Community Collaboration

Los Angeles Child Development Center (LACDC)

The Los Angeles Child Development Center (LACDC) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1977, whose mission is to provide accessible, affordable mental health services to children who could otherwise not afford them. These services can help children regain well-being, achieve appropriate developmental milestones and become integrated members of their communities. The LACDC has embraced a movement in the mental health field toward providing children with school-based early identification and intervention, so that mental health challenges can be addressed and resolved before becoming debilitating chronic conditions.

Through their school-based counseling programs, the LACDC meets children where they are–not in psychotherapists' offices, but on school campuses. Working in conjunction with teachers, administrators and parents, the LACDC helps children better understand themselves, their families and their school communities. The LACDC currently offers on-site mental health counseling to over 11,000 children in schools in the Los Angeles area and training for school-based psychotherapists at these schools.

LACDC was recently selected to be the recipient of the 2013 Award for Excellence from the Association for Child Psychoanalysis (ACP). The ACP is an international organization that promotes psychoanalytic work with children. The LACDC was recognized for exemplifying the highest level of service associated with the profession of child and adolescent psychoanalysis.

  • LACDC at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
    In 2005, the LACDC began a partnership with Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a "mini-district" of charter schools in the MacArthur Park neighborhood comprising 3,000 students on five campuses, from early childhood through high school. For over 7 years, the LACDC has provided culturally competent, free mental health services to Camino Nuevo's low-income and uninsured students and their families. In addition, the LACDC therapists and consultants support the teaching staff, administrators and resource specialists in addressing the mental health needs faced by the whole school population. The program is staffed by bi-lingual and bi-cultural mental health professionals and interns who reach a community on their home ground who have until now gone unattended.
  • LACDC at the Culver City Middle and High School Youth Health Center
    In Culver City the LACDC offers mental health services to all the students of the Culver City Middle and High School and the Culver Park Continuation School, the primary target population being the children of the working poor. At the Health Center, ten simultaneous groups are held and services are offered to over 200 teenagers facing every sort of psychological challenge from depression, anxiety, parental abuse, fear of gangs, to suicide. Equally important, for over 25 years, the LACDC has trained a cadre of mental health professionals who can provide the mental health services children need in the venue which allows the best and easiest access to those services.
  • LACDC at the Accelerated School
    In 2008, the LACDC established a third partnership in the school community, a joint venture with The Accelerated School in South Los Angeles. The Accelerated School began in 1993 as a small community charter and now encompasses an Early Learning Preschool, a K-8 campus, a high school and an additional dual-language school for grades K-5, totaling approximately 1,500 students. In each of these parts of the Accelerated program, individual and group counseling is offered to students and consultation work is done with parents, teachers and administrators. Simultaneously, the LACDC is training future therapists to work in the diverse school population that Accelerated provides.

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