The mission of Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) is to empower teens and their families in our community to realize their emotional and social potential through counseling and preventive education.
ACS operates the following core programs in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties: the On-Campus Counseling (OCC) Program, providing on-site bilingual individual and family group counseling, depression screenings and mental health assessments, crisis intervention, support groups, and community education at no cost to secondary school students attending eight Bay Area public middle and high schools; the Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) Program, a State Certified outpatient treatment facility, providing assessments, care, and education to teens and families struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse; and the After-School Counseling Program, providing affordable assessment, treatment and education for teens and their families in need of counseling services in our community at large. Each program gives area youth and families struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse issues direct and timely access to mental health services, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, economic, or immigration status. Over the past 38 years, ACS has helped thousands of young people overcome the myriad of hardships that often come with adolescence, providing them with the tools to thrive and become healthy, happy adults. Last year alone, ACS reached 5,000 teens and their family members. Teens in our programs ended their use of drugs and alcohol, increased their grades, decreased their feelings of stress, depression and isolation and increased their psycho-social functioning.
ACS, or Palo Alto Adolescent Services Corporation as it was first called, developed out of a coalition called the Task Force for Alternative Housing. The task force had formed to address the needs of at-risk teenagers in Palo Alto, many of whom were running away and sleeping in cars, abandoned homes or even the attic at school. The task force included members of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission, members of the police department, concerned parents, school counselors, teachers and social workers. In November 1975, the group officially incorporated as Palo Alto Adolescent Services Corporation (PAASC). Many of the original task force members joined the Board of Directors and several of them continue to be involved with the organization today. One original board member sits on ACS’ Board of Advisors and others are active volunteers, donors and/or fund- raisers for the agency. In December l977, the agency opened the doors of Caravan House, a respite home for teenagers who were running away or on the street. For over 30 years, Caravan House provided a home away from home for teenage girls who have most often experienced multiple abuses. (Due to decreased need and re-allocation of ACS finances, Caravan House closed in 2007.) Hoping to reach teens before their problems become as severe as the challenges faced by the girls at Caravan House, ACS began the On-Campus Counseling (OCC) Program at Jordan Middle School in 1980, providing on-site individual and family group counseling at no cost to secondary school students, including bilingual counseling and community outreach for Latino families. The OCC Program is now available at all five secondary schools in Palo Alto and at Woodside and Redwood High Schools, and La Entrada Middle School in San Mateo County. In 1991, ACS added the Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) Program to aid teens struggling with drug and/or alcohol issues. In September 2008, ACS expanded its services once again with its After-School Counseling Program, which provides affordable outpatient assessment, treatment and education for teens and their families in need of counseling services in the general Silicon Valley community. This program responds to the increased need for family-centered mental health therapy, for those clients not attending the schools served by the OCC Program, and who are not dealing specifically with drug and alcohol issues. In 1991, the agency changed its name from Palo Alto Adolescent Services Corporation to Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) to more accurately reflect the agency’s expanding geography, since program outreach had expanded well beyond Palo Alto to cities as far north as San Mateo and south as San Jose.
- Year established:1975
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
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