Nonprofit Spotlight: Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic

Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

Intersections’ Nonprofit Spotlight series profiles organizations that are propelling positive change in South L.A. _________________________________________________________________________ 

What is the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic’s purpose? To provide quality mental health services to a community in great need by ensuring easy access and promoting early intervention.

When was the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic founded? Since its inception in 1924 as the first child guidance clinic west of the Rockies, the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic has built a rich history of leadership and innovation in the field of pediatric mental health.

Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

Which areas does the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic serve? Central and South Los Angeles.

What services does the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic provide? Comprehensive array of mental health programs include the following:

Early Intervention and Community Wellness Division – Since the 1980s has pioneered programs including home visitation by early childhood experts, clinic-based services for children whose explosive behavioral problems often result in expulsion from preschools, assessments of young children in foster care to assure safety and emotional well-being in future placement, and a family resource center meeting basic needs in economically stressful times.

Outpatient Services Division – Includes specialty services for children experiencing school failure and/or involvement in probation and child welfare systems, as well as a one-of-a-kind no-fee, no-appointment Access Center where annually an average of 1,700 highest-need children are immediately seen, enrolled into Clinic services, or referred to regional center, domestic violence and other appropriate placements.

City Hall declares Children Mental Health Awareness Day in Los Angeles | Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

City Hall declares Children Mental Health Awareness Day in Los Angeles | Photo Courtesy of LA Child Guidance

Intensive Services Division – Employs a nationally recognized model designed to keep together families struggling to overcome mental illness, domestic violence, substance abuse and extreme poverty, while also providing comprehensive, coordinated services 24/7 for highest-needs children – especially those in foster care – who exhibit severe behavioral and emotional problems.

Life Learning Division – Serves youth ages 15 to 25 who are homeless, at risk for homelessness, aging out of foster care, or struggling with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, by blending job placement services, treatment, case management and medication services to support essential skills for independent living.

The Early Intervention Training Institute trains approximately 650 mental health and allied professionals annually in identifying, intervening and referring very young children at risk for emotional, behavioral or social delays. A unique Child Psychiatry Residents Training affiliation with USC Keck School of Medicine Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry trains all child psychiatry residents to diagnose and treat children ages 0 – 5.

What are the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic’s recent accomplishments?

  •  3,403 children and family members benefited from Clinic services.
  • 51,707 mental health outpatient visits were provided at three community-based Clinic offices, s well as on-site at 20 local schools, in clients’ homes, and at other community sites.
  • 1,174 children, family members, and caregivers received immediate assistance at the no-appointment, no-fee bilingual Access Center.
  • 5,085 days of service were provided through our intensive day treatment program.
  • 6 residents from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine served rotations at the Clinic through the Child Psychiatry Residents Training Program, receiving specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of young children.
  • 4 doctoral students participated in our Psychology Internship Program, providing clinical treatment services and receiving specialized training.

Video Courtesy of LA Child Guidance Youtube Channel

What does the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic consider as…

…top safety issues in South L.A.? As resources become available through the Affordable Care Act and California’s Mental Health Services Act, it is imperative that silos be broken between our health, mental health and public education system to ensure children and youth of all ages benefit.

…top education issues in South L.A.?  School based health centers offer great promise, but easy referrals between service providers at the school site is a goal that must be realized – otherwise students don’t get access to the care they need to succeed in life.

…top housing issues in South L.A.? Supportive housing for individuals with mental health needs and disabilities continue to top the list.

…top recreational issues in South L.A.? The continued focus on access to healthy, affordable food is important, as is the completion of the Expo line and new enthusiasm around biking.

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter

Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Contact info: Cesar Portillo, Vice President of Clinic Advancement, [email protected]

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