Alternatives, Inc. has been a leader and innovator among Chicago’s youth-serving organizations since it was founded in 1971. Alternatives supports and empowers more than 4,000 Chicago youth each year, working to build safer and more vibrant communities. Our youth development programs provide opportunities for youth to build skills through the arts, technology, participatory action research, employment training and placement, gender-specific activities, restorative justice programs, peer-focused communications campaigns and behavioral health services. Our staff work throughout Chicago to deliver these programs, both in schools and within the communities. Alternatives main office is located in Uptown, with a second location on the Southside. Please see our open positions and ways to get involved below!

Alternatives, Incorporated is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.  

Crisis Intervention Specialist

The Crisis Intervention Specialist will report to the Family Intervention Services Manager to provide crisis intervention, direct case planning work and develop and maintain and new community partnerships in our CCBYS/CYS service area.


  • Maintain ongoing case management for assigned cases, including daily contact with guardians and youth; making arrangements with the family for school, transportation and record keeping functions; collaborating with appropriate individuals, agencies or service systems to ensure client accessibility to services. Provide transportation for youth to school, temporary shelter or to any other appointments during youth’s placement with Alternatives, Inc.
  • Provide 1-2 days per week of daytime crisis coverage; respond within 45 minutes to the police station, work with family and youth toward a resolution to the crisis, assess immediate needs of family and complete all necessary paperwork.
  • Understand and work within a positive youth development and Balanced and Restorative Justice framework.
    Use eCornerstone data entry system as well as the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) assessment for each client case.
  • Participate in all-agency meetings, clinical staffings, and weekly supervision.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Alternatives, Inc. policies, practices, and services.
  • Complete in a timely fashion all other tasks as assigned by the FIS Manager or Program Director


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work or related field.
  • Past experience working with youth.
  • Knowledge of adolescent/family dynamics, substance abuse and trauma issues.
  • Interest and commitment to working in a community-based youth service agency.
  • Access to use of car during working hours.Bi-lingual Spanish/English desirable but not required.
  • Knowledge of Chicago neighborhoods a plus.

Job Type: Full-time

Required education: Master’s

Required experience: youth-based work for 2 years

Required language: Spanish