By: Julia Shreiber, Associate
Philadelphia Children’s Alliance Awarded $25,000 Grant for Mental Health Services
The funds will go toward expanding Mental Health service providers throughout the city
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Children’s Alliance in order to help PCA expand its capacity to build a network of mental health care providers across the city of Philadelphia. PCA, an organization under the umbrella of the National Children’s Alliance, has worked for almost 30 years to support child victims of sexual abuse with medical support, including mental health services.
For nearly thirty years, PCA has been a leader among child advocacy centers, providing services to child victims of sexual abuse in Philadelphia. Along with forensic interviews, medical examinations and legal services, mental health support both in and out of PCA’s facility is a key service that the organization provides and believes is necessary on a victim’s path to healing.
While PCA does provide services on site, the volume of mental health services needed is beyond its current capacity. The number of children screened to receive a mental health referral doubled between 2011 and 2014 alone, which coincided with the facility expansion in 2013. The high numbers have held steady since then and in 2019 PCA referred 1,230 children to mental health treatment.
“At PCA, we feel we have a responsibility to ensure that every child gets the treatment they need in order to heal,” said Paul DiLorenzo, Interim Executive Director of PCA. “With the number of cases we see increasing, having partnerships for mental health services in Philadelphia is crucial to providing the right path to healing and justice. This grant gives us the ability to not only continue our work, but also to expand beyond our facility to support more children in need.”
On average, PCA trauma therapists provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy on-site to approximately 200 children annually. PCA also has linkage agreements with fifteen therapy providers around the city, and refers children to those providers as well, tracking their engagement and referring more than 1,000 children each year to long-term therapy. With the funding from the National Children’s Alliance, PCA is able to continue building connections across the greater Philadelphia area with PCA’s mental health partner provider sites to provide more trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy resources for children as they heal.
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The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance is an independent non-profit organization that promotes healing and justice for sexually abused children in Philadelphia. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we collaborate with our partners in child protection, law enforcement, and medical and mental health services to provide forensic interviews, victim support and counseling services at the Philadelphia Safety Collaborative, a co-located child-friendly facility.