"Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families help kids and parents conquer challenging situations such as neglect, abuse, family crises, as well as emotional and behavioral issues." - InfoFAQ Editorial Staff
Casa Pacifica Company Profile
Company Name: Casa Pacifica
Original DBA: Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families
Company President: Dr. Steve Elson
Business Address: 1722 S. Lewis Road, Camarillo, CA 93012
Business Phone Number: (805) 445-7800
Fax Number: (805) 987-7237
Company E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Year Founded: 1988
Years in Profession: Over 23
Completed InfoFAQ Exclusive Interview: 12/020/2011
InfoFAQ Exclusive Interview: "Children's Shelter"
Company Information: Casa Pacifica Information
Website: Casa Pacifica Website
Payment Methods: VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX, DISCOVER
Merchant Category: Emergency Shelter for Children
Main Products and Services: Residential treatment center, emergency shelter care, parent-child interaction therapy, therapeutic behavioral services, crisis mobile response, education, health care, wraparound, transitional and emancipated foster youth services
Company Description: Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families offer kids hope and help them overcome difficult family-based situations such as abuse and neglect, social and behavioral disorders, and family crises. - Casa Pacifica
Website Description: "Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families help kids and parents conquer challenging situations such as neglect, abuse, family crises, as well as emotional and behavioral issues." - InfoFAQ Editorial Staff
Company History Timeline:
1980s - a group of Ventura County citizens became concerned about the lack of services for children removed from home by Child Protective Services. That concern evolved into a vision for a campus-based, 24-hour center offering a wide range of assessment, crisis care, medical, and educational services for abused and neglected children. The vision, in turn, spawned a creative public/private partnership that raised $10 million needed to build Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families.
1993 - While the campus was under construction, the Casa Pacifica steering committee - comprised of members of both the public and private sectors - focused on how to configure and finance an appropriate set of services for children requiring emergency shelter care and assessment. Through an extensive data analysis another priority population surfaced - children requiring out-of-home placement who were being sent to other California counties, and even out-of-state, because of a lack of local services. In response to this new information a strong consensus emerged - Casa Pacifica should be designed to meet the needs of this second priority population. Consequently, in addition to providing services to children requiring emergency shelter care, a residential treatment program and non-public, special education school were added to the program mix.
1994 - Casa Pacifica opened its doors to abused, neglected and severely emotionally disturbed children in the summer of 1994. Two years later the on-campus, special education non-public school began to serve day students in addition to those living on campus.
2000 - Casa Pacifica began implementing in-home services to better serve high-risk children/youth that required intensive family-centered supports. This expansion into the community extended into Santa Barbara County in 2003 and now includes three community based programs in both Counties – Therapeutic Behavioral Services, Wraparound, and Crisis Mobile Reponses Services for children and adolescents. In Ventura County two more programs have been added—Supportive Behavioral Services, a program aimed at preventing serious behavioral and social problems, and Family Finding, a service helping to find and engage family members of children deemed to be the lonest in the system. In all of our community programs we go to where families are, they do not come to us.
2012 - Today, less than 20% of total program revenue comes from bed-based services on campus and of the 440 children we serve every day, approximately 350 of them live with their families or foster families in the community. While each of these programs provides a different mix of services and interventions, all share the same over riding objectives – help children stay safe, at home, in school, and out of trouble. - Casa Pacifica
Quote from the Company: "We restore hope, help children find joy in daily living, and improve families' chances at making a better life for themselves and at finding a place in their community where they can be successful. Casa Pacifica is committed to children unconditionally over time and through all of life's ups and downs." - Casa Pacifica
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Children's residential treatment in California
Special education in California
Non public education in California
Youth placement in California
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Donations to California Children's Charities
Six-year-old Maria and her three-year-old sister Lupe came to Casa Pacifica after being removed from their grandmother's home due to severe medical, social and emotional neglect. Their mother was an active substance abuser and had abandoned them; their father was an absent parent.
"Maria had cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia and could barely walk," said Debbie Pell, Casa Pacifica's Shelter Care Director. "Both girls were admitted with head lice and dirty clothing, able to communicate only in Spanish." The children were not toilet trained, nor were they capable of independent living skills such as washing their own hands, dressing or eating with utensils.
Casa Pacifica staff quickly assessed the girls' needs and put a plan into action. In addition to Maria's medical needs, there also were behavioral and emotional challenges. She was delayed in the areas of socialization,language, spatial concepts, counting, reading and object recognition. "Maria was easily frustrated and resorted to head banging and biting to try to get her way," said Debbie. Lupe's behaviors included frequent tantrums and poor impulse control.
Doctors on campus examined the girls' teeth, eyes and overall health. Lupe was diagnosed with borderline anemia, and a special diet was prepared to increase her blood iron. With Maria, more intensive procedures were needed. "We needed to begin to straighten her legs through a medical program of serial casting," said Debbie. "We asked for a court order authorizing the procedure, and each week doctors would put new casts on both legs." Child care workers on campus assisted her in a daily exercise program, and she received off-campus physical therapy several times a week.
Preschool activities enabled the children to learn new skills quickly. Both girls began toilet training and Maria learned to use scissors and button clothes. Playtime often included acting out daily living skills that would help them become more independent. With staff members speaking both Spanish and English, the children quickly began to feel safe in their environment and started to thrive.
After three months, both Maria and Lupe were fluently bilingual, exhibited age-appropriate social skills, were toilet trained and were able to dress themselves and attend to their own hygiene needs. "The head banging and biting behaviors stopped completely," said Debbie. "And the daily tantrums diminished as the girls learned they could ask for what they needed."
Maria's casting was successful, and she began to walk with much better balance and increased muscle strength. Through testing, the girls were found to be very bright. They learned colors, numbers, letters and age-appropriate skills. Maria transferred to the kindergarten class at Casa Pacifica during her last three weeks of shelter care.
One month after Maria and Lupe had been removed from their grandmother's home, their social worker located a bilingual therapeutic foster home for them. The girls were visited often by the foster parents during their stay at Casa Pacifica, and were taken off campus to visit what would become their new home.
Today, Maria and Lupe are doing well with their foster family. Their mother and grandmother visit occasionally, but are chronically inconsistent. Their court case is pending. Notes Debbie: "We are very proud of the immense progress both children made during their time at Casa Pacifica."
Note: Maria and Lupe's names have been changed to protect their privacy.
When three-year-old Robby arrived at Casa Pacifica, the only life he had known was instability. His parents, both wanted by the law for drug charges, had dragged the little boy from town to town.
One day his mother couldn't take it anymore and turned herself in to authorities. Robby was brought to Casa Pacifica and quickly assessed by staff. He had suffered severe neglect and was unable to speak. He lacked verbal skills, had speech delays and a very short attention span. He resorted to tantrums when trying to communicate and would scream at the top of his lungs when another child invaded his space. "Robby would sometimes go into a state of complete helplessness, throwing himself on the ground, refusing to do anything," noted Demetrius Henderson, preschool supervisor.
Robby was paired with a primary counselor who worked to form a bond with the child. Once the counselor earned his trust, Robby began to form attachments with staff members. He was put on a program that included speech therapy and exercises to improve verbal and communication skills.
A structured daily routine, which included dressing himself, brushing his teeth and a daily bedtime, provided Robby with the stability he needed. He was put into preschool classes where he learned colors, shapes and the alphabet. In less than a month, Robby was using words to communicate with staff and was able to complete puzzles. Instead of having a tantrum or yelling, he would use words to express himself. He had trouble transitioning from task to task, so staff members found creative ways to deal with the problem. At bedtime, they would read books to Robby to relax him.
A reunification process began with his mother, who had entered a drug rehabilitation program. She was placed in a facility that would allow her son to join her when she was ready. For nearly two months, she participated in on-site visits, which later progressed to overnight stays.
Robby recently was discharged, and is living at the rehabilitation facility with his mother. His father is still wanted by the law. According to his mother, Robby is well adjusted and continues to follow the routine set for him at Casa Pacifica. She told Henderson that the other mothers at the facility are envious of her well-behaved child. Henderson reported: "Robby is doing really well, and we are confident that he will continue to progress if things remain stable with his mother."
Note: Robby's name has been changed to protect his privacy.
Mona, age 11, arrived at Casa Pacifica from Ventura County Medical Center's Children's Unit. Her history included manipulation, tantrums, opposition, defiance, self-injurious behaviors and medical insubordination with her type I diabetes. She had been removed from her parents' home due to their inability to monitor and maintain her diabetic condition, and had attended only two weeks of school the entire year.
When Mona did not get her way, she would either refuse her insulin injections or refuse to eat once receiving her insulin, which would place her in a potentially life-threatening situation. She had been hospitalized on an emergency status several times due to her manipulation and health negligence. Once, at the age of 8, she was in a coma for a week and a half.
Casa Pacifica had to be uniquely prepared for Mona's tendency to combine these behaviors with a life threatening disease. Prior to her arrival, the staff attended a thorough diabetic training and was involved in meetings to better prepare for Mona's medical and behavioral issues. Our McDonald's Cottage supervisor, staff, social worker and nurses worked side by side to develop a plan for success for Mona.
When we first met Mona, she was extremely scared and unwilling to leave her family. She was unresponsive to our staff - she wouldn't even make eye contact—and began to display her described behaviors almost immediately. These behaviors were often triggered when her visits with her family needed to come to an end. She would attempt to leave Casa Pacifica with them, and would cry and scream uncontrollably, often making herself physically ill. One of her screaming tantrums lasted nine hours—without interruption.
At first, Mona refused to attend classes and participate in cottage activities. Despite much encouragement, she would often remain in her room. Eventually, Mona would calm down and, during those times, she would interact slightly with staff and peers. We realized that when Mona was calm, she would be compliant with her diabetes program.
Through support, verbal reinforcement, active listening and encouragement, our staff gave Mona the consistency that she needed, and continued to set limits by not giving in to her tantrums. The McDonald's Cottage team also implemented a special intervention plan that provided Mona with family visits only when she would remain compliant with her diabetes and cottage programs. Although at first Mona had a hard time accepting this, it didn't take long for her to become 100% compliant!
It took only five (tough) days to reach Mona. She has since made such a remarkable turnaround. She has made healthy and close bonds with staff members across campus. Mona has visits with her family on a daily basis and has just recently begun to go on off-campus passes with them. Very importantly, Mona's family has been supportive of Casa Pacifica's structure and policies.
Mona is outgoing, friendly, and nurturing. She has a great sense of humor, enjoys entertaining her peers and staff, and loves to make others laugh. She continues to be smart and independent with her diabetes program and radiates great health. Above all, she has a beautiful smile—and shares it with everyone.
It took the entire community of Casa Pacifica to make this success story happen. This effort proved to benefit not only one child's health and well being, but also all of the children in our care by uniting us as an agency, team and community.
Note: Mona's name has been changed to protect her privacy.
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