Social Emotional Specialist $2,000 Signing Bonus
Job Type

PROGRAM SUMMARY: Easterseals Head Start/Early Head Start provides high-quality, family-centered education for children birth to five years old. We collaborate with 40+ early childhood programs located in the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County to promote school readiness in young children of all abilities from families with incomes below poverty guidelines. Easterseals also directly operates two Early Learning Centers in Head Start/Early Head Start in Chicago and in Hickory Hills.

POSITION LOCATION: This position is located at the Easterseals Early Learning Services Headquarters at 1939 W. 13th Street, Chicago 60608.

$2,000 Signing Bonus offer extends until the end of January 2023.

POSITION SUMMARY: Under the direction of the Inclusion and Mental Health Manager, provides expertise, training, and consultation in mental health services for Easterseals Head Start/Early Head Start programs in compliance with the Head Start Performance Standards and the Head Start Act. The Social Emotional Specialist, in collaboration with the Inclusion and Mental Health Manager, develops and monitors systems for identification, referral, and planning for children with social-emotional concerns. The Social Emotional Specialist is responsible for the delivery of all social-emotional services, including classroom observations and staffing, social-emotional education to families, training to staff, and referrals of parents and children.


Planning and Program Services:

  • Assist in the development of service/management plans and implementation of systems to ensure consistent, high-quality mental health services at all Head Start and Early Head Start programs in accordance with all Head Start Performance Standards.
  • Conduct Classroom and Individual Child Observations and provide feedback with individualized strategies.
  • Create and assist in the implementation of behavior plans.
  • Provide training to staff, teachers, and parents in the area of Mental Health in accordance with the Head Start Standards and Head Start Act.
  • Provide Crisis Counseling to Head Start families and teachers as needed.
  • Participate in Parent Orientation.
  • Assist in program planning for mental health services based on analysis of child, program, and family outcomes.
  • Participate on the School Readiness Team and the development and implementation of the School Readiness Plan as part of an integrated Leadership Team.
  • Participate in program planning and implementation of all service areas as part of an integrated leadership team.
  • Participate in enrollment and recruitment as part of the Head Start/Early Head Start Team and ensure that the program is fully enrolled.
  • Participate in the self-assessment process and strategic planning.

Record Keeping, Reporting, and Communication:

  • Track the hours that sites, children, and families are served.
  • Ensure mental health information is entered into COPA in a timely manner.
  • Prepare monthly reports with updates and progress of sites and children served.
  • Participate in the regularly scheduled content area and other meetings.
  • Travel to Easterseals and partner sites regularly.

Ongoing Monitoring:

  • Assist in the development and implementation of a system to ensure that all children and families that are identified as benefiting from mental health services receive support in a timely manner.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a system for supporting children with behavioral concerns, including a behavior review process and behavior plans.
  • Implement and participate in monitoring systems for ensuring the active supervision and safety of children so that no child is ever left alone or unsupervised.

Human Resources:

  • Implement reflective and relationship-based practices.
  • Collaborate and provide guidance to the Education and Inclusion Coordinators, Education and Inclusion Coaches, and Inclusion Classroom Assistants in the area of Social and Emotional Development.
  • All other duties as assigned.


  • M.A. Clinical Counseling and LPC in the State of Illinois.
  • LCSW preferred.

Experience Required:

  • 3 years of early childhood experience.
  • Experience in Head Start/Early Head Start.
  • Home visiting experience preferred.

Required Knowledge:

  • Early Childhood Development.
  • Head Start Performance Standards.
  • MS Office.

Vehicle/Transportation Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Auto insurance.
  • Reliable vehicle.


  • Ability to demonstrate cultural competence and sensitivity while using reflective practices with a diverse population.
  • Able to work well with all levels of the organization, partner sites, other agencies, and funding source personnel.
  • Demonstrates the ability to conceptualize and articulate program outcomes.
  • Well organized, highly detail-oriented, and accuracy driven.
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

ADA: Easterseals will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. Unless exempted by the Americans with Disabilities Act, all persons hired for this position are required to possess the ability to perform the physical tasks necessary to treat clients, i.e., bending, floor-sitting, etc., as well as to have the ability to lift up to 50 pounds frequently.