Violence Intervention Program/VIP Community Mental Health Center
Established over 25 years ago, the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) is a multidisciplinary family advocacy center that provides medical, forensic, mental health, advocacy and supportive services to victims of child abuse, neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse and dependent adult abuse. VIP focuses on intervention, treatment and prevention, and functions as a public-private partnership between the publically funded VIP medical clinics at the LAC+USC Medical Center and the private, nonprofit VIP Community Mental Health Center (CMHC). VIP envisions a community where no child, woman, or elder is hurt by someone they should have been able to trust. We seek to significantly better the lives of those who have been abused and assaulted by providing comprehensive forensic, medical and mental health services that promote not only healing but also personal growth and success. VIP works to increase services for those without financial resources or health coverage especially those under the care of the state, and establish community based advocacy and prevention programs for the early identification of abuse. We continually strive to answer the needs and advance the welfare of children and families to end the cycle of violence.
The VIP CMHC was opened ten years ago as an independent nonprofit agency to provide comprehensive mental health and support services for child victims and their nonoffending family members. It provides individual, group, and family therapy; 24/7 crisis intervention response; developmental screening and referrals; psychological assessments and testing; case management and assistance with housing and basic needs; health and parenting education; academic advocacy; mentoring and tutoring; arts and crafts activities; and violence prevention and outreach programs. All services are bilingual and multicultural. VIP CMHC is incorporated as a 501(c)3 exempt nonprofit corporation, and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that provides fiscal oversight, resource development, and professional expertise.
VIP CMHC sees an average of 4,500 child clients each year for mental health services. Approximately 88% are Latino, 4% African American, 4% Caucasian, 2% Asian, and 2% other. The agency draws a majority of clients from the neighborhoods surrounding LAC+USC Medical Center, but victims and service providers from all over the County rely on VIP’s continuous and comprehensive intervention and treatment services. VIP partners with several organizations including the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health Services, the Department of Mental Health, the court system, hospitals, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, local schools, and many community-based programs. Because of sound management and successful service to children and families, the administrative and development staff have been able to create opportunities for expansion, and VIP CMHC has also been called upon to pilot new programs that were ultimately embraced and underwritten by the County, including the medical HUBs for foster children and a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic. The organization’s contracts with the Department of Mental Health have consistently grown over the years and the list of potential clients waiting for referrals for therapists has decreased.