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Easing The Transition For Children In Crisis

The Aspiranet Receiving Centers are designed to serve children and youth when they are in crisis and experiencing the trauma of being removed from their biological families. The Receiving Centers are safe and secure environments that ensure the dignity of the child while providing emotional and medical support by professionals specially trained to work with this unique population. The driving force behind the concept of Receiving Centers is to decrease the trauma of removal by having safe, supervised and conducive environments for children, while providing a private workspace for County Placement Workers (CPWs) to conduct the necessary initial screenings and assessment that support finding an appropriate placement for the children who have been placed into custody. Experience shows that children have an easier time transitioning into their new placements when they come to the receiving center.  Often due to the expediency of their removal from the home, children have little to no items of comfort or clothes. When children leave our Receiving Centers to transition to the next stage, be it extended family, foster care, or a return to their home, they leave with clean clothes, shoes and items of comfort or a toy. Community grants and gifts help make this possible.
 
East County Receiving Center
Children who are removed from their families often find themselves waiting in an office while the social worker hurriedly tries to find an available foster home. The East County Receiving Center (ARC) is Aspiranet’s unique 24-hour emergency care center serving children during the first hours of removal from homes where they have suffered abuse and/or neglect in East Contra Costa County.
 
Our ARC is a bright, mural decorated, home-like setting. Professionals evaluate each child's needs and provide immediate services that may include emotional stabilization, food, a bath, clothing and a place to play and sleep with one-on-one staff supervision. A model for interim care, the ARC concept has been adopted by other service providers throughout the state.
 
The Cherish Center
The Cherish Center is a 24-hour safe haven where children can be placed during the first hours of removal from homes because of abuse and/or neglect in Monterey County. Cherish has a bright, cozy atmosphere simulating a home environment with such amenities as bedrooms; kitchen with washer and dryer; bathroom; storage area; a large living room with play area; and office space. Rooms are decorated with bright child-friendly colors and wall art. Also, there are open cubbies full of toys, arts and crafts, games, movies, videos, and books available at any given time.
 
While offering a safe space for children, we are also prepared to handle the trauma children bring. Onsite staff, some bilingual, includes a supervisor, fulltime and on call childcare workers, and a volunteer. Other providers include a nurse from the Visiting Nurse Association, CPWs and mental health therapists.
 
For county officials interested in learn more about establishing a receiving center in your county, contact the local Aspiranet office District Director or call 800-439-1905 within California.

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