The Santa Clarita Valley’s Child & Family Center celebrated a funding boost to help with a new crisis intervention program, officials announced Monday.
Steven Kim, owner of the Sand Canyon Country Club, donated $25,000 to support the Child & Family Center’s Crisis Aftercare Response & Education Team, otherwise known as CARE.
CFC officials Dr. Joan Aschoff, CEO, and Michael Berger, chair of the center’s board, accepted the donation on behalf of the Child & Family Center on Friday.
“Mr. Kim’s generosity through the Steve Y. Kim Foundation has made it possible for Child & Family Center to meet a growing and ongoing need in the Santa Clarita Valley for trained counselors to be ready and able to rapidly respond to community traumas,” Aschoff said. “Through our CARE team, the Center will be ready and able to provide support and intervention when tragedy strikes our community.”
The CARE Team dedicates themselves to provide mental health, behavioral and education services to families in the Santa Clarita Valley. All services are provided free of charge to the community.
Members of the CARE Team go through four to five days of training at The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., also known as ICISF. Once the staff are fully trained, the CARE Team is able to respond within two hours of a request for assistance. Upon the scene, they assess the situation so that the team can respond with the proper educational materials and tools tailored to the specific incident that has occurred.
Today, the CARE Team is equipped with trained professionals to assist in the emotional needs of community members immediately following a traumatic event. Studies have proven that early interventions after a crisis lessens the chance of long-term effects that arise from witnessing such event. In the past six months, Child & Family Center has responded to the public who have been impacted by traumatic events, such as suicide, traffic accidents and the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Cheryl Jones, V.P. of Marketing and Community Outreach, said that within a week of the Las Vegas shooting, the CARE Team set up community meetings around the Santa Clarita Valley and invited members of the community who were impacted to come and attend.
“We had a panel to address issues we identified,” Jones said. “Some of the people were in need of additional help, so we created a support group to help those efforts.”
The Child & Family Center was established in 1976 as a way to assist children with emotional, behavioral and learning problems. As the center evolved into the SCV Special Children’s Center in 1985, counseling services were offered to teenagers and their parents, as well.
The agency has since flourished into a center to aid and educate children, teens, adults and families in mental health.