We provide immediate mental health support for children and adolescents, ages 2-to-18, who have experienced severe trauma.

The success of our program is that it relies on dedicated therapists who recognize how important early intervention can be with young trauma clients to positively impact and re-direct the trajectory of their lives. By negotiating a fee for a therapist and funding the up-front payment of 3 months/12 sessions, we are able to ensure that each client will have a strong, supported, professional, and high-quality introduction to mental health treatment.

The mental health care resources we provide help to heal, build positive self-esteem, improve scholastics, cease self-harm, and most importantly, stop the need for self-medication with alcohol and/or drugs.

Our Process

After we receive a referral or someone contacts us directly, we do an initial needs assessment. The first therapy session is typically scheduled within 2 weeks, and ACL secures the therapist and pre-pays for the initial engagement of 3 months or 12 sessions, whichever comes first. Additional 3 months/12 sessions follow-up series are also offered.

ACL provides a solution to the range of challenges inherent in local systems. We seek to expedite support and overcome roadblocks.

Challenges include delays in access to county-provided services, limitations on available therapies and best practices, and specialty needs of younger children combined with overall high costs.

Our Providers

We currently work with 23 specially trained, trauma-informed therapists including Spanish-fluent and multi-lingual, throughout Chester County.

Current Therapies

  • Talk Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • PCIT: Parent-Child Interactive Therapy
  • Equine Therapy for adolescents

Future Programs in Development

  • Art Therapy
  • Marital Arts empowerment

PCIT: Parent-Child Interactive Therapy allows very young children to enter therapy accompanied by their parent/caregiver. This type of therapy was developed in 2010 for children ages 2-to-7 and is now considered best practice. Although not yet available through county providers, PCIT is a critically important resource for foster/kinship parents if they are caring for a young child who has experienced trauma. In very young children, their neural pathways often allow for the reversal of damage to their brains. This neuro-plasticity enables a young child to absorb positive experiences almost as well as negative ones; the earlier this process is begun, the faster and longer-lasting the healing.

Our Partners

In addition to working directly with clients, we work with a broad range of community organizations who also work with children impacted by trauma. Our partners continually expand and include many community groups:

  • CASA Youth Advocates
  • Child Advocacy Centers
  • Child Protective Services (CPS)
  • CVIM: Community Volunteers in Medicine
  • Friends Association
  • GrandFamilies Connections of Chester County, PA
  • Law Enforcement: Police & Special Victims Units (SVU)
  • Mazi Adoption Services
  • Non-offending Parents, Family Members & Caregivers
  • School Teachers, Guidance Counselors & Nurses
  • Victim Advocates
  • Victim Center
  • West Chester’s Justice Center