Los Angeles Child Development Center

An Affiliate of New Center for Psychoanalysis

The Los Angeles Child Development Center (LACDC) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1977, whose mission is to provide accessible, affordable mental health services to children who could otherwise not afford them. These services can help children regain wellbeing, achieve appropriate developmental milestones and become integrated members of their communities. The LACDC has embraced a movement in the mental health field toward providing children with school-based early identification and intervention, so that mental health challenges can be addressed and resolved before becoming debilitating chronic conditions. 

Through their school-based counseling programs, the LACDC meets children where they are–not in psychotherapists' offices, but on school campuses. Working in conjunction with teachers, administrators and parents, the LACDC helps children better understand themselves, their families and their school communities. The LACDC currently offers on-site mental health counseling to over 11,000 children in schools in the Los Angeles area and training for school-based psychotherapists at these schools. 

LACDC was selected to be the recipient of the 2013 Award for Excellence from the Association for Child Psychoanalysis (ACP). The ACP is an international organization that promotes psychoanalytic work with children. The LACDC was recognized for exemplifying the highest level of service associated with the profession of child and adolescent psychoanalysis.

LACDC at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

In 2005, the LACDC began a partnership with Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a "mini-district" of charter schools in the MacArthur Park neighborhood comprising 3,000 students on five campuses, from early childhood through high school. For over seven years, the LACDC has provided culturally competent, free mental health services to Camino Nuevo's low-income and uninsured students and their families. In addition, the LACDC therapists and consultants support the teaching staff, administrators and resource specialists in addressing the mental health needs faced by the whole school population. The program is staffed by bilingual and bicultural mental health professionals and interns who reach a community on their home ground who have until now gone unattended. The LACDC program at Camino has begun a pilot project called the Trauma Sensitive Informed School Project where administrators, teachers, custodial staff, cafeteria workers, parents and students are trained to recognize trauma triggers in students and work to support those students to remain in the classroom and get the help they need. 

LACDC at the Culver City Middle and High School Youth Health Center

In Culver City the LACDC offers mental health services to all the students of the Culver City Middle and High School and the Culver Park Continuation School, the primary target population being the children of the working poor. At the Health Center, ten simultaneous groups are held and services are offered to over 200 teenagers facing every sort of psychological challenge, such as depression, anxiety, parental abuse, fear of gangs, and suicide. The LACDC also treats children in individual therapy and works with teachers, administrators and parents. For over 25 years, the LACDC has trained a cadre of mental health professionals who can provide the mental health services children need in the venue which allows the best and easiest access to those services. 

For more information, please visit www.lacdc.net.