Oakes Children’s Center is dedicated to providing education and mental health services to youth with emotional and/or developmental challenges and to their families, particularly in underserved communities. Our goal is to foster the social, emotional and educational growth necessary for children to continue learning and fully realize their potential. We fulfill our mission by providing individualized education, innovative and culturally-responsive therapeutic services, comprehensive assessment, and clinical training.
Oakes Children’s Center (OCC) has been providing specialized services to children and families for over 48 years. During 2011, OCC continued to operate its 5 main programs from its new center and school site in the Bernal Heights district of San Francisco.
Day Treatment Intensive/Non Public School
All of the children in this program have been diagnosed with some kind of emotional disturbance or mental illness. Our clients are school age children ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade. In 2010/11 we served a total of 26 undifferentiated clients. The children served here have typically been unable to receive treatment or an education in other, less restrictive, public or non-public school placements. The center operates a California Department of Education certified special education program with 4 classrooms in concert with an accomplished clinical program. We have developed a very positive and structured program for the children in our care. OCC provides on site psychiatric consultation to all the children in the intensive program and currently, about 40% are receiving medication support. OCC provides special transportation for all of its children to make sure they can arrive and depart safely while traveling to and from school. The goal of our intensive day treatment program is to serve the educational and mental health needs of this unique population and hopefully return them to a less restrictive and more normalized environment. This year we are planning to re-integrate at least 4 students back into the public school system.
Specialized After School
OCC operates a specialized After School program, at no cost to the families, to a third of the children in the day treatment program. We attempt to provide these children with a safe and supportive place to get their homework completed. Our staff also focus on teaching the children socialization and recreational skills in this supervised structured environment. We strive to support the children and their families by offering a program that allows single and working parents to care for special needs children without the need for residential care.
Public School Mental Health Partnership
OCC provides qualified therapists to 7 different public elementary school special education classrooms at different schools in San Francisco. The staff provides one to one therapy to the identified students on a weekly basis; they also provide group therapy, family therapy and support the teaching staff in these schools. Last year we served 70 students in these classrooms while supporting their school, their teachers and teaching staff as well as their families. The goal of this program is to serve children with mental health issues where they are and hopefully help maintain these students in a mainstream school environment.
Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
One other major program is our Outpatient mental health program; this program was set up to help our students who transition out of our intensive day treatment program and also to provide special socialization classes and therapy to young clients who come with a diagnosis of Autism or developmental delay. This program served 40 clients during the year. Clients are typically seen on site at OCC after they have finished their school day at another site. Our goal in this program is to assist our children by providing them with the necessary skills to be successful in their current placements and later in life. OCC utilizes an evidence based program, “Incredible Years,” to provide training and support to parents of our children with special needs. This workshop type evening class is offered along with meals and childcare at our site to all interested parents in our program.
Oakes Children’s Center is also a “highly sought after” graduate internship and practicum site for masters level students in Counseling and Psychology. Each year we train 2 graduate interns and 5 practicum students. During their year long stay with us the students get comprehensive training and professional supervision as part of their preparation for their professional life.