Crittenton Reaches 50 Year Milestone of Healing Childhood Trauma
Crittenton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
As a non-profit whose primary goals are to deliver trauma-informed mental health services and help rebuild resiliency in system-involved children, youth and families we are proud to continue this long standing legacy as we now enter our 50th year of service.
This serves as a perfect moment to also mention that as we continue to celebrate Crittenton’s golden anniversary their is still much to advocate for and much to be done for the clients in our care. We hope that you will continue to help us in order to make a difference in the lives of children and youth, and most importantly to stand alongside us in order to break the cycles of child abuse, trauma and neglect.
The National Crittenton Mission and its History in California
Some might be asking what gives Crittenton Services the qualifications and expertise to comment on or take part in policy formation impacting child welfare and children’s mental health treatment at a national, state, or local level?
From a basic “credentials” standpoint the Crittenton mission headquartered in Orange County, Calif. has been a leading child welfare and mental health services provider that believes in the importance of practicing a trauma-informed treatment approach throughout the agency’s comprehensive and client focused programming efforts.
In fact, its one of the few child welfare agencies in California that has continuously been nationally accredited since 1999, and as of 2015 it still continues to be among the few agencies in California to hold dual accreditation with both the Council of Accreditation and The Joint Commission. Two national accrediting bodies that keep child welfare, mental health and behavioral health organizations transparent and up to national standards.
However, to go back further, we must note that the Crittenton Mission in Orange County, Calif. has evolved by learning from both the positive and the negative that our “sister agencies” have experienced, across the country, throughout a 130 plus year history serving women and children living at the margins.
The National Crittenton Mission was founded in 1883 when the first Crittenton Night Mission was established in New York City in order to help young women, who were being prostituted or living at the margins, break the cycles of sexual exploitation, abuse, and poverty. This mission was then introduced in California during the early 1900s where the now defunct Los Angeles Crittenton Home was established and served as the model in the creation of the Florence Crittenton Home in Orange County during the late 1960s.
The Crittenton Mission in Orange County was officially established and incorporated in 1966 and the original site was a 6 bed home for unwed “teen” mothers stationed in Santa Ana, Calif. Our historical records indicate that influential volunteers from the Los Angeles Crittenton Home living in Orange County advocated for the newest Crittenton home to be placed in Orange County where housing and social services for unwed mothers were desperately needed.
Today’s Crittenton Mission in Southern California
From our humble beginnings as a 6 bed home for unwed mothers serving the Orange County, Calif. community we’ve evolved into a nationally accredited agency that serves up to 2,000 children, youth and families throughout Southern California. This is a fact we don’t take lightly. We take pride in keeping our national child welfare legacy alive, but we also prioritize in keeping up with the current needs of society in response to helping the most vulnerable system-involved youth while at the same time making significant contributions of healing childhood trauma within the communities we serve.
It has not been easy keeping the tenets of the National Crittenton Mission intact, but we will proactively build upon our national legacy by continuing to innovate service programs that will help our current clients reach their fullest potential.
Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to support the programs and initiatives we are best known for by doing the following:
- Teen Mom and Baby Program: We will prioritize the mental health needs of system-involved pregnant teens or the needs of teen mothers and their children. We are still one of the few agencies in California that is licensed, that has the expertise, and that proactively advocates for keeping teen mothers and their children together while the young mother is undergoing short-term residential treatment. We will do everything we can to keep a nurturing parental bond intact while mom and baby are provided services while in our care.
- Crittenton’s InSight Program: We will continue to earn the respect of local and national partners for our decades long advocacy and protection of teen girls that have experienced sexual violence and human trafficking. Continuing to develop our specialty mental health and residential services program that serves teen girls traumatized by the aftermath of commercial sexual exploitation is a priority. And we will continue to help heal trauma and build resiliency in children that have suffered from extreme forms of child abuse.
- System-Involved and Transitional Age Youth: Some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community are the ones affected by America’s foster care or juvenile justice system. We have and we will continue to open our doors to children and youth that need us the most. And we will continue to develop and refine treatment programming in both our residential and community based initiatives that is trauma-informed, strength based, gender responsive, culturally appropriate, and adheres to the ideals of positive youth development. Our goal is to be a catalyst for transformation rather than perpetuate punitive or short sighted solutions that simply cause more harm than good.
- Mental Health Interventions and Community Based Programs: The first step to ensure children and youth are kept safe, and that their best interests are always at the forefront is to support measures that keep them with family (if it’s safe to do so). Before children and youth enter the “system” we need to continue to support mental health and child welfare best practices that ensure all families are given the opportunity to heal and are kept together while working through a mental health, addiction, or crisis situation. Our mission is one of helping our clients reach their full potential, therefore, it behooves us to support legislation and to dispatch our community based programming efforts to intervene and help stabilize family units facing crisis.
Crittenton Services is well positioned to effectively respond to the ever-evolving changes mandated in California’s current continuum of care reform efforts. This is a new reform effort in California that is designed to ensure that system-involved children and youth receive quality mental health, comprehensive support services, educational, and career opportunities at every stage of their development.
And because of “you” our dedicated support base of donors, volunteers, community partners, advocates, foster parents, and employees we are able to prove to all stakeholders that we are highly qualified and well suited to continue to fulfill a mission that, at its core, is one of giving someone a chance to experience a good quality of life.
Thank you for your continued trust of our mission and our legacy. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today. And we hope that you continue to help us empower the children, youth and families in our care.
Interested in starting a new relationship with Crittenton Services, or perhaps renewing a past partnership? Consider becoming a donor, a volunteer or a foster parent and together we can make a difference during the next 50 years of service!
For further information:
- Read the Press Release: Crittenton Celebrates 50 Years of Serving Children, Youth and Families
- Crittenton’s Year in Review Infographic 2014-2015
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, adoption, and transitional age youth services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.