The San Diego Center for Children is getting ready for a growth spurt.
The Center — which is the region’s oldest children’s nonprofit — recently acquired from the state 3-acres of land adjacent to its main campus in Linda Vista.
Due to the efforts of District 79 Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber, Assembly Bill 1057 directed the state to sell the property directly to the Center and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. By completing the purchase of this property this past September, the Center is charting its future to serve more children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
“We are thankful to Dr. Weber and her staff for their leadership and partnership,” said Moisés Barón, Ph.D. President & CEO of the San Diego Center for Children in a press statement. “The acquisition of this land is an important milestone for our organization and will help us better serve even more children and families in need”
The Center has helped children and families with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders for over 130 years and is one of few facilities in San Diego to be nationally accredited by The Joint Commission for its effective and holistic range of mental health services. The Center operates eight program sites across the county and provides individualized therapeutic, educational, foster care and transition age services to over 1,000 people every day.
Capital projects have been on the forefront of the Center’s strategic vision in order to help more children and families in our community who are in dire need of mental health and specialized educational services.
In San Diego, one in five children struggles with a mental, emotional and behavioral disorder — resulting in more than 105,000 children and teens — of which only 20 percent of youth are receiving the help they need.
The Center’s mission is to ensure that its facilities and therapeutic environment matches the quality of service care it provides the community. This year, the Center completed a capital expansion of its privately operated WASC accredited K-12 nonpublic of which more classrooms and therapeutic space were added to serve its population of 100 students from over 20 school districts in San Diego County.
Currently, the Center is initiating the remodeling of its aging residential treatment cottages, which serves over 65 children and teens from across the state of California and beyond in need of intensive around-the-clock therapeutic treatment. The Center’s Residential Treatment Program is the first in our region to be certified by the state as a Short-Term Residential Treatment Program to provide intensive mental health services to foster youth. Additionally, youth come into the Center’s residential care from other referral sources, such as the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, adoptions, and a range of private insurances including TRICARE and Blue Cross.
“There is a great need in the community for effective and innovative ways to effectively help children with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. We are working with many partners in the community to develop the continuum of care our children and families need and deserve,” added Barón.
The Center’s plan for the newly-acquired 3-acre property is to “work in partnership with community leaders and its loyal supporters to build a state-of-the-art facility … so more youth in our community have a greater sense of safety, belonging and healing,” according to the press statement.
For more information about San Diego Center for Children, visit centerforchildren.org.