Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services has been improving the lives of vulnerable children since the 1950s. Located in eastern Los Angeles County, CA, it operates foster homes and provides mental health and substance abuse services including an outpatient program for teens.
ELYFS’s mission is “Doing Whatever It Takes,” a motto embodied by its founder and namesake, Ettie Lee, a school teacher who began her career in East LA in 1917. When she discovered that many of the adolescent boys who were floundering in her classes came from troubled homes, she knew she needed to take matters into her own hands. Lee lived on a meager budget and studied real estate, slowly amassing a portfolio of houses that became the first facilities in the foster and group homes she began running in the 1950s. Since then, ELYFS has helped thousands of vulnerable children and families find firmer footing.
Treatment and Staff
The Teen Drug Treatment Program offers a combination of individual and group therapy, 12-step meetings and educational classes and activities. The program is open to students between the ages of 12 and 20 and serves both young men and women. After an initial assessment, the client attends a minimum of two therapy groups a week and has at least one individual therapy session each month. ELYFS has an on-site psychiatrist and therapists and counselors (mainly MFTs and CADCs) offer support for co-occurring disorders. Groups use CBT, have no more than 7 participants and discussion topics include interpersonal relationship skills and relapse prevention. The program has also had great success using The Matrix Model, DBT and Seeking Safety.
ELYFS knows its clients are not likely to respond well to feeling lectured or talked down to, so they make an effort to hire therapists especially skilled at relating to young people in a non-judgmental manner. The program also uses narrative movies to show clients the effects of substance abuse.
The staff take clients to community 12-step meetings and teach them how to build social lives involving sober activities. ELYFS brings in program alumni and other guest speakers who have overcome substance abuse to share their stories. Counselors are accessible 24/7 to take calls and coach clients who may be having a hard time. Most young men and women stay in the program six to 12 months and ELYFS encourages them to work with a 12-step sponsor as they transition out of treatment.
Given its wide range of social services, ELYFS is able to offer additional support including therapeutic homes, emancipation services and family therapy to its substance abuse treatment clients.
With over sixty years of service to its community, Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services has the experience and network of resources to give its young clients effective evidence-based treatment with a caring touch. Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services believes in the potential of all of its young clients, and the many who have returned to share their gratitude and success stories demonstrate how truly effective the investment of time and treatment can be.
Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services
Substance Use Disorder, Mental Health, Residential Services and Intake
160 E. Holt Ave., Unit B
Pomona, CA 91767
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