The Center for Children is a non-profit organization with locations in Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties that offers mental health services to children and their families.

“We’re here for people who can’t necessarily afford to go get private treatment,” said Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator Blair Johnson. “So we provide help for kids and families that either can’t afford these mental health services or need a little bit of help.”

Southern Maryland Gives reached out to Center for Children a few months ago and offered them a featured spot on their donation website. Johnson said that after being featured for the summer they have raised over $1,200.

Center for Children offers several mental health programs through their three offices including healthy families, family resource center, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), several group therapies and more. 

More information on these programs can be found here.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is provided to children ages 3-18 and can consist of individual or conjoined sessions with parents and focuses on “assisting children or adolescents with developing coping strategies for traumatic stress reactions”

“It’s basically (for children who have experienced) any kind of traumatic event,” said Johnson. “It doesn’t even have to be what you would normally think of (as traumatic) but usually physical or sexual abuse or a really bad accident.”

More information on this program can be found here.

CASA is a program that is available in Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties that assigns trained professionals to a specific child’s case and they then work as advocates for the abused and neglected children.

According to CASA their mission is “to recruit, train and supervise volunteers to provide a voice for the best interests of abused and neglected children.”

“We just had a group of people finish their CASA training,” said Johnson. “They have to dedicate a certain amount of time per month to the kid’s case. That’s pretty cool, I think, that people that have full time jobs put in extra time here. They’re all volunteers.”

More information on this program can be found here.

These are just a few of the many programs offered through this non-profit. The programs are made affordable for families in need through the help of volunteers as well as donations from the community.