We believe that the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of a child is vital to establish a healthy community. Our vision is to provide comprehensive and bilingual behavioral health services in Chicago to address the needs of children, ages 0 to 18 years, along with the needs of their families living in the area.
Child and Adolescent Counseling Services (CACS)
CACS is a long-standing program that provides bilingual counseling services to children, starting at three years of age. Our mental health therapists provide individual, family, and group therapy, and case management. Services are delivered in the clinic, in schools, and homes, as determined by individual needs and concerns.
Counseling provides skills to help families cope with current life problems, but it also provides techniques to understand and address future issues. For example, therapists address family challenges when children manifest signs of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and various degrees of disruptive behavior, both at home and at school.
Martina Sancen, LPC is one of our child therapist. Each day she teaches stress management and self care techniques that kids can practice at home on their own or with their family members.
Her tips for teaching children how to calm themselves are fun, unique and age appropriate.
For instance, she helps small children practice breathing with bubbles: “blowing bubbles really helps to regulate breathing and it is a comfortable and fun way for kids to learn an important calming technique.”
Another strategy she uses is being person centered. That means focusing on the individual and tailoring her practice to meet the needs of each client based on their interests.
Martina loves to share the story of a 4th grade girl whom she recently helped and who was so successful, her case was discharged early.
“Angie* was very intelligent and received straight A’s in school but she worried a lot. She worried so much that her stress began to affect her ability to interact with peers, at home and in school.
Since she was such an intellectual child, our sessions often involved me presenting her with educational information about how stress affects her health, which she really took to.
Angie practiced the techniques we discussed at home and when I suggested we make a worry box for her to leave all of her troubles in, she loved the idea!
In fact, she was so excited by the idea that she did it on her own at home before the start of our next session.
What’s more, she even educated her parents about her new stress management skills and how her worry box would be a huge help to her.”
Martina’s story is inspiring and rewarding!
Martina finished her story by adding: “That’s what it’s all about; connecting with clients and finding what’s really going to work for her”.
*Name changed for confidentiality.
Child Development Support Services (CDSS)
Another part of our behavioral health services is the CDSS that focuses on enhancing parenting practices and behaviors. A child development specialist is present in the pediatric clinic to see all newborns for developmental screening, to assist in problems with lactation, and to educate parents on child safety, including car seats. Child development specialists assist families in:
- Dealing with Poor Verbal Communication and Behavioral and Sensory Issues
- Conducting Additional Developmental Screenings
- Providing Parent Education and Support
- Giving Nutrition Education for Children with Feeding Issues
- Addressing Issues Through Behavioral and Disciplinary Interventions
- Providing Social, Emotional, Language Support
Parents are also given information about free or low-cost programs for their children through various resources.
Child psychiatry diagnoses and treats disorders of thinking, feeling, and/or behavior through medication affecting children, adolescents, and their families. The child psychiatry department works closely with the therapists in the CACS program, child development specialists, and clinical providers.
Contact us for appointments and donations. Your help will serve as a tool to expand and innovate our medical and behavioral health services for local families in Chicago, IL, and the surrounding areas.