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(Photo courtesy: the San Diego Center for Children)

The Midway Foundation Awards $10,000 to the San Diego Center for Children

San Diego CA— The Midway Foundation has awarded $10,000 to the San Diego Center for Children to help further implement the Center’s Empowered Families© program to better respond to the needs of families with a child suffering from a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder. This grant will allow the Center to bring this proprietary methodology to their Residential Treatment Program and work with more youth of military families.

As a leader in San Diego for serving youth with mental health disorders, the Center created Empowered Families© to help families better understand and address the needs associated with caring for a child with challenges and/or special needs.

The grant will enable at least 15 military families to receive Empowered Families© services which guides families through a process of identifying the needs of their child, along with needs of the entire family, through a Family Needs Assessment to help them develop and implement an individualized and comprehensive Family Action Plan. This plan serves as a roadmap for the clinician and the family to identify the information, skills, therapeutic services and community resources they need for the short and long-term. In addition, the grant will allow the Center to engage in outreach activities to military commands in San Diego County and hospitals who may treat a child from a military family for a mental health disorder.

Moisés Barón, Ph.D., the Center’s CEO said:  We are thankful to the Midway Foundation because we believe that our new Empowered Families methodology could be of great benefit to military families who are caring for a child with special needs.  By having a better understanding of the full range of needs a family may experience, it is possible to develop and implement comprehensive Family Action Plans to ensure that military families receive the services, supports and guidance they need to best care for their child with special needs”

In 2017, the Empowered Families© pilot program launched at the Center’s Family Wellness Center, serving nearly half of its client base with this newly-developed methodology. In addition to the child’s progress in treatment, outcomes being tracked include parental stress and family empowerment measures. The Center is also developing a technology component which will launch later this year. This platform will allow the Center to serve more families and to do so more efficiently. Families will be able to complete the Family Needs Assessment online and also have quick access to the goals and action items of their plans. As a virtual tool, remote coaching and counseling will also be available for the child and family.

Mental health challenges affect one in five youth in San Diego. These challenges impact a child’s ability to manage emotions, communicate with others, learn, cope with various stressors, plan for the future, and if not treated, can be of great detriment for young people in becoming independent, autonomous and productive members of our community. In many cases today, the family is charged with significant responsibility in identifying who can help their child and is often required to navigate a system of separate providers and resources to help their child and the family.