Changing a generation - one child at a time.
In the early 1990's it became evident that children in our community were in critical need of specialized mental health services. The St. John Medical Center Foundation wanted to use its resources to address this vital need. The dream of creating A Child’s Place was initially identified by the Children’s Interagency Board (leaders of local children’s organizations). Psychiatric unit staff agreed there should be a place for children to be assessed, and where services could be coordinated between medical and social service professionals.
A community Task Force defined the program. The Foundation held fund-raisers and created a large base of community donors. Within a couple of years, enough money was pledged to make the dream a reality. The doors opened In 1997 with Dr. Mark Schwei and Program Manager Kyle Rahn acting as team leaders for A Child’s Place. The Foundation continued to raise funds and participated with management of this new program. The Task Force and some members of the Foundation Board formed an Advisory Board, assisting with the development and operation of A Child’s Place. Annual symposiums involved multiple professionals and members of the community, and helped to keep the vision of A Child's Place strong and clear.
The focus of A Child’s Place continues to be prevention, early intervention, and education. Issues of older children were so severe, however, that most of the early critical services were directed to that population. There have been changes in psychiatric leadership over time, and the severity of children’s issues dictated the need for more than one psychiatrist. The program has, by necessity, become more clinical in nature than originally intended. The Advisory Board continues to provide leadership to work toward the vision – serving the young child, collaborating with other community professionals and with parents, sponsoring educational forums, and “changing a generation – one child at a time.”
A Child’s Place will strengthen children and families by identifying and coordinating local treatment, services, and support, and by emphasizing prevention, early intervention and education.
A Child’s Place will change a generation... one child at a time.
Vision for a Child's Place
A Child’s Place will be the focal point for our community’s commitment to children and families. It will allow health and behavioral health professionals to share and learn together so they can continually improve the work they do on behalf of children and adolescents. It will empower parents and professionals to be effective partners.
A Child’s Place will be a center for ensuring that assessments address multiple life domains that focus on the whole child and his or her individual environment. Assessments will result in treatment recommendations and support plans that can be delivered with a reasonable expectation of success.
It will be known for its challenge to change a generation. It will strengthen families and reduce the number of at-risk children/adolescents in our community. It will provide opportunities for individual, group, and community education.
A Child’s Place will support "village-like" teams, find resources, and shape individualized service packages that are tailored to the particular needs of the child.