Therapeutic Recreation Intern


The Therapeutic Recreation internship is designed specifically for students fulfilling requirements for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.  The many tasks and situations to which a student is assigned throughout the internship include exposure to the NCTRC Job Analysis Task Domains and will have a lasting effect on his/her future endeavors.  FVSRA works cooperatively as a member of multi-service teams with the educational systems, social service agencies, clinical facilities, hospitals and our Member Agencies.
Internship Purpose: 
To assist with all job responsibilities of the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist including (but not limited to) assessing, planning, developing, implementing and evaluating therapeutic recreation programs for children and adults with disabilities within our member park districts and recreation departments.

  • Attending an accredited college or university to acquire a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation or recreation with a therapeutic emphasis.

  • Current academic coursework to complete requirements for NCTRC Certification.

  • Proven experience working with individuals with disabilities.

  • Ability to assist with the assessing, planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating activity programs for the therapeutic recreation continuum of services.

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with clientele, fellow full-time staff, part time staff, volunteers, day camp staff, parents/guardians, park district and school district personnel, as well as members of the general public.

  • Ability to engage in activities requiring physical exertion.  Ability to perform required duties under stressful situations with supervision.

  • First Aid/CPR certification preferred.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities (including, but not limited to): 

  • Assist with TR Assessment services for new clientele in determining leisure interest, goals, and facilitation techniques to best serve the individual.

  • Assist with the planning, developing, leading, and evaluating therapeutic recreation programs on a year round basis which include: general programs, Special Olympics sports, leisure education, collaborative programs and special events (such programs and activities may require travel and overnight trips.)

  • Assist with the selecting, recommending, and the inventory of supplies and equipment, which are associated with program assignments and responsibilities.

  • Assist in supervision and evaluation of part-time staff and volunteers in assigned programs.

  • Assist with providing direct supervision for all part-time staff and volunteers assigned to Therapeutic Recreation Specialist’s programs.

  • Assist with the development of goals and objectives for each assigned program and assist with the maintenance of all program paperwork; i.e., records, forms, and correspondence.

  • Attend all assigned meetings.

  • Assist the full time staff with developing and maintaining effective communication with special education teachers, social service workers, community members, parents, and agency personnel.

  • Assist with the preparation of the program budgets for each assigned program and assist with the maintenance of the expenditure records.

  • Complete an Agency Internship Project as jointly determined by the supervisor and intern.

  • Drive a van or car to programs, seasonal events, away trips and/or meetings.

  • Effectively use cell phones, computers, computer software, and the Internet for the performance of internship assignments.

  • Provide physical and emotional support to both children and adults with limitations when working and participating in activities requiring assistance.

  • Adhere to the safety policies as indicated by the PDRMA Loss Control Program and the FVSRA Safety manual.

  • Perform other duties related to the duties of a Therapeutic Recreation Intern.

  • Must be able to respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

  • Must be able to work efficiently and effectively under pressure; such as deadlines and emergencies.

  • Must demonstrate adequate leadership qualities.



Collaboration – Promotes and supports work teams and groups

Reliability – Performs responsibilities dependably and accurately, fulfills promised actions Responsiveness – Focuses on the customer, willingly helps others and provides prompt service

Assurance – Conveys trusts and inspires confidence

Empathy – Deals with individuals, appreciates their differences, handles emotions and shows compassion for others

Self Confidence – Recognizes the contributions of others and is conscious of own ability

Initiative – Begins and follows through energetically with plans and tasks

Communication – Shares information, listens to what others are saying

Adaptability – Makes decisions and solves complex problems

Physical Demands:
The Therapeutic Recreation Intern must, with or without reasonable accommodations be able to perform the following functions:


  • Gather, load, transport and set-up equipment and supplies for activities.

  • Supervision of individuals, including at times the use of physical restraints.

  • Physically assist individuals in wheelchairs by pushing, pulling or providing stabilization on unknown terrain.

  • Physically transfer individuals from wheelchair to chair, into and out of vehicles, from pool deck into pool, in washroom facilities, etc.

  • Active participation in programs.


Working Conditions:
The Therapeutic Recreation Intern may be exposed to elements when driving to meetings, programs or when assisting with outdoor functions. Most activities are performed indoors; these conditions include lighting and temperature.