• Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award

    ACGC Seeking Nominations For Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award

    Do you know someone who exemplifies excellence in improving future outcomes for children? The Austin Child Guidance Center is accepting nominations for the 6th Annual Phyllis Richards -Austin Icon for Children Award. Please nominate deserving individuals under one of the following categories: Community Activist or Community Professional.

    Nominations are due by April 10th

    Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award Nomination Form

  • Statement from Austin Child Guidance Center

    Austin Child Guidance Center is a safe, caring and accepting place.  We embrace diversity, value integrity, and work to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable mental health treatment, no matter their religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or any other measure that is used to divide.  At ACGC, we are all ‘us.’

  • Austin Child Guidance Center

    Professional Training – Trauma-Informed Adventure Therapy

    When: September 26, 2016 from 10 am – 12 pm

    Where: Austin Travis County Integral Care – 5015 IH-35, Ste. 200 (Rudy Zapata Room) Austin, TX 78744

    Cost: $30 (2 hours of CEUs will be available for Social Workers, LPCs, LMFTs, and Psychologists)

    Training Description:

    During this training participants will learn about the use of trauma-informed adventure therapy with various populations and ways in which they can begin to incorporate it into their own practice. Components of trauma-informed care will be reviewed and an introduction to adventure therapy and how it works will be discussed and practiced. Participants can expect to engage in experiential activities as a means of learning during this training.

    Annette L. Pelletier, LMSW – Annette is the Child and Family Therapist and creator of the HOPE Adventure Therapy Program at the Austin Shelter for Women and Children. Annette is currently receiving clinical supervision with Dr. Christine Norton, a licensed clinical social worker and adventure therapy specialist and educator. Annette has several years’ experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, women, and families in a variety of treatment settings, to include juvenile justice, schools, wilderness, and residential settings.

    Federico (Fred) A. Borroel, MS, LPC-S – Fred is the founder of the Family Enrichment Adventure Therapy (FEAT) Program at ChildSafe, the Children’s Advocacy Center of San Antonio, Texas, and serves on the Leadership Council of the Association for Experiential Education’s Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group. Throughout his professional career, he has served as a mental health clinician, clinical supervisor, program developer, trainer, and grant writer. Along the way, he has trusted and learned to use experiential learning and adventure therapy as ways to promote positive change with clients and systems alike.

    Click here to register for this training:

    Contact Katie at kmitten@austinchildguidance.org with any questions.

  • Free Parent Workshop – Worry Woes: How Parents Can Help Children Cope with Anxiety

    Help your child deal with worries and fears that can impact family functioning, school

    performance, and relationships with others.  This workshop is designed to help parents

    obtain a better understanding of how anxiety can affect their children. Parents will learn

    practical and effective ways to help children cope with anxiety in day-to-day

    situations at home.

    Presented by: Megan Aros-O’Malley, Ph.D.

    Who: Parents of school-age children

    When: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 from 6 pm – 7:30 pm

    Where: Austin Child Guidance Center

    810 W. 45th St.

    Austin, TX 78751

    Limited childcare is available. Children must be over 2 years old. Please register early to reserve your seat and childcare for your child(ren).

    To register: Call 512-451-2242 or email kmitten@austinchildguidance.org

    PLEASE INCLUDE WORKSHOP TITLE IN EMAIL!

     

  • Free Parent Workshop – Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Building Positive Relationships with your Children

    Would you like to build better relationships with your children? Are you hoping to increase trust, understanding, and positive communication? Please join us for an interactive workshop to gain information and skills to listen to, effectively praise, and empathize with your child. This workshop is targeted towards parents of children ages 5-12 years old.

    Presented by: Denice Carpenter, Stephanie Clayton, and Shana Rubenstein

    Clinical Social Work Interns at the Austin Child Guidance Center

    WHEN: Wednesday, July 13th from 6-7:30pm

    WHERE: Austin Child Guidance Center

    810 West 45th Street

    Austin, TX 78751

     

    Limited childcare is available. Children must be over 2 years old. Please register early to reserve your seat and childcare for your child(ren).

     

    To register: Call 512-451-2242 or email kmitten@austinchildguidance.org 

    PLEASE INCLUDE WORKSHOP TITLE IN EMAIL!

     

  • ACGC Hiring Bi-lingual Therapist

    Austin Child Guidance Center (ACGC) is a trauma-informed outpatient mental health agency that provides services to children and families in Travis County. ACGC is now accepting resumes for a full-time (40 hours/week) bilingual (English/Spanish) therapist to see insurance/Medicaid/Chip clients as well as trauma survivors.  Applicants should be licensed to practice independently (LPC, LMFT, LCSW, Ph.D.).  Applicants must have experience providing individual/family/group therapy to children and families; ability to work a flexible schedule including two to three evenings a week; knowledge of evidence-based treatments; ability to multi-task, problem-solve, collaborate and work in a progressive and changing environment.  Qualified applicants should submit cover letter and resume to ltweedie@austinchildguidance.org, fax to 512-454-9204 or mail to ACGC, 810 W. 45th Street, Austin, TX 78751.  Salary range is upper 40’s to low 50’s.

  • Paper Tigers Movie Screening

    Trauma-Informed Movie Screening: Paper Tigers
    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 at 6 pm
    CLICK HERE to purchase your $5 food/drink voucher to reserve your seat.
    PAPER TIGERS is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities – a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). Paper Tigers captures the pain, the danger, the beauty, and the hopes of struggling teens—and the teachers armed with new science and fresh approaches that are changing their lives for the better.

     

    Co-presented by the Alamo Drafthouse and the Trauma-Informed Care Consortium of Central Texas.

    Following the movie there will be an opportunity to reflect and discuss your thoughts about the movie.

     

  • Gaining Cooperation: Helping Your Child Listen and Follow Directions

    Parenting with an attitude of confidence and respect models to our children that they are safe, loveable, capable people who are willing to do the responsible thing when they see a problem. Sometimes caregivers instinctively rely on commands, warnings, punishments or   rewards to gain cooperation with children—which can work depending on the child, but it’s not effective with all children and these methods can corrode the relationship over time, resulting in power struggles and resentment in the relationship. This workshop will give you strategies to gain cooperation with a wide range of personalities and builds on the unique strengths of each caregiver to connect with the child in a way that’s mutually beneficial.  These strategies are suitable for working with children of all ages.

    Presented by: Diane Hoffman, MA, LPC

    On: Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 6:00pm—7:30pm

    Location:  Austin Child Guidance Center

    810 W. 45th Street

    Austin, Texas 78751

    Childcare: Free for children 2 and up

    Cost:  Free

    To register please contact Katie Mitten at 512-451-2242 or kmitten@austinchildguidance.org  

     

     

     

     

     

  • ACGC is Hiring

    Therapist II (bi-lingual) – Infant & Early Childhood Project

    Austin Child Guidance Center (ACGC) is a trauma-informed outpatient mental health agency that provides services to children and families in Travis County.  ACGC is now accepting resumes for a full-time (40 hours/week) bilingual (English/Spanish) therapist to provide mental health consultation to childcare centers (75% time) as well as individual/family/group therapy (25% time) under insurance/Medicaid/Chip or other projects.  Applicants should be licensed to practice independently (LPC, LMFT, LCSW, Ph.D.).  Applicants must have experience providing individual/family/group therapy to children and families; ability to work a flexible schedule including two evenings a week; knowledge of evidence-based treatments; ability to multi-task, problem-solve, collaborate and work in a progressive and changing environment.  Qualified applicants should submit cover letter and resume to ltweedie@austinchildguidance.org, fax to 512-454-9204 or mail to ACGC, 810 W. 45th Street, Austin, TX  78751.

    For more information and other job openings, visit our Employment page.

  • ACGC History

     

    In honor of Austin Child Guidance Center's 65th anniversary, we have delved into the rich history of the organization to look at what has (and has not) changed since 1951. Click the tabs below to learn more about different parts of our history.

    And click our Events page to learn more about our 65th Anniversary celebration on Thursday, February 25th and to buy tickets to the event.


    Christine Anderson

    Dr. Christine Warren Anderson was the Secretary of the ACGC Board of Directors in 1982 when she was killed in a tragic car accident. Though only 29, she was already an accomplished teacher, researcher, and scholar.

    She joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1978 in the Department of Educational Psychology. In her four years, she designed and taught several highly successful new graduate courses, including a two-semester sequence on families and parenting that received national attention.

    In addition to her service at ACGC, Christine was a co-founder of Parents Anonymous, an Austin group dedicated to helping parents with serious problems in dealing with their children.

    In her honor, ACGC set up the Christine Anderson Children’s Service Award in 1984, created to celebrate and acknowledge community leaders in children’s services. The first recipient was Dr. Jackson Day, a child psychiatrist. Over the years, the Christine Anderson Award has been given to a wide variety of leaders, like: Margaret Gregg (the founder of Extend-A-Care); Judge Scott McCown; Representative J.J. “Jake” Pickle; Libby Doggett; Dr. King Davis (Hogg Foundation); Community Partners for Children; and Representative Elliott Naishtat.

    In 1993, ACGC added a second Christine Anderson Award to honor institutions. Community leaders such as H-E-B; Silicon Labs; the Austin American Statesman; AMD; and Brown McCarroll were among the institutions honored.

    ACGC retired this award in 2007 and in recent years developed the Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. For our 65th Anniversary, we are bringing back the Christine Anderson award to celebrate and honor special people and institutions who have been integral throughout our history.

    Students at ACGC

    Students have been an integral part of the work of Austin Child Guidance Center since the beginning. An estimated 700 students have had internships, practicums, and post-doctoral placements with ACGC over the years. Thousands of others have attended one or more trainings or have been volunteers at the center. In fact, there are many people who have had multiple roles, moving from volunteer to intern, and from intern to staff. Currently, 42% of our clinical staff members have a history with ACGC in an intern role. Dr. Julia Hoke, our Director of Psychological Services, may hold the record. She has been a volunteer, an intern, a contract psychologist, a staff psychologist, and now holds a leadership position.

    Interns help ACGC leverage our reach and increase our capacity. Last year alone, student interns provided 2,450 direct service hours to our clients – a value of over $61,000. ACGC has drawn students from University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, Texas A&M, Texas State University, and other schools. We have hosted clinical social workers; administrative social workers; licensed professional counselor interns; psychology practicum students; post-doctoral psychologists; psychiatric nurse practitioners; psychiatric residents; MBA students; and others.

    A report from one of the Center’s first Directors confirms that the first formal agreement to host students was developed in 1958 with the University of Texas School of Social Work, though the report acknowledges that even before this, the center trained “one or two social work students each year.”

    “Students are such an integral part of what we do,” explains Executive Director Russell Smith. “Having a variety of internships each year leverages our resources to serve the community; builds a workforce of highly-trained professionals; and ensures that ACGC is always learning and growing.”

    Annual Reports Throughout the Years

    The following snapshots are taken from annual reports of the Austin Child Guidance Center throughout our history:

    [1953] “1953 was a year of consolidation and consultation. The 250th family applied for and was given service. In the 2 and one-half years since its opening the Center has worked directly with 1,000 children and grown-ups:
    • 250 children struggling unsuccessfully to grow up emotionally;
    • 500 puzzled parents caught in helping their troubled children;
    • 250 school principals, teachers, counselors, doctors, public health nurses, social workers and probation officers, united in community effort to help these puzzled and troubled parents and children.”

    [1964] “Essentially the ‘team approach’ involves the collaboration of professional people representing the three disciplines—social work, psychology and psychiatry—each contributing in a special way to the thorough study, not only of the child, but also of the family and social setting in which the child’s personality has developed and in which the problems have arisen.”

    [1968] “The Austin Child Guidance Center is moving into a new area, that of preventive mental health. It is no longer enough to try and treat the casualties of unhappy living – the future of child guidance lies in maintaining good emotional health and intervention at an early enough level to keep small emotional crises from snowballing into larger ones.”

    [1985] “Children who come to the Center suffer from a variety of mental health problems, but they all have one thing in common. They hurt inside.”

    [2005] “Sometimes life is hard. When parents divorce, a teen may feel angry and isolated. When a child cannot sit still in school, he can be sent frequently to the principal’s office. When a toddler has been abused, she may not trust her new foster parents. When a preschooler bullies his classmate, he could be kicked out of daycare. When a child is diagnosed with a mental illness, a parent can feel helpless and confused. When a grandparent dies, a teenager can feel lonely and might cry for weeks.

    Sometimes it can be so overwhelming. Parents have tried everything and still can’t make things better. When life is hard, Austin Child Guidance Center helps children and families deal with those challenges. We give them hope. We provide a safe place for families to talk with a therapist. Parents learn new skills and tools to help their children. We strive to help children and adolescents have successful lives at school, with friends, and with their family.”

    ACGC’s Focus on Low-Income Families

    Mental health concerns affect all families from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It is estimated that one in five children will have a mental health concern at some point. Austin Child Guidance Center serves all families, from across central Texas. Families come to ACGC from Bell, Burnet, Blanco, Bastrop, Caldwell, Comal, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson Counties. We work with girls and boys, toddlers and teenagers, children from every background.

    The Center has placed particular emphasis on serving families most in need. Consistently, families who access services at Austin Child Guidance Center are considered low-income (at or below 200% of the poverty level). These families typically have few options when seeking mental health services.

    This organizational value was adopted early on. The following is an excerpt from the report “The Dream and the Reality,” a report written in January 1969 by ACGC’s Administrative Director Robert Toland.

    “In the past two or three years, leadership in the ACGC has focused on a philosophy of increasing services to the more disadvantaged, multiproblem, ‘high-risk’ areas of Austin and Travis County. It is known that certain areas contain a high incidence of mental health problems.

    One relatively simple assessment of the case distribution was made by placing pins in a map of cases. A distribution of some 567 pins showed we are covering Austin and Travis County in a geographic manner roughly proportionate to the population, with proportionately much less service to the most affluent neighborhoods (e.g., Northwest Hills, Tarrytown. It is our impression that these sections are served by private psychiatrists for the most part).

    Our philosophy will continue to stress a broad spectrum of service to all applicants, but our emphasis will undoubtedly be on middle and lower income families, and especially upon the most income-disadvantaged families, in the target areas where the highest incidence of mental health problems exist, and in which, traditionally, there has been poor delivery of service.”

    We are proud to report that, 46 years after Mr. Toland wrote this report, Austin Child Guidance Center continues to live this philosophy.

     

     

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