At SHIELDS, we help build healthy minds, bodies and souls. Poor behavioral health and poverty are inextricably linked: People living in poverty are more likely to suffer from poor mental health, and people with behavioral health problems are more likely to slide into poverty. And the number of children experiencing behavioral health problems—especially immigrant children—is on the rise. That is why we offer the community a comprehensive lineup of services in both English and Spanish that are certified by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.


Father and Son at Basketball GymSHIELDS’ range of services for children begins with our Therapeutic NurseryOur nursery serves 30 children ages 3 to 5 who are unable to attend preschool due to severe emotional and behavioral problems. In a structured setting, children participate in art and play therapy, story time, music and more. Our professionals work with parents to increase bonding and positive parenting skills. In the last year, more than 93% of the children in the program were able to transition to regular school settings.

Our HUB Outpatient Mental Health Clinic provides assessments, individualized therapy, and therapeutic and support groups to children ages 0 to 18 and their families who are under the supervision of DCFS. In 2009, we served 150 children and their families.

We also bring intensive counseling to elementary, middle and high schools. Located in 20 schools in the Los Angeles and Compton school districts, the students we serve have experienced or witnessed traumatic events. We also work with students at risk for academic and delinquency problems. Our services include assessments, evaluations, individual and group therapy, and medication support for students needing psychiatric services. In 2009, 250 students and their families received these services.


The teen years are especially risky for those growing up in poverty, and many youth in our area are already in trouble and on probation. SHIELDS provides two programs: Multi-systemic Therapy, an intensive in-home, evidence-based program, is provided to 60 Los Angeles County youth on probation; and Functional Family Therapy is offered to 156 youth who are on informal probation with the Los Angeles County Department of Probation. These programs successfully decrease delinquent behavior and recidivism, increase prosocial interaction, and empower parents and caregivers to effectively handle issues that arise. We also offer Revelation, an intensive outpatient program that provides services to youth ages 13 to 21 who present co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. In 2009, 70 youth participated in this program.


To strengthen families, overcome addiction and address underlying mental health issues, SHIELDS has a range of programs to adults and families. Eden, our full-time treatment program, offers mental health services and substance abuse treatment to women with a dual diagnosis and their children. CalWORKS Mental Health provides outpatient services for participants with mental health barriers to employment. The Homeless Family Solution Center, led by the Weingart Center, assists those who are homeless or at risk for being homeless by helping develop skills needed to sustain permanent independent housing. GROW offers outpatient services to general-relief recipients whose mental health is a barrier to employment.


SAMHSA’s 24-Hour Toll-Free Treatment Referral Helpline
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health)

SAMHSA National Helpline