indian School is coming alive!  The kids have returned from their Easter break  and now look toward the end of the school year. With the warmer temperatures the students are spending as much time outside as they can!  There are a great many activities going on for our students, tee-ball, softball, soccer and track to name a few.  The students stay busy and and their teachers, houseparents and support staff are always there supporting and cheering them on in all of their activities !

What does the end of school year mean for the Clinical Services Department?  Well, we spend the rest of the school year helping the kids stay focused on school and helping the older students finalize plans for driver’s education, summer employment, INMED (Indians in Medicine), Gear Up and plans for next year. We also work with our eighth grade students to  to prepare them for high school.

As spring gives way to summer, we will start working on new student admissions for next school year. The Family Service Counselors travel in the summer to visit our students and meet new prospective students and families. Traveling around the state to visit with old and new students  is always a great part of the summer.

As another year begins to wind down, I am thankful for the time I have been able to spend with our Native American students. The students get excited to go home and be with their families, but hopefully they know we will miss them while they are away for the summer!