In the News

Child & Family Center participated in UCLA Tele-Health Study  

Child & Family Center was one of two mental health providers that participated in the study which compares an intake process—which starts with a phone interview with no support—and a novel process in which parents are guided by a coordinator using videoconferencing. The parents can see the person asking the questions, to increase their comfort level in providing personal information and committing their child to therapy.
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Child & Family Center honored at second annual California Nonprofits Day celebration

Child & Family Center was honored as a Nonprofit of the Year at a celebration of California Nonprofits Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento on June 28, 2017.

The Center was selected by Assemblymember Dante Acosta as an exceptional nonprofit organization in his 38th assembly district community. The Center joins nearly one hundred other nonprofits from across the state honored at the annual California Nonprofits Day event, formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 54, authored by the chair of the new Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblywoman Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara).

Mike Berger, CFC Board Chair and board member Vanessa Wilk accepted the award at the luncheon held at Sacramento’s Convention Center.

“Nonprofit organizations are vitally important to the economy and well-being of California. But too often nonprofits are ‘hidden in plain sight.’ We are thrilled that the State Assembly has passed a resolution for the second year in a row that puts the spotlight on nonprofits as an economic power that uses that power for the common good. We congratulate all of the award recipients on being honored for the great work they do every day to make California a better place,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations, representing and promoting California’s growing nonprofit sector and working to bring the full power of nonprofits to strengthening communities.


Child & Family Center Installs Board of Directors February 7th

Supervisor Kathryn Barger (far right) installs the 2017 Board of Directors. 

Harold & Jacqulyn Petersen were recognized for their long history of generous philanthropic gifts to the Center.  
"The Petersen Family Children's Garden" will be created in their honor in front of the Center's building on Centre Pointe Parkway 
Pictured above:  Dr. Joan Aschoff, Harold & Jacquie Petersen 
and Cheryl Jones.


Outgoing Center Board Chair Bill Cooper (left) and Outgoing Foundation Board Chair Nick Lentini
were recognized for their service. 



Board Members Steve Sturgeon and John Musella were
recognized for their contributions.


Amanda Benson was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

Steve Cassulo and Mike Dean of Chiquita Canyon accepted
their award for Business of the Year 2016. 


Petersen International Underwriters & City National Bank present gifts

Child & Family Center extends a special thank you to Petersen International Underwriters and Harold & Jacquie Petersen for their generous gift of $20,000, and to City National Bank for their $5,000 donation which was presented on #GivingTuesday 2016.  The gifts will go toward the Center’s Guardians of Hope Campaign, of which the Petersens are honorary chairs.  Our heartfelt thanks to them for their many years of support, and to City National Bank for their generosity.  Pictured are Center Board Chair Bill Cooper, Dr. Joan Aschoff, CEO of the Center, Liz Caplan-Walls of City National Bank, Jacquie Petersen, Cheryl Jones, VP Marketing & Community Outreach and Harold Petersen.


Women's Auxiliary Raises Money for Teens


Our Women's Auxiliary held their annual Holiday Party at the home of Jean La Corte and Walter Kiczek on December 1st. Throughout the year the ladies host "Phony Pony" social parties and donate money to be used to purchase holiday gift cards for teen clients at the Center. This year they raised a total of $2,414!! Thank you ladies for your continued support!


Local Elks Help Child & Family Center Kids

Elks members Stacy McKenna, Teresa Handy and John Rivetti present backpacks to staff therapist Genesis Espinosa.

Happy children and teens from Child & Family Center went back to school fully prepared for learning, outfitted with new backpacks filled with school supplies, thanks to the generosity of the local Elks Lodge.  On August 4th, members of   B.P.O.E. Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 came to Child & Family and distributed 270 backpacks to elementary, middle and high school students.  Elks made personal donations, and the Lodge also secured a major national grant to fund the project.

“We are really pleased and happy to be doing this for these children and I’m glad we could fulfill this need in our community” said Stacy McKenna, Co-Chair of the project. “This is what our local Elks Lodge is all about. We look forward to making this an annual event.” McKenna co-chaired with members John Rivetti and Ted Olsen who spearheaded the project.

Originally, the giveaway was to have been part a “Family Fun Night” party hosted by the Elks at the Center on Monday, July 25th.  They had planned to serve their signature barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs, join other family-centered activities such as an animal show, photo booth and disc jockey, and give the backpacks away, but unfortunately, the party had to be postponed due to the complications of the Sand Fire.  “Back-to-school” itself wasn’t postponed, however, so the backpack giveaway took place in time for the August school openings, much to the excitement of the kids. 

Happily, the “Family Fun Night” has been rescheduled for August 29th.  Families from the Center will come together in the evening after school and be treated to lots of fun activities.  The Elks, long-time supporters of Child & Family Center, are hoping to make this an annual back-to-school event for the children.  In addition to this new end-of-summer party, every holiday season for the past twenty years the Elks have “adopted” 35 families in need from the Center, donating toys, gifts and food to help them through the holidays.

The children and families served at the Center, together with the staff and volunteers, thank the Elks for their ongoing generosity and dedication to those in need throughout Santa Clarita.  



Child & Family Center Celebrates 40 Years and
Honors L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich

Child and Family Center hosted an anniversary party on the evening of Friday, June 17 to celebrate its 40 years of helping children and families challenged with emotional, learning and behavioral issues.  Child and Family Center, was established in 1976 by co-founders Liz Seipel and Carol Gelsinger, as a small program offering parenting classes to parents of preschool age children. Over the past 40 years, the Center has evolved into a comprehensive treatment center offering a full spectrum of services including individual, group, family and school-based counseling, as well as intensive in-home care.

At the celebration, L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich was honored for his support to the Center.  Seipel first met  Antonovich in 1985 and explained that the Center was struggling to provide services and had no county funding. Within a few days of the meeting, the Center received its first county contract to provide treatment for victims of abuse and neglect.  Antonovich has remained a staunch supporter of the Center for the past 31 years.

Antonovich and Joan Aschoff, CEO Child & Family Center received certificates of recognition from Mayor Bob Kellar, Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta, Senator Sharon Runner, and Los Angeles County.  A resolution signed by Assemblyman Scott Wilk and Senator Fran Pavley was also presented.  Center board members, community supporters and staff enjoyed viewing a gallery of photo collages from the past 40 years.


Women Helping Youth presents grant for $12,019

Dr. Joan Aschoff, CEO of Child & Family Center, received a check in the amount of $12,019 on Saturday May 7 from the Women Helping Youth (WHY) organization. Members of WHY are women in L.A. County who want to make a direct impact on children’s lives.  Each member makes a personal donation, all monies are combined and then they select several local non-profits to receive a grant.  The grant to Child & Family Center will be used to equip observation rooms with sound and video equipment.  The observation rooms will be used for therapy, training and clinical supervision.   For information on Child & Family Center, visit For information on Women Helping Youth, visit



Addressing Domestic Violence

Dr. Joan Aschoff, President/CEO of Child & Family Center joined Linda Davies, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center of SCV and Captain Roosevelt Johnson of the S.C. Valley Sheriff’s Station at the Signal Newspaper Thursday, October 29 on a panel addressing the issue of domestic violence.

The three organizations are part of the City’s new Task Force DIVERT (Domestic Intervention Violence Education Resource Team), aimed at turning the tide on domestic and family violence in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Aschoff explained that the Child & Family Center is focusing on helping children who have witnessed domestic violence. “Our area of expertise is in helping children with emotional or behavioral issues.  The D.V. Center is well trained to help the adult victims of abuse, while the Center can pay particular attention to the children in homes punctuated with those same acts of violence.”

“We’re seeing children with all kinds of issues,” she said, noting that for years the understanding among many social workers had been that children not physically abused had somehow escaped domestic violence. “But witnessing domestic violence has a serious effect on children,” Aschoff said. Domestic violence is a “learned behavior,” she said, “so what we’re trying to do is break that cycle.”

“There’s such a stigma attached to domestic violence,” Davies said. “We need to open up and talk about it. “It’s not a family issue, it’s a community issue. The same thing happens in every community and every demographic and Santa Clarita Valley is no exception,” she said.

“It’s a fact that one out of four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime.  At the Domestic Violence Center of the SCV, we offer everything from a 24-hour crisis hotline, temporary restraining orders and emergency shelter for survivors and their children, to counseling, parenting classes and support groups,” explained Davies. “Women who need help and don’t know where to turn should call us first,” she added.

Johnson, speaking from the perspective of deputies being the first ones to respond to violent domestic incidents, echoed Davies’ call for SCV residents to actively step up, take action, discuss what happened and then continue discussing it until there’s change. Local sheriff’s deputies respond to 53,000 service calls a year, and at least six percent of those calls are rooted in domestic violence, Johnson told the group.

Johnson announced that the City has launched a new website – – which provides valuable resources for survivors of domestic violence, their families, and those who care about them.  Every local entity that provides treatment, services and help to survivors of domestic violence and their families is represented.

“Whether someone is a victim of domestic violence, is afraid for their life, or they know someone who is in a family violence situation, the time is now to act and the DIVERT website provides the help victims and their families need right now,” explains Captain Johnson.

“The DIVERT Task Force is focusing on education, outreach and enforcement to affect real change and work to stop domestic and family violence incidents in the community,” he said.

Click here to view the complete program.


Supervisor Antonovich Grant to Fund New Program at the Center

Pictured: William Cooper, Center Board Chair, Kathryn Barger, Chief of Staff for Sup. Antonovich,  Joan Ashcoff, CEO Child & Family Center, Nick Lentini, Chair Foundation Board & Lois Bauccio Foundation President/Exec. Direc.

Child & Family Center has received a $100,000 grant from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to fund the development of a new program for psychological testing.  Chief of staff Kathryn Barger and field representative Rosalind Wayman presented the gift to the Center’s Board of Directors at their August meeting. “The supervisor has been a great supporter of the Center for over thirty years. He is pleased to present this gift that will help the youth in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Ms. Barger.

Over the next twelve months, Child & Family Center will use the grant to develop a Psychological Testing  Program, which will not only enhance services for current clients, but will also allow the expansion of  services to the broader Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding communities.  The specialized service uses advanced tools and procedures to assess a person’s unique traits, characteristics and strengths.  For psychotherapists and other mental health professionals, this service can play an essential role in determining the most effective treatment strategy, especially in cases that involve very complex disorders, impairments and needs.  It can also have many other beneficial applications, such as helping gifted and highly talented individuals identify optimal opportunities and pathways for enrichment and development.   “We are excited to create this unique and invaluable resource and service for our community,” said Victor Chavira, Executive Vice President of Programs for the Center.  

Ronald McDonald Helps Santa Clarita Kids


Child & Family Center has received a Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California Community Grant in the amount of $16,610 to purchase therapeutic equipment and toys for Child & Family's Bright Beginnings Therapeutic Preschool as well as other programs which help young children at the Center.  Child & Family was recognized for its "dedication to improving the health and well-being of children in Southern California". 

Mr. Jay Schutz, Owner/Operator of McDonald's Restaurants of Santa Clarita, supported the Center's bid for the grant which was presented at an April ceremony held at the Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles, and was received by Lois Bauccio, President of the Child & Family Center Foundation and the Foundation Board's Vice Chair, Michael Lebecki.

"The love that Ronald McDonald House Charities has for children are legendary,” said Lebecki of the grant. This wonderful donation, which will do so much good for so many deserving children, was truly made possible by the generosity of the Schutz Family.  We thank them most sincerely."

Child & Family Center provides mental health and behavioral intervention services for children, teens, adults and their families. Since 1976, the Center has helped thousands of people overcome various issues.  Last year alone, hundreds of local children and adults received treatment for depression, anger, anxiety, abuse, thoughts of suicide, and drug and alcohol addictions among other disorders.  In addition, thousands more were reached through community outreach, consultation and educational programs.


Beyond the Bling Ring: Real Life Lessons of Raising Kids in L.A.
Read the full story by Amy Ephron, featured in a recent issue of Vogue Magazine.


   Dr.Alan Sandler, Medical Director at Child & Family Center meets with Legislative Leaders in Washington D.C.

On Thursday, January 24th, while attending a medical meeting in frigid Washington D.C. (temperature in the teens and snow on the way), I had the privilege of spending a day on Capitol Hill advocating for the Mental Health Care of the children of our nation and our state. This effort is particularly timely and essential in view of the economic hardships suffered by many of our families in the past several years and the Sandy Hook tragedy.  I represented my "Guild": The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on behalf of that organization's Office of Governmental Affairs. I had separate meetings with legislative assistants assigned to health care matters at the offices of Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and at the office of Congressman Bradley Sherman. Senator Feinstein's office is particularly interested in legislation that would expand The Full Service Partnership, Wraparound, and other unique California programs nationally, as well as formulating and then offering legislation to fund a national after-school program network.

My task was to seek legislative support for increased appropriations for prevention programs, early identification services, research, and treatment, and for funding to improve access for children and families. The list of the "needy" included Community Mental Health Centers, such as ours, the National Institute of Health, Child Mental Health specialists who leave training heavily in debt, underfunded colleges and universities that seek to develop and expand training programs, primary care clinics that are a front line in the healthcare effort but have limited access to mental health consultation, and our nation's public schools attempting to establish clinics on site to identify and treat children "where they are."

This is not a one time project. I plan to follow up with meetings at the local offices of our representatives and to keep the e-cards and letters going to remind our legislators of our needs. I hope you will join me in the effort by writing to our Senators and your congressional representative to let them know where you stand on funding for the mental health of our children.

Lois Bauccio, President/Executive Director of C&FC Foundation appears on "Out of the Rough" with Fred Arnold.


Study shows that children lose autism diagnosis
Click Here to view article

Dr. Alan Sandler, Child & Family Center Medical Director, has the following comments on the article:
One "take home" message from this finding is that Autism, if not most of the conditions we treat,  is not one disorder.  Every illness is mild, moderate, or severe, and there are many "autisms," as there are many "depressions," or even many "schizophrenias."
When we have that brain scanner of the future (We don't have it yet), we will know what parts of the brain are not "talking" to other parts of the brain they way they should. We will know which kids with autism will improve and which treatments will work best and for whom. Until then, at our center, we will provide care for children on the autism spectrum, each as an individual, with thoughtful, not "one size fits all," treatment.





Mental Health Experts testify before Congressional Committee on the current state of Mental Health in the U.S.
Click Here to view the hearing.



Archived Articles

  1. Attention Deficit Disorder
  2. Basics for Babies
  3. Can Multi-family Group help my family?
  4. Eating Disorders
  5. Grief
  6. Let's Talk About Spanking
  7. Special Time - Happier Children and Happier Parents
  8. Parenting Tips for Preschoolers
  9. 5 Year Old Won't Pick Up Toys
  10. 14 Year Old Girl Keeps Running Away
  11. 14 Year Old Won't do Homework
  12. 16 Year Old Frustrates Mom
  13. Improve Cooperation with your Child
  14. Mom Tired of Being a Referee
  15. Single Mom is Worn Out
  16. Son Refuses to do Homework
  17. Teenager has Mom at her Wits End
  18. Safe Haven
  19. Self-Esteem Through Communication
  20. Should my Child Take Medication
  21. Sports Benefits for Children
  22. Stress - Part I
  23. Stress - Part II
  24. Ups and Downs of Teen Parenting