Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters!
It’s been a year of challenges at the Youth Development Clinic as we’ve transitioned leadership, and with that, our central focus to building our core business – our community clinic. We are concurrently focusing on rebuilding and re-branding our community-based partnerships and our relationships with funders in order to put us on solid footing to carry our mission forward.
That mission is an important and worthy one – to provide high quality, evidence-based, and culturally-informed services to an underserved population. Due to our community outreach efforts, the quality of our clinicians, and our high level of client satisfaction, we have doubled the number of clients that we are able to see at the clinic. We continue to grow rapidly, expanding our clinic hours to include Fridays, as well as looking at adding additional space to our clinic as we reach capacity.
With our growth, we have hired several new clinicians, expanding our ability to provide services to Creole and Portuguese families while maintaining our strong Bi-lingual/Spanish services and sensitivity to the cultural and systems factors which underlie our work with African-American families.
Our ability to deliver on this mission is bolstered by our relationships with Montclair State University and other academic institutions. This coming year, one of our goals is to partner with university faculty to identify and implement cutting-edge treatments and interventions in our clinic and school-based settings. We also continue our strong externship program that trains doctoral-level students to develop skills to work effectively with underserved populations.
In an effort to increase accessibility to mental health services to children and families, we have established our first school-based, Medicaid-approved clinic in a K-5 school in Newark. This is an exciting achievement in that we will be able to not only work with students, but with families, almost all of which are in walking distance of the school. We hope to replicate this model going forward.
Other school-based services that we provide include supporting student behaviors conducive to learning while working with teachers on classroom management and developing more positive interactions with students. We currently provide services in three K-8 schools and one K-3 school in Newark.
Needless to say, this is all possible only with the continued support of our funders. Thank you to all who lend support to our mission. If you are able to contribute, your time or financial support is most welcome and appreciated. As of this year, it’s been 60 years since our founding. Let’s continue to make a difference – together – for another 60!
Mark Kitzie, PsyD
Youth Development Clinic