School and Community Linked Mental Health Services

The first step to keeping a student’s well-being at the forefront is to support measures that help them learn how to cope with the stressors of family turmoil, trauma, mental health, or behavioral health issues.

Crittenton’s School and Community Linked Mental Health Services is known for its strength-based and team approach in order to help meet the identified and underlying needs of the K-12 and community college students we serve. Our mission works to strengthen the relationship between students, their family members, and their community by creating plans that include both formal and informal supports to best facilitate academic success and well-being. We are also committed to building resiliency in order to empower every student and their family reach their own sense of advocacy as they navigate through their everyday life, their school environments, or places of employment.

Crittenton Services for Children and Families understands the importance of helping our educational partners sustain academic environments where positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) are readily available for students that need these resources. Rest assured that when your campus or school district partners with Crittenton we are here to work with the needs of students using your Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems and programming efforts. Our mental health staff works collaboratively with your team to individualize services for every student and their respective family in order to emphasize personal growth and academic milestones.

Our team of experienced therapists and mental health professionals can provide services delivered in the home, school-linked environment, through virtual sessions, and build linkages to additional support services in the local community.

Additionally, we offer partnership opportunities with local community colleges to help support the mental health needs of students who were former foster youth and students from other underserved groups having difficulty accessing mental health services.

Crittenton has offices in the following locations:

Rancho Dominguez/South Los Angeles

Long Beach




Who Are Our Clients

Children and youth (4-18 years of age) enrolled in K-12 public schools

We also work with caregivers & the families of our assigned K-12 youth

Students enrolled in Community Colleges that Crittenton partners with

Have experienced complex traumas

May have serious emotional and behavioral issues

May also be abusing drugs and alcohol

May also have a diagnosed mental health issues

Services Provided

Case management

Family, group and individual therapy treatment options

Assessment, evaluation, and integrated treatment of trauma and/or co-occurring disorders

Linkages to additional support services within our agency and the local community

Intensive in-home and outpatient mental health services

Recovery, Resilience and Reintegration Services (RRR) for clients in need of additional and/or in-home mental health services after graduation from Wraparound Services. (Available to K-12 partnerships)

Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) is available in our Rancho Dominguez office for parents of young children in need of additional supports and parenting skills training conducted by a therapist. (Toddlers 2-5 yrs.)

Specialty Services

PCIT (Parent-Child Interactive Therapy)

What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is an evidence-based, short-term program that teaches parents effective child management skills and is designed to increase positive parent-child interactions for families with children ages 2 to 7 years old. This treatment program is ideal for parents who have children with behavioral problems such as aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and temper tantrums. PCIT has been adapted as an intervention for many different types of families, including those receiving child welfare services or exposed to trauma, those with children on the autism spectrum, adoptive families, and foster families.

Who takes Part in PCIT?

A therapist works jointly with the parents and the child to manage the child’s behavior as it occurs during the therapy session. Parents are taught specific techniques by the therapist and gain increased confidence in managing their child’s behaviors, how to set limits, how to calmly redirect or discipline, and how to restore positive feelings to the parent/child interactions. PCIT treats the parent, the child and most importantly their interactions.

How Can PCIT Help?

PCIT is considered to be an effective treatment for children who have issues around cooperation and compliance.

Children who display any or all of the following behaviors:

Refusal and defiance of adult requests

Emotional dysregulation

Low frustration tolerance

Easy loss of temper

Touchy or easily annoyed by others

Deliberately annoying others

Being spiteful or vindictive

Blaming others for their mistakes

Destruction of property

Children diagnosed with the following disorders:

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Anxiety disorders

Other disruptive behaviors

This therapy is backed by years of clinical research and results have shown:

Significant decreases in disruptive and non-compliant behaviors

Improvement in child’s anxiety, depression and self-esteem

Decreases in parenting stress

Treatment positively effects the family home, the child’s school setting, and the child’s siblings

What to Expect?

PCIT has two program components. In the relationship enhancement component (Child-Directed Interaction), parents are taught and coached how to decrease negative aspects of the relationship with their child and to develop consistently positive and supportive communication. Parents are taught how to be in the moment with the child by becoming a calm and supportive presence. Parents are also taught play therapy and positive reinforcement skills, and learn to ignore negative behaviors and how to follow their child’s lead.

In the strategies for compliance component (Parent Directed Interaction), parents are taught and coached on the elements of effective discipline and child management skills. This part of the therapy builds on the skills learned in the Child-Directed Interaction phase and parents learn skills to improve child cooperation such as setting limits, following through, and establishing rules.

On average it can take 4 months for parents and their child to complete the PCIT program, with hour-long weekly sessions.

Community College School-Linked Mental Health

What is Community College School-Linked Mental Health?

In 2018-2020, John Burton Advocates for Youth and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health led a multi-year effort with 11 community colleges in Southern California to co-locate services and establish strong referral connections with community mental health providers such as Crittenton Services.

The goal is to help Community College partners support the mental health needs of students who have experienced foster care and students from other traditionally underserved groups. Historically these students have difficulty accessing mental health services in the community, even if they have Medi-Cal insurance.

This new innovative strategy is helping to leverage existing funding and connect students to community mental health providers, at no extra cost to the college.

How to Start a Partnership?

For community college administrators, foster youth services staff, and other student support staff based on community college campuses within the Los Angeles County area we encourage you to connect with our team. Crittenton Services is here to help your campus establish a school-linked mental health programming effort where student needs can be met on-campus, off-campus or virtually. We can help guide you through the initial planning steps, develop an MOU between your campus and our organization, establish a referral process with us, and maintain a collaborative working relationship with Crittenton every step of the way.

Recently the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the John Burton Advocates for Youth, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health developed an easy-to-use toolkit to help community colleges start the partnership process with community mental health providers. We have provided a direct link to the toolkit and guide for reference.

To start a partnership with Crittenton email us:

Download the toolkit: Partnering with Local Mental Health Providers to Support Foster Youth in College

How Will this Partnership Help?

The goals and benefits of this partnership between community colleges and community mental health providers are as follows:

Helping to link Medi-Cal eligible students to mental health services that can include psycho-educational classes, group or individual therapy.

Leverage existing funding that eliminates cost for the college, mental health provider or county.

Developing systems to co-locate services on campus or in the community that helps to address the gap in access to mental health services for underserved students and those that have experienced foster care.

Making it easier for students to connect with mental health providers and helping them overcome stigma barriers.

Contact Us

For questions about Crittenton’s School and Community Linked Mental Health Services please connect with us.

Crittenton’s Contact Email:

*Please note that we primarily work with school districts and community colleges in the Los Angeles County area. However, we are open to working with other Southern California educational partners on a case-by-case basis. We are also open to meet Education Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS) needs of eligible special education students and their families.  


*We are a California Department of Education certified nonpublic agency as we meet the requirements and legal standards for such a certification. As an approved NPA we are authorized to accept students placed by local educational agencies (LEAs) under California Education Code, Section 56366.


*Nonpublic Agency ID 9901975


*We accept Medi-Cal but restrictions apply


*Spanish language services are available

Crittenton's team approach in working with school sites assists the students and his or her family in so many ways. They do AMAZING work with the most serious cases.

Patti Acevedo

Program Administrator, School Mental Health Services - Pomona Unified School District

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