LSC, PHE, SFCAC, FAP, CAC, GRADS are abbreviations of several of the projects that Childhood support in the US. And most of them received a visit in recent weeks, as part of our ongoing monitoring and evaluation process.
The first Children’s Advocacy Center opened in San Francisco on February 26. Before, children who hard been sexually assaulted were evaluated in the basement of SF General Hospital, and then sent all over the city for follow-up services or legal action. Now, the CAC is co-located with the Center for Youth Wellness, and the CPMC Bayview Pediatric Center to assist families in a holistic framework. Read more about trauma and how to prevent sexual abuse at www.centerforyouthwellness.org and www.sfcabc.org.
Peer Health Exchange in New York and San Francisco Bay Area receive support from Childhood, and are two of the 6 cities where PHE is active. In one of the schools in the Bronx, we participated in a 9th class where they were taught pregnancy prevention methods, such as condom use, STIs and Plan B. Many of the teens were knowledgeable of some of the methods but very often lack access to birth control and information about disease. In Oakland, CA, as may as 70% of teens suffer from PTSD due to trauma in their neighborhoods, and in their families. Read more about their work with inner-city youth at www.peerhealthexchange.org.
Legal Services for Children is one of the only legal aid societies in the US that serves only children. Recently, LSC has undertaken an agency-wide refocusing of their services to implement awareness of trauma in all segments of their support to children. The holistic – legal, social and emotional – approach to assist undocumented children, teenage parents or educationally delinquent children, has been instrumental in helping children find a stable home and school environment. And, one of the first programs that Childhood supported, the Detained Immigrant Children’s Project, is now a federally support program under the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Read more about their services at www.lsc-sf.org.
Finally, Chances for Children is a small agency, operating out of the Riverdale Mental Health Agency in the Bronx. For almost 20 years, they have provided much needed psychological intervention and social support to teen parents. A few years ago, CFC revamped their model to also include parents over 20 y o. The area of mental health is a growing as new brain research is confirming how vital the first months and years are to adult physical and mental health. CFC is also training social workers in their model to become more acutely aware of the needs of infants and toddlers. Read more at www.chancesforchildren-ny.org.
Text and photos: Charlotte Brandin