Para Los Niños (PLN) has worked for thirty-nine years to create academic success and social well-being for children. Through early education centers, charter schools, and wellness centers, PLN offers high-quality education integrated with family supports, mental health services, and community engagement opportunities to thousands of children living in at-risk neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.

Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, PLN provides services at 15 sites across Los Angeles, including Skid Row, Pico-Union, East Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles. Our mission is to help children and their families succeed in school and in life, we do this through high-quality education and comprehensive social services for families and their children ages 0-24.

This is done by offering a wide range of services designed to address child, parent, family and community needs.

  • Ranging from specialty mental health, to at-risk pregnant, and parenting teens and families with children 0-5
  • Family supports for adults and children experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, involvement with child-welfare system and trauma
  • Mental health services for children 0-18 and a special focus for children who are victims of crime
  • Community leadership and capacity building for local residents
  • Youth workforce services and employment opportunities for youth 16-24.

Our staff of 465 works to provide services for approximately 4,700 children, youth, and their families each year.

Contact Us!

Training Coordinator
Alicia Arango-Yanez  213-623-8446 x231

Where we are located:
849 East 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA  90021
Phone: 213-623-8446
FAX:  213-896-1880

Student Training Experience

There are three different training tracks within Para Los Niños

Mental Health
This is a clinical track that entails placement within the Mental Health Department.  Students will receive training in Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health documentation and obtain certification in a specific evidence informed practice called Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP).  Students will provide the following services:  intake assessment (an extensive bio-psychosocial history, diagnosis and treatment plan); individual, collateral, family and group psychotherapy; crisis intervention when needed; targeted case management (i.e. linkage to additional support services) as clinically indicated.  Students will also participate in a multi-disciplinary team aimed at integration and collaboration; consultation with board certified pediatric psychiatrist; consultations with teachers, administrators, after school staff and other natural supports for their assigned clients.  Students will have the opportunity to co-facilitate groups in the schools on topics such as bullying, social skills, etc.

Alicia Arango-Yanez

School Social Work
This track is for students seeking a Field Placement that leads to eligibility for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC).  This track entails placement at one of our three Charter schools.  We currently have a middle school (6th-8th grades), elementary (TK-grade 5) and a primary center (Tk-1st grade).  Training within this track includes supporting with small group interventions; attendance (includes tracking, meeting with parents, conducting home visits, supporting school staff with incentive programs); classroom interventions; presentations (i.e. topics such as bullying, conflict resolution, etc..); parent workshops; case management and crisis intervention.  Students will have the opportunity to co-facilitate groups on topics such as social skills, bullying, etc.

Alejandra Gutierrez

Family Services
This is a clinical track that entails work primarily with adults in the Family Violence Prevention Program (FX).  The treatment approach is working with couples, following the evidenced based practice of Prevention and Education Relationship Program (PREP). Students provide the following: Strengths Based Intake Assessment (extensive bio-psychosocial history, Diagnosis and Treatment Plan); Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family & Group Therapy; Crisis Intervention when needed; Case Management (i.e., linkage to additional support services) as indicated. All services are documented utilizing the lens of the Protective Factors. This Strengths Based framework enhances case conceptualization of individuals, couples, and families in accordance with the Department of Children and Family Services. Students are matched with a Mentor for direct assistance with the intake process (Assessment, Treatment Planning and Outcome Measures) for their first 2 clients, and peer to peer support throughout the training placement. Students also participate in a multi-disciplinary team aimed at integration and collaboration. Students have the opportunity to co-facilitate groups onsite, in the schools, and the community to support Social & Emotional Learning.  There are other programs in this track that may request interns as deemed necessary and based on other contracts or funding opportunities.  These include the Family Preservation Program (FP), Partnerships for Families Program (PFF), and the Child Abuse Prevention Intervention & Treatment Program (CAPIT).

Karen Garcia

Who we serve:

Para Los Niños’ Mental Health Services Program works to address the mental health needs of children, ages 0-21, and their families in Service Planning Area 4 of Los Angeles (Skid Row, Downtown, Pico-Union, Boyle Heights, and Ramona Gardens Projects). We are the area’s only mental health services provider for children in this area. 100% percent of the children and families we serve come from very low-income households, with the majority of them living 250% below federal poverty guidelines. The current median income of our families is $11, 500 for an average household size of 3-6 people, less than five times the California average. 95% of our clients are Latino; 5% are African-American. 87.5% of the children’s caretakers read little to no English. Of the children we serve, 18.2% are five years old or under; 52.2% are 6-10 years old; 25.2% are 11-15 years old; 4.4% are 16-20 years old.

Available Internship Days and Times:

This internship is a 20 hours a week commitment.  Internship days and times are flexible and depend on the specific track.  However, Wednesdays are a mandatory training day as this is the day of the week in which staff meetings, trainings and group supervision take place on a weekly basis (9am-3pm).

For the 2020-2021 year, the primary start date for training is September 9th (the first Wednesday after Labor Day).  However, there are several slots available to start in June for the Mental Health track.  There will be a 2 day orientation that will take place in mid to late August (date to be determined) in order to help the students with onboarding activities.  This orientation is necessary in order to ensure students have completed activities that will support their beginning their clinical training.   It should also be noted that the first two weeks of training in September (week of 9/9/20 through 9/21/20), most trainings are scheduled to take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Attendance to these training days is required unless prior arrangements have been discussed with the respective training supervisor.

Special Requirements:  (ie:  livescan , TB clearance, training days prior experience)

We require that all students pass a livescan, drug screening and TB test.  Agency wide trainings are also required (topics on trauma informed treatment, child abuse reporting, CPR / First Aide, etc..)

Our staff of 465 staff members work each year to collaborate with over 4,700 children, youth, and their families to reach their goals.

Supervision and Training Plan:  

  • Supervision: Students receive 1 hour of individual and 2 hours of group supervision weekly.  Both individual and group supervision is done in person.  Group supervision consists of no more than 8 students.  Students present cases each week in a structured presentation format to facilitate this area of their professional development.
  • Meetings with Preceptors / Mentors: Students are assigned a preceptor / mentor at the beginning of the training year.  This preceptor / mentor is a seasoned clinician who will essentially be available to support the student as they learn their role in providing services.  For the students who are in the Mental Health Track, this preceptor / mentor will have the student shadow them in doing an intake assessment of the student’s first client.  The preceptor / mentor will then shadow the student as they administer the intake assessment of their second client.  For the students enrolled in the School Social Work track, the preceptor / mentor will be the school psychologist who resides at the designated charter school in which the student is assigned.  The school psychologist will further provide needed supports for the student to acclimate to their placement and be available in the event they have questions or crises arise.
  • Trainings: Students participate in weekly and bi-monthly trainings.  Trainings take place each week on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm.  Twice a month (1st and 3rd Wednesday) we hold trainings on various topics that support the work with children and families.  Various topics that have been presented previously include crisis intervention, compassion fatigue, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, attachment, brain development, toxic stress, art therapy and sensory processing disorders.  Students enrolled in the Mental Health track also receive training twice a month (2nd and 4th Wednesday) towards certification in the evidence informed practice (MAP).