Founded in 1991 by Kathryn S. Icenhower, PhD, Xylina Bean, MD and Norma Mtume, SHIELDS For Families is an outreach organization in Los Angeles, California that offers many free resources to the local community, including family-oriented addiction treatment.
Among their many outpatient programs are the Genesis program for underprivileged mothers with children, as well as more specialized Ark/GR and Drug Court programs for clients who have been arrested for non-violent felonies or drug-related charges (though these programs are only available to those referred through the Compton Superior Court).
Treatment and Staff
In all their various treatment tracks, SHIELDS first has clients do a comprehensive intake and psychosocial assessment, which includes collecting legal, vocational and mental health information. From these assessments, individualized treatment plans are created. Program intensity varies by client, though treatment typically lasts for six to 12 months.
Genesis favors a holistic approach to treatment, and is the first substance abuse program ever offered by SHIELDS. Services include comprehensive case management, individual and group therapy, family counseling, educational and vocational services, life skills classes, drug and alcohol education and help with child development and parenting. When it comes to treating addiction, Genesis favors evidence-based practices including CBT, Seeking Safety, motivational interviewing, family-centered treatment, Triple P Positive Parenting and relapse prevention.
Both the Arc and Drug Court programs provide the same resources as mentioned above, though they focus not on women and their families but on underprivileged individuals and former inmates. These two programs are also structured in three phases, each with decreasing intensity. Phase I requires clients to attend treatment five days a week with daily drug testing for two to three months, Phase II cuts down to four days a week for seven to eight months and Phase III requires attendance only twice a week.
Those in the Genesis program can receive treatment in Spanish should they need to; transitional housing is also available during this time in one of SHIELDS’ transitional living complexes (Keith Village, Saraii Village or Naomi Village in Compton).
Children of clients at Genesis are able to participate in SHIELDS’ Therapeutic Nursery, which assists with children from ages three to five who are showing signs of behavioral problems. For those six and up there’s also “Heros and Sheros,” a youth program that offers tutoring, physical education, computer classes, mental health care and individual and group therapy.
Both the Arc and Drug Court programs can refer clients to other services offered by SHIELDS, as well as to community-based programs for substance abuse and mental health treatment. As with all the options at SHIELDS, outpatient clients benefit from housing, food, clothing and transportation services. In all the above, free lifetime aftercare is provided as well.
With plentiful resources in education, housing, and vocational training, SHIELDS for Families offers a variety of community-oriented programs at an affordable price. Their outpatient options are unusually customizable and comprehensive, and all of them can be of great assistance to those committed to getting their lives together and reintegrating themselves back into society.
SHIELDS for Families
12021 S. Wilmington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90059
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