Thousand Oaks, CA – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is awarding an $85,634 grant to Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families for the first year of its behavioral health workforce education and training program for professionals and paraprofessionals. For this three-year program, the recommended total federal grant support would be $312,014, pending the availability of funds and satisfactory progress.

“I am pleased that Casa Pacifica will be able to increase the number of American Psychological Association (APA) accredited internships it can offer to pre- and post-doctoral psychology students who work with foster youth,” said Brownley. “This program, which is unique to California, is one of the few residential settings for high-risk foster youth and those who have been diagnosed with major trauma or mental health needs.”

“This is fantastic news and will help us to develop a much-needed mental health workforce for Ventura County and the rest of the nation. These interns will be trained to work with vulnerable youth most at risk for complex mental health, medical and addiction problems,” said Myra Saltoun, Ph.D., Director of Campus Services at Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families.

Casa Pacifica provides culturally competent mental health, primary care, and educational services for children, youth, and Transitional Aged Youth who come from diverse backgrounds. Interns work within multidisciplinary teams and learn to manage the multiple and complex issues surrounding the mental health treatment needs of severely at-risk children and adolescents who have experienced trauma in their lives. Expanding this program will positively impact the lives of many children, youth, and families through the development of capable and knowledgeable clinical psychologists.

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