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.

Training Program Overview

Graduate training prepares MFT trainees and Social Work Interns to be knowledgeable and skilled to work with children and families with a Strengths based approach.

In addition to hands-on work, there are weekly didactic trainings covering a range of topics including: Trauma-Informed Care, Compassion Fatigue, Domestic Violence, Mandated Reporting, Crisis Intervention, Toxic Stress, Cultural Humility, and Termination.

Program Details

  • Weekly 2 hour clinical group supervision and 1 hour individual supervision
  • 9-12 month commitment required, depending on the requirements of the student’s university
  • New training cohorts begin in September of each academic year
  • 20 hours per-week of availability required, spread out over three designated days (Wednesdays are mandatory)
  • Transportation and schedule flexibility required for client services in the after-school time frame, 2-3 days each week
  • Clinical training and support via initial orientation period, followed by weekly professional development didactic trainings
  • $3,000 stipend provided

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

How to Apply

Graduate students interested in applying for a MFT Practicum or Social Work Internship should email a current resume and cover letter to the specific track contact listed below.
Interviews begin in January and placement decisions are made by May.

Student Training Experience

There are three different training tracks within Para Los Niños

Mental Health
Training in Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health documentation to obtain certification in a specific evidence informed practice (Managing and Adapting Practice [MAP]).  Students will provide clinical treatment to children in schools, homes, and communities in Downtown Los Angeles, including the following services:  intake assessment; individual, collateral, family and group psychotherapy; crisis intervention when needed; targeted case management as clinically indicated.  Additionally, students will  co-facilitate groups in the schools on topics such as bullying, social skills, etc.

Alicia Arango-Yanez

School Social Work
For students seeking a Field Placement that leads to eligibility for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC), and 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-2nd grade).  Training includes supporting with small group interventions; attendance (meeting with parents, conducting home visits, supporting school staff); classroom interventions; presentations; parent workshops; case management and crisis intervention.  Students co-facilitate groups on topics such as social skills, bullying, etc.

Alejandra Gutierrez

Family Services
Clinical track working primarily with adults and couples in the Family Violence Prevention Program.  Training is based in the practice of Prevention and Education Relationship Program. Students will provide:  Intake Assessment; Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family & Group Therapy; Crisis Intervention; Case Management. Additionally, students will co-facilitate groups onsite, in the schools, and the community.All services are documented utilizing the lens of the Protective Factors. This framework enhances case conceptualization of individuals, couples, and families in accordance with the Department of Children and Family Services.
Various programs in this track include the Family Preservation Program, Partnerships for Families Program, and the Child Abuse Prevention Intervention & Treatment Program – these are available based on request and funding.

Karen Garcia

Available Internship Days and Times:

  • 20 hours a week commitment
  • Days and times are flexible and depend on the specific track.  However, Wednesdays and weekly supervision days are are a mandatory (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.  It should also be noted that the first two weeks of training the week of 9/9/20 through 9/21/20 are mandatory and scheduled to take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

Training Plan:  

Students participate in weekly and bi-monthly 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.

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).

Headquartered  in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, PLN is the area’s only mental health services provider for children.

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.

Who we serve

  • 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.

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

Mental Health Training 001

Comprehensive training on DC:0-5 targeting advanced clinicians from fields of mental health, health, and early intervention who are responsible for diagnosis. Attendees will learn about the multi-axial approach to diagnosis, an approach which is developmentally informed, relationship-based, contextually and culturally grounded. Understand the contents of each axis, including Axis I: Clinical Disorders. Course will be …