The Chadwick Center provides a continuum of services with an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to healing intervention and family support. Outcome evaluation is an integral component of all services.
Children who may have been sexually or physically abused or witnesses to violence are seen by professionals at the Chadwick Center’s Forensic and Medical Services program, located on the Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego campus. San Diego County law enforcement agencies and the County Department of Health and Human Services regularly refer these children to this program. The aim of the Forensic and Medical Services program is to assist the children to provide verbal or physical evidence of the possible abuse they suffered or witnessed. There are two main types of Forensic and Medical Services offered by the Chadwick Center: forensic interviews and forensic medical exams.
The Failure to Thrive (FTT) clinic provides care to pediatric patients in an outpatient setting. The clinic specializes in treatment of patients who are no gaining weight or growing due to an unknown reason.
In cooperation with the Family Protection Unit at the District Attorney's Office the Juvenile Dependency Court, and the Victim Advocacy Program, the Kids and Teens in Court program helps children, teenagers, and their caregivers who are not suspected of abuse learn how the courtroom and possible trial works. Program goals for the children and teenagers include reducing their stress and anxiety; improving their coping skills by teaching them to manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and making it possible for them to effectively testify in court and gain control of the court experience. Program goals for these caretakers include increasing caregiver coping skills, and allowing the adults to manage their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to fully support their child or teen through the court process and recovery.
The Chadwick Center offers accredited Professional Education to those involved in fields of prevention, investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse and family violence. Since its beginning in 1976, the Chadwick Center has trained more than 100,000 professionals from all fifty states and over forty countries.
Major educational activities include the annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, the Clinical Training Program for visiting professionals, the weekly multidisciplinary Child Protection Team Case Conference, and various local, county, and state trainings funded through contracts.
The Trauma Counseling Program is committed to treating the after-effects of a child’s traumatic experience. In addition, the program works to support the recovery of family members and to improve their ability to support the child. Interventions include individual, group, and family therapy. The staff of the Trauma Counseling Program is primarily composed of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psychologists. The staff’s expertise is in treating childhood traumatic events including neglect; physical and sexual abuse; sexual assault; domestic, school, and community violence; and natural disasters. Treatment for the psychological aspects of medical trauma and chronic pain is also available.
KidSTART is a synergistic program developed for children ages 0-5 with complex socio-emotional, behavioral health, and developmental needs. The two components, KidSTART Clinic (operated by Rady’s Chadwick Center and funded through EPSDT and MHSA) and KidSTART Center (operated by Rady’s Developmental Services and funded through First 5), are integrated to allow mental health and developmental specialists to assess needs, develop collaborative treatment plans, provide unique interventions, and facilitate long-term care coordination for the family. KidSTART Clinic is contracted through Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego, Behavioral Health Services, to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment services for children and their families at 3 locations (San Diego City, Chula Vista, and Oceanside). Individual, family, and group therapy are offered. Psychiatry, rehabilitation services, and case management might also be included in the treatment plan. Evidence-based and evidence-informed practices are utilized, focused on trauma-informed infant and early childhood mental health. All services are driven by the unique client picture, and are culturally and linguistically competent.
In July 2015, KidSTART Clinic received additional funding through Behavioral Health Services, to creatively design a program that identifies specific caregiver strengths and behavioral health needs and links caregivers to available resources. As a result, KidSTART Clinic created the Caregiver Wellness Program to address caregiver needs while their child is in treatment. Caregivers include biological parents, relative caregivers, foster parents, adoptive parents, and anyone considered a significant attachment figure for the child. The program provides screening, needs assessments, linkage and caregiver therapeutic, educational and support groups. KidSTART Clinic supports the caregiver while the caregiver supports the child.
The California Assessment, Screening, and Treatment (CASAT) Initiative will focus on improving the social and emotional well-being of children in the child welfare system who have been impacted by trauma. This will be done by supporting the development of an organized system of integrated services among child welfare and mental health agencies and improving access to culturally appropriate trauma-informed and evidence-informed services. This statewide project is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.