Written by PHA’s Director of Behavioral Health and Programs, Rachel Cardenas:
We’ve had an incredible summer this year with many amazing events and activities for the kids! Each one of our Case Managers were responsible for creating, leading, and executing at least one event for summer enrichment for the kids. Through trust and relationship, our Case Managers know our kids, have insight into what our kids enjoy, understand what could be beneficial to our kids and lead all services through a trauma informed lens. Each of our summer events were intentionally designed, selected, and executed to maximize their impact on our kids and our kid’s lives.
Trauma informed care guided our planning process and selection of kids for each of our summer events. Our events were not only for our kids to have fun (which is of course a main priority), but were carefully created to support our kids in their social-emotional, academic, and/or behavioral development. Whether our kids were at the beach, the movies, the museum, baseball games, camp at Catalina, or any of the other fun places we’ve been this summer, intention was always placed on improving the quality of life of our kids. Through events this summer, our kids have improved self-esteem by stepping outside their comfort zones and by trying new things, have improved their social skills by forming new relationships with peers and through the modeling of their Case Managers, have improved mood by getting out of their living spaces and by being active, have reduced new risky behaviors through maintaining consistent in-person contact and mentorship with their Case Managers and their peers, and have increased their potential ideas and outlook for their future through many college campus tours and math camp.
Our focus is always on the overall well-being of our kids and through the many events and activities this summer, our kids have not only been able to experience a typical summer of fun but have shown improvement and development in their mental health, social skills, behavior, and academic outlook. Our team has truly made this summer impactful for our students, and we know the difference will carry on through their new school year.