CALM has been a leader in developing a variety of trauma-informed, evidence-based programs and services that effectively treat child abuse and promote healing, as well as programs successful in preventing childhood trauma through family strengthening and support. Services are provided to all in both Spanish and English, at sliding scale or free of charge if needed; no one is turned away due to inability to pay.
CALM continues to be the only non-profit in Santa Barbara County that specializes in the prevention and treatment of childhood trauma.
Our services are divided into four departments:
- Early Childhood Prevention & Intervention
- Childhood Trauma Treatment
- Intensive Family Services
- Community Strengthening Collaborations
Great Beginnings: Early Childhood Prevention & Intervention
Imagine a world where all parents are supported, nurtured and helped to become the best parents they can be. CALM’s Great Beginnings department serves families and caregivers with children prenatally through age 7 who may be at-risk for abuse, neglect or trauma. Great Beginnings services are aimed toward prevention and early intervention. Trained CALM practitioners meet with parents of young children, even before babies are born. We help parents form strong, healthy attachments with their children, identify sources of support, and learn healthy parenting strategies. Our home visitors assess homes for safety, evaluate children’s development and connect families to resources they need. If there is a developmental delay, it can be addressed and treated early. If a mother is experiencing postpartum depression, she can receive therapeutic support. Program services focus on increasing parental social support, reducing stress, and increasing positive parenting practices to promote protective factors and strengthen families.
Childhood Trauma Treatment
Untreated childhood trauma can have devastating life-long effects that impact a child’s ability to grow and learn, to trust others, to make healthy choices, and to feel worthy. Further, most children who have been abused or neglected believe it was their fault. At CALM, we know that a child must tell his or her story, and receive unconditional support so that the healing can begin. CALM counselors coach non-offending parents in attending to their child’s emotional and psychological needs, including correcting the child’s misperceptions about who is responsible for the abuse. After the story is told, and safe, healthy boundaries are established, the child can move through his or her personal journey towards healing. Programs in the Childhood Trauma Treatment department help children of all ages - and their families - who have experienced a wide array of trauma exposure, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence in their home, or neglect.
Whatever It Takes: Intensive Family Services
CALM’s Whatever It Takes (WIT) department provides intensive therapeutic interventions to children who may be at risk of being removed from their families or caregivers due to extreme stress and trauma. Some families are in the process of reunification after children have been removed or are in foster care placements. WIT clients have the highest level of need for mental health interventions because of their histories of abuse, trauma, neglect, severe emotional disturbance, substance abuse, or mental illness. To make services more accessible these clients are often seen in the community or in their homes. CALM therapists support and advocate for them as needed in their schools, with Child Welfare Services, with the Probation Department, and with other community systems in which they are involved. All WIT programs are served by referrals from the Department of Behavioral Wellness or the Department of Social Services.
Community Strengthening Collaborations
CALM is committed to supporting all children in our community. To do so, we must reach beyond the walls of our building and the homes of our clients to create the social change necessary to support and strengthen our broader community. By engaging with all organizations and systems that work with youth and families, CALM can help strengthen our community and make lasting changes. By building community strengthening collaborations, CALM aims to:
- Prevent, identify, and reduce the impact of mental health problems in our community.
- Provide educational supports to parents, partners, and providers about the impact of early childhood trauma.
- Build the capacity of other adults to understand and manage children’s behavior and functioning when they have been impacted by trauma.
- Promote optimal social-emotional development for all children in our community.
- Help to build a resilient and trauma-informed community by collaborating effectively with schools, preschools, law enforcement, family resource centers and health care providers.