JFCS APA Accreditation

JFCS honored with first-ever American Psychological Association accredited internship program

APA recognition marks second milestone for JFCS in one year, including a perfect score from the National Council of Accreditation

SARASOTA, Fla. (January 22, 2018) – As further testimony to JFCS of the Suncoast’s leadership and longstanding commitment to excellence in all facets of its community outreach, education and support services, JFCS was recently honored with a first-ever American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation for a Jewish Family & Children’s Services internship program. The recognition comes on the heels of JFCS’ perfect score from the National Council on Accreditation in summer 2017.

The APA accreditation comes to JFCS as part of its affiliation with Sarasota-based Centerstone Doctoral Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of community-based behavioral health care. 

JFCS Diagnostic Center

Understanding that accurate diagnosis is the foundation of all treatment and the road to mental health is all too often paved with well-intended but inaccurate diagnoses, particularly for individuals and families with limited resources, JFCS established the only nonprofit diagnostic center in Sarasota County in 2015 to provide psychological assessments for children and families.  In pursuit of continuing to refine and provide the most accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations, JFCS harnessed its own in-house clinical talent, including clinical psychologists with more than 30 years experience working as teachers and clinicians including Dr. Barbara Lorry, who is volunteering as part of the clinical team.  JFCS then furthered its mission by joining Centerstone’s Consortium and internship program in 2017. 

Centerstone Internship Program

JFCS is one of only four Florida-based agencies in the Centerstone Florida Consortium, which also includes AllCare in Lakewood Ranch and Psychological & Neurobehavioral Services in Lakeland.   Each site offers different internship training experiences, with JFCS focusing on general child psychological assessments and in-school child therapy.  The doctoral psychology interns come from Ph.D. and Psy.D. training programs throughout the U.S. and Canada and are selected from the Association of Psychological Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, which organizes the matching.  Internships last one year and are full-time, from July through June. Upon completion most interns will have completed their studies to become doctors of psychology.

JFCS’ two interns, Jasleen Parihar, M.A., from the American School of Professional Psychology, in Washington, DC, and Daniel Wechsler, M.A. from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology, in Phoenix, AZ, each divide their time working in the JFCS Diagnostic Center and as therapists at McIntosh Middle School and Heron Creek Middle School.

“This tremendous achievement for JFCS as the first-ever Jewish & Family Services to have an APA-accredited internship and the only one in the world with this kind of accreditation is testimony to the entire JFCS team and provides an invaluable service to the Suncoast community,” said Robert Boxley, director of clinical training for Centerstone. 

“It is due credit to the JFCS staff, board of directors, volunteers and donors who support our agency to receive both this APA accreditation and our perfect score from the National Council of Accreditation in one year,” said Heidi Brown, CEO of JFCS of the Suncoast.  “These two major achievements truly demonstrate how the JFCS legacy is continuing to evolve and prosper, enabling us to grow the services we provide to the entire Suncoast community.”

About Centerstone

One of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of community-based behavioral health care, Centerstone offers a range of treatment, support and educational programs and services to individuals who have mental health and addiction disorders.  In Florida, Centerstone provides inpatient and outpatient mental health and addictions treatment to more than 16,000 people a year including 4,200 children and teens.  A team of more than 450 doctors, nurses, counselors, case workers, leaders and support staff serve one out of every 30 families in the region and more than 142,000 people of all ages at 157 locations across Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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JFCS APA AccreditationPhoto Caption:

JFCS intern, Jasleen Parihar, M.A., conducts a child psychological assessment as part of her training and participation as part of JFCS’ partnership with Centerstone’s internship program. JFCS was recently honored with as a first-ever Jewish and Family Services agency to receive this highly recognized accreditation from the American Psychological Association