Para Los Niños recognizes that poverty and chronic stress can result in significant barriers to learning. Some families live in poverty because of mental health issues. We are committed to building resiliency in children and families and to partnering with teachers to identify the earliest signs of trouble.
Trauma (neighborhood and domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse) effects both physical and mental well-being; depression, anxiety and disruptive behaviors are signs that healthy development and the capacity for learning are being compromised. Helping children and families work through these issues is the key to improving their relationships within the family and with peers and teachers.
PLN’s mental health staff is part of our school community. Families get to know and trust the therapists, social workers and family advocates placed at the schools sites; these relationships, in turn, make it easier to ask for help.
- For our youngest children (0 to 5) we employ evidence-based practices such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Child Parent Psychotherapy as well as other therapeutic interventions that focus on the relationship between the caregiver and the child. The goal is to provide a strong foundation, improve parenting skills and mitigate the effects of early trauma and stress.
- For elementary and middle school students, we coordinate services with school staff and use a variety of group and individual practices such as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as linkages and referrals to other critical resources and services.