Some of the families we see at Bowdoin Street Health Center have young children, ages 0-5, who demonstrate signs of emotional or behavioral disturbance. These families need special assistance and we have a program called MYCHILD that offers flexible services to families. They are able to receive therapy, links to community resources, and advocacy services in the health center in their homes or in other places in the community.
Noemia Monteiro-DoCanto joined the MYCHILD program as a Family Partner in April, and with her help we are now able to serve families who speak Cape Verdean Creole and Spanish. Noemia is highly knowledgeable about area resources and has helped families learn how to advocate for their children's needs as they prepare for school, attended housing workshops with family members, helped them enact their own plans for applying for housing and connected families to an extensive array of services in the Dorchester area.
The MYCHILD clinician, Mira Kelsey, LICSW, received special training in PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) in June, and is now able to offer PCIT as an evidence-based treatment to help children with disruptive behavior disorders. Mira and Noemia are planning to begin a parenting group this fall, using a curriculum from the Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. In addition, the MYCHILD program is now offering school based consultation as part of the array of therapeutic services offered to families. Specialized services such as these help families create positive change. One mother of a child in the program recently told us, "I want to keep working with the program because I can see it is helping us so much".