One way to ensure that children are in safe and loving homes is to meet their mental health needs and those of their family members. With the start of National Emotional Wellness Month on October 1, we want to highlight the many ways that our programs support emotional wellness in children and families.
In fact, emotional wellness is a common thread throughout our work. For example, when we work with children in foster care, we work to make sure that they are receiving the counseling they need. We also provide counseling and parenting guidance for parents in our prevention programs, which aim to keep families safe and healthy so that foster care does not become necessary. At our Family Resource Center, we point families toward a variety of services that can help them, including mental health services. Finally, we provide school-based counseling at 18 campuses in four school districts in order to help the educators at those schools meet students’ needs.
All told, in 2022, DePelchin provided 19,000 hours of counseling and therapy services.
Fortunately, we are building on these services. DePelchin recently announced a $5.9 million gift from Project Shine, Inc., a nonprofit organization supported by Houston philanthropists Lara and Bill Perkins. Some of that funding will allow us to decrease wait times for families who are served by DePelchin’s counseling programs. We will enhance its intake, assessment, and crisis response teams, while also hiring more clinical staff to increase the number of families who can access services.
The gift from Project Shine will also help enhance the quality and scope of our residential programs, which serve youth including those who cannot safely reside in a foster home, those who are pregnant or parenting, and those who are about to age out of foster care.
While we offer a wide variety of programs at DePelchin, they all work to support the mental well-being of children and families. We are grateful to the supporters who make it possible for us to address emotional wellness in children and families.