In early December, Penfield Children’s Center received a $75,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations in support of the Behavior Clinic. This funding will be used to finance the Clinic’s operating costs during the next three years. The number of children served by the Behavior Clinic has increased to nearly 500 during 2013. The Hearst Foundations’ grant marks the first time the Clinic has received funding from a national foundation.
One of the priorities of the Hearst Foundations is to fund programs that provide access to high-quality healthcare for low-income populations. The foundations also aim to fund programs that enhance the skills and increase the number of healthcare practitioners working in the United States. These priorities fit perfectly with Penfield’s Behavior Clinic, which provides mental health counseling for children younger than 6. The Clinic was created through a partnership between Penfield and Marquette University, and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
During 2013, there was a significant reduction in children’s behavior problems following treatment by Behavior Clinic counselors, as well as considerable improvement in the quality of the parent-child relationship. In fact, more than 60 percent of children with a psychiatric diagnosis before treatment no longer met the criteria for that diagnosis after treatment. Counselors were also successful in encouraging parents to rely significantly less on corporal punishment as their primary form of discipline, and to improve their nurturing skills. Additionally, parents have reported a high level of satisfaction with the program through surveys.
The Behavior Clinic is alleviating the behavioral and emotional problems of children during their formative years. By supporting the mental health needs of children when they are very young, Penfield is ensuring they will live healthy and productive lives.