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Children's Institute, Inc.: Programs & Services

Programs & Services

Read about our programs in action. View our 2016 Digital Annual Report.

CII’s Integrated Service Model offers readily accessible, evidence-based, well-coordinated prevention, intervention and treatment services for children and families who reside in high-need, low-resource communities. Our programs are family-driven and culturally respectful. They have been influenced by our many years of experience treating traumatized children, our longstanding participation in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the burgeoning literature on the importance of brain development, and the recognition that services need to focus not only on reducing risk factors but also on increasing protective and promotive factors.

For a printed description of our programs, download the publication Programs and Services for Children, Youth and Families.

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Assessment

  • Child and Family Assessment Center – CII’s assessment psychologists provide comprehensive mental health evaluations for children and youth from 6 weeks to age 18 to assist in treatment planning with complex cases.
  • Multidisciplinary Assessment Teams (MAT) – A joint initiative with Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services and Department of Mental Health, designed to provide comprehensive educational, developmental and psychological assessments to children just entering the foster care system.
  • Harbor-UCLA Medical Assessment HubCII partners with medical professionals from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to assess children entering foster care in selected geographical areas. CII’s mental health staff conduct in-depth mental health assessments for children identified as being at risk for mental health problems during their medical assessment.

Individual and Family Treatment Programs

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) – A 12–16-session structured treatment approach developed to reduce symptoms of traumatic stress and improve coping skills. Caregivers are seen in collateral sessions where they are prepared to listen to the child’s narrative describing the event(s) that traumatized them. TF-CBT is commonly used at CII for children 4–18 years of age who have experienced abuse, neglect or exposure to community or family violence.
  • Functional Family Therapy (FFT) – An evidence-based family intervention for at-risk youth ages 10–18 who are experiencing family conflict. FFT is appropriate for children/youth whose problems range from acting out to conduct disorders to alcohol and/or substance abuse.
  • Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP)MAP systematically draws on the most current scientific information to treat a broad range of mental health disorders. The model entails careful measurement of progress week to week and adjusting the service plan as needed to maximize gains.

Early Childhood Treatments

  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) – An extensively researched treatment for children ages 2–7 that is particularly effective for children with oppositional behaviors. Treatment focuses on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship, teaching effective behavior management skills and changing parent-child interaction patterns.
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) – Treatment for children from birth through age 6 who have experienced a traumatic event and, as a result, are experiencing behavior, attachment, and/or mental health problems related to post-traumatic stress. Caregivers participate in the treatment throughout and learn to recognize how trauma has affected both them and their children and to respond more empathically to their children.
  • Therapeutic Preschool – This half-day program takes place at our Burton E. Green Campus in Torrance. The program is designed for eligible children ages 3–5 years with behavioral and emotional problems that are too severe to be served in mainstream preschool settings. The therapeutic preschool combines the integrated approaches of a warm, supportive, developmentally appropriate early childhood education environment with individual therapy.

Specialized Treatment Groups

  • Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Groups – A 20-week parallel group-treatment program for children and youth ages 5–18 years who have been sexually abused, their non-offending parents and their siblings.
  • Domestic Violence Treatment Groups – A 30-week group-treatment program that includes parallel groups for adult survivors of domestic violence and their children who, in most cases, have directly witnessed violence in their homes. The groups follow a structured curriculum designed to develop coping skills and to improve emotional and behavioral regulation. Parents are also provided a supportive venue for making decisions to protect themselves and their children.
  • Groups for Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems – These 25-week groups are designed for youth ages 10–14 who have engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with other children. Some, but not all of these youth have experienced sexual abuse themselves. The structured, evidence-based curriculum helps youth examine the consequences of their actions and develop better impulse control. Parents participate in parallel groups where they learn to communicate with their children around sexuality and provide the level of supervision needed to ensure community safety.
  • Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Groups – This 20-week group program for youth ages 12–18 years explores the consequences of substance abuse and provides the skills and social support youth need to refrain from alcohol and drug use and resist negative peer influences. The groups are co-led by mental health professionals trained in substance abuse as well as youth who are in recovery.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) – A 10-session group intervention for youth ages 10–14, designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression caused by exposure to violence. The program has been used successfully in inner-city schools with multicultural populations and has three main goals: reduce symptoms related to trauma, build resilience, and increase peer and parent support.
  • Incredible Years Parenting Program (IY) – A behaviorally oriented group parenting program that focuses on strengthening parenting competencies (monitoring, positive discipline, confidence) and fostering parents’ involvement in children’s school experiences in order to promote children’s academic, social and emotional competencies and reduce conduct problems. Parallel social skills groups for children ages 9–12 and Dina Dinosaur groups for children ages 4–8 are also offered.

Intensive Home-Based Services

  • Field Capable Clinical Services (FCCS)CII provides intensive services in the home or field to children ages birth to 15 and families who have difficulty accessing clinic-based services or who need more support than can be provided in a clinic setting. FCCS employs a multidisciplinary team and is designed for children/youth who are at serious risk of foster placement, school failure, juvenile justice involvement or psychiatric hospitalization. Crisis intervention is available 24/7.
  • Full Service Partnership (FSP) – More intensive than FCCS, the FSP program is designed for children birth to age 15 who have been unserved, inappropriately served, or underserved. The program utilizes a team approach to do “whatever it takes” to partner with children, families and communities to create hope, mental health and wellness while transforming their lives and our communities. Crisis intervention is available 24/7.
  • Wraparound Services – A collaborative team planning process that is family-driven, strengths-based, community-based, culturally competent, and individualized. The Wraparound program is designed for youth who are in placement, at imminent risk of placement or experiencing an urgent mental health need. Building on strengths within the youth, family and community, the Wraparound Program does “whatever it takes” to ensure that youth are able to live in safe, permanent family homes.

Early Care and Education (ECE) Programs

Download a copy of the 2015-16 HS/EHS Annual Report for CII

  • Center-Based ProgramsCII offers full-day and half-day center-based ECE programs for children 6 weeks to age 5 at our Mid-Wilshire and Burton E. Green (Torrance) early childhood centers. Center-based ECE programs for children ages 3–5 are also offered at six other early childhood centers located throughout Central and South Los Angeles. CII’s ECE classrooms employ the Creative curriculum, which focuses on the individual needs of each child and supports all areas of development—language, cognitive, social emotional, physical and creative. Progress is tracked through ongoing screenings, assessments and tracking of developmental milestones. The program includes providing children with balanced meals daily.
  • Home-Based Programs – Through our Early Head Start and Head Start programs, we are able to provide families with an experienced Home Visitor who works with the caregiver and child in the home once a week for an hour and a half. Home Visitors help parents learn about their child’s development through a series of activities and assessments drawn from the Growing Great Kids (GGK) curriculum. In our home-based programs, parents attend social activities at our centers where they meet with other families and form relationships within their community. These home-based services are offered in the Mid-Wilshire district and in Compton.
  • Family Child CareCII has developed a network of family child care homes throughout Los Angeles County that provide ECE services to children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. CII staff provide training to all of these licensed providers and ensure high-quality care.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health – Offered in selected geographic locations in Los Angeles County, CII early childhood mental health programs provide center- and home-based mental health services to assess and treat emotional, behavioral and relational difficulties experienced by young children, strengthen parent-child relationships, and promote healthy parenting.

Child Welfare Services

  • Family Preservation – This program helps to stabilize and empower families referred by the child protective services system following allegations of child abuse or neglect. Its goal is to help children remain safely in their homes whenever possible and, when not possible, support family reunification.
  • Partners Foster Care and Adoption Program – CII’s therapeutic foster family and adoption program provides quality out-of-home care to children from birth through age 18 with a focus on reunification with birth families whenever possible and on placement stability and permanency while children are in care. For children who need intensive treatment to recover from trauma and loss, to better regulate their emotions and behavior, CII’s Partners program offers Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Adolescents (MTFC-A) and Children (MTFC-C) – Comprehensive, multifaceted, developmentally appropriate behavioral interventions for foster children with emotional and behavioral difficulties that have resulted in placement disruptions and/or placement in more restrictive, higher levels of care. Foster parents receive special training and are an essential part of the treatment team. Click here for information on becoming a foster parent.
  • Intensive Treatment Foster Care (ITFC) – A closely supervised foster home setting for children and youth with serious emotional and/or behavioral problems in conjunction with an individualized service plan that includes intensive counseling, case management, and support services.
  • Kin Care – CII’s Grandma’s House provides a weekly support group and a range of supportive services to both kin care providers and their children.
  • Project Fatherhood – This unique, federally funded demonstration program is based on a growing body of research that attests to the critical importance of positive father involvement in the lives of their children. The program provides support, therapy, job-readiness training, and parenting education to fathers and significant others of at-risk children to increase father involvement in child rearing and strengthen the father-child relationship. Project Fatherhood specializes in working with fathers whose children are in the child welfare system.
  • Parent Education – A 20-week program for parents referred by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services or the Courts following allegations of abuse or neglect. Topics covered include child development, communication skills, anger management, alternatives to corporal punishment, and positive-reinforcement strategies.
  • Intensive Family-Based Mental Health ServicesCII provides Field Capable Clinical Services (FCCS), Full Service Partnership (FSP), Intensive In-Home Mental Health Services (IIHMHS) and Wraparound programs for children in the child welfare system with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties that jeopardize their placement in family settings.

Family Support Services

  • Family Economic Success & Stability – We work to ensure that every family has the tools, skills and resources not only to survive but to thrive. Our services include programs that address financial literacy, workforce development, English proficiency, and more. We also provide free income tax preparation.
  • Parenting and Support GroupsCII offers multiple parent education and support groups to help parents develop parenting and basic communication skills, improve parent-child relationships, foster an understanding of basic child development principles and create a sense of community among a group of fellow parents. These groups and classes include support groups for grandparents raising their grandchildren, fathers, parenting classes in English and Spanish, parent support groups, and classes for pregnant or parenting teens.
  • Health and WellnessCII’s Family Resource Center offers a variety of programs and services that support the health and wellness of children and adults. They include healthful cooking and nutrition workshops, access to food banks, exercise classes, and weight-management and healthy choices program for children.
  • Special Family Events – Available to all children and families who receive services at CII, events include: sports tournaments, holiday celebrations, arts and crafts days, and clothing and book drives.
  • Resource and Referral Services – CII counselors are specially trained to understand the multiple needs of families in our community and to provide appropriate referrals for everything from food banks and afterschool programs to treatment for exposure to violence in the home or community or placement in one of our early childhood programs.

Youth Development Services

  • Creative Arts – Creative activities enhance children’s self-esteem and help to build confidence. CII offers a wide variety of creative arts programs through our Family Resource Center. These include: painting, drawing and ceramics classes; dance classes; classes in music and various digital media; and CII’s acclaimed Performing Arts program.
  • Literacy and Education – Several programs and services offered through the FRC focus on literacy and education, providing youth and children with access to books, technology and different learning tools to support their educational goals. These programs and services include: our Children’s Library and Computer Lab; classes in creative writing; Superstart, our math and literacy program; Stories Abroad, a reading program for children ages 8–12 that focuses on different parts of the world; and Camp Read-A-Lot, our summer reading program.
  • Health and Wellness – To enhance the health and well-being of children and youth in our community, we offer programs that promote wellness and healthy lifestyle choices including classes in cooking and nutrition, exercise and tae kwon do, and sports activities.
  • Life SkillsCII’s life skills activities include: courses in job readiness; our nationally accredited Youth Internship program; and SOAR, which helps individuals develop their social skills so they can communicate and interact more effectively in any situation.
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