Los Niños Cuentan
Organization History: Los Niños Cuentan /Children Count
Responding to a great need in the Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties area, the general assessment among those serving Hispanic Families was that there existed a severe lack of educational efforts and supportive services promoting the emotional well being of Hispanic children in the tri-county region surrounding Portland. To work towards addressing this problem, a group of service providers began meeting to strategize an approach to increase awareness of child abuse issues in the Hispanic community.
The Los Niños Cuentan /Children Count mission statement serves as foundation for our efforts: to educate the Spanish speaking community about the emotional impact of child abuse on children and youth as well as to increase utilization of services available to prevent child abuse of children, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Los Niños Cuentan is proud of its multi-disciplinary representation. The diverse membership is strengthened by the common interest of preventing child abuse. Members include law enforcement, domestic violence service agencies, child protective agencies workers, mental health workers and youth and family advocates.
This group began to grow and expand its services in response to the need for programs that could provide culturally appropriate services to Hispanic families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. During this period, there was a rapid rise in the Hispanic population and almost a complete lack of services for Latino families in the area. There were very few culturally appropriate, bilingual services of any kind in Oregon, for Hispanic women and their children, and little outreach to promote awareness of the services that did exist for low-income families. From the beginning, ”Los Niños Cuentan” defined its mission as that of offering culturally relevant services that would support the Hispanic value of family unity in facing adversity. Beginning as an education and information agency, providing services and support to victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. The agency’s vision and methodology rapidly brought it to the forefront of social service agencies for Hispanic families.
Los Niños Cuentan is now involved in prevention as much as in intervention. By investing in both home-visiting and group parenting classes, along with domestic violence and sexual assault support groups and referrals, Los Niños Cuentan, promotes the development of healthy children and families.