Child & Family Center has received a $20,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Foundation to provide in-school educational groups for children showing early signs of behavioral health problems. Participants will gain a greater understanding of mental health risk factors, coping strategies, what to do when under stress, how to handle bullying and anger management techniques.
Dr. David Wong, Amy Wiese and Laura Gallardo presented the check on behalf of Kaiser Permanente at the Center’s 35th birthday celebration on September 9.
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“The Kaiser Foundation has always been incredibly generous to Child & Family Center. This latest and most outstanding gift will make a real difference in the lives of so many of our local students – helping them to improve in their school and home lives – and our entire community is very grateful,” said Lois Bauccio, President/Executive Director of the Child & Family Center Foundation.
The primary objectives of the program are to increase access to mental health services for children showing initial signs or at-risk of behavioral problems; prevention of negative incidents, such as fights, bullying, vandalism, suicide or drug abuse; and to identify students who are in need of more intensive services. As a result of the program, it is expected that there will be fewer classroom disruptions and will reduce the time that teachers have to deal with problem behaviors.
The Center’s School-Based Counseling and Mental Health Services are currently offered in 20 schools across five districts in the Santa Clarita Valley. This nationally acclaimed program delivers individual counseling and treatment to over 250 children each year. While the program has been an extraordinary success, its intensity makes services costly and relatively difficult to access.
The Kaiser grant will increase the Center’s ability to see students quickly, efficiently and in large numbers, and to provide preventive and/or early intervention services. Working with school counselors at schools in the Hart, Newhall, Saugus, Castaic, and Sulphur Springs School Districts, the Center will conduct ten six-eight week group discussion sessions on topics such as bullying, social skills, grief, self-esteem, anger management, suicide, divorce, and other relevant causes of behavioral issues. Each group will include six students and will be conducted by an experienced, culturally competent therapist.
As participants demonstrate the need for more personalized services, they will be referred to the Center for a formal assessment and, if appropriate, additional services for which they are eligible.
As the nation's largest nonprofit, integrated health care system, Kaiser Permanente seeks to make positive contributions to health and wellness in the community as part of its social mission. Kaiser Permanente addresses needs and priorities identified locally which affect overall community health and the health care system. This is accomplished, in part, by supporting partnerships with community-based organizations through their community grants program.
Child & Family Center began 35 years ago as a diagnostic and treatment program for children (2- 8 years) with emotional/behavioral problems. As the Santa Clarita Valley has grown, the
Center has evolved to meet the community's needs for counseling, education and supportive services that address the whole family. Today, as the Santa Clarita Valley's largest Department of Mental Health (DMH) contracted nonprofit mental health provider, the Center assists more than 3,300 children and 2,500 adults annually with a comprehensive range of prevention, early intervention, evaluation and therapeutic services. The Center currently offers 28 distinct programs at five sites and in 20 schools throughout the Valley, serving more than 850 clients each week with counseling, crisis intervention, parenting classes and substance abuse recovery programs.
Outreach programs reach an additional 5,000 Valley residents each year. For more information on the Center, please visit www.childfamilycenter.org  or contact 661-259-9439.