Lupin Children's Clinic Celebrates First Year Anniversary

One year after opening its doors, Kinship Center’s Lupin Children’s Clinic in North Salinas has already helped scores of families and their young children heal and find their own strengths.  Through a variety of therapeutic programs the clinic is helping parents meet their children’s developmental and mental health needs.


Serving primarily North and East Salinas and Seaside, the clinic’s opening was heralded by notable community leaders including Supervisor and Chairman of First 5 Monterey County, Simon Salinas and former Mayor Dennis Donahue, for its focus on strengthening families and the excitement continues.  


Each week the clinic provides any combination of therapeutic playgroups, a parenting series and parent dialogue groups as well as on-site and in-home therapy for 50-60 families.  The clinic was founded as a collaboration of Kinship Center, First 5 Monterey County and the Monterey County Behavioral Health Department.  However Lupin Clinic Manager Relindis Diaz points out, “The success of the Lupin clinic sits firmly on the strong community partnerships we have been able to establish.”


When a family is impacted by violence, financial hardship or other life stressors they are often in need of multiple forms of assistance.  Through these community partnerships more families have been able to access the clinic’s services.  “The Lupin clinic is now a critical part of the continuum of family services in our community.” notes Diaz.  


In the past year, children have been given the opportunity to explore their creativity, share their feelings and receive support as they renew or strengthen their attachment to their parents. Meanwhile their parents learn to understand their child’s signals and develop their parenting skills.  Diaz indicates that one of the most important skill sets for parents is helping their children deal with violence in their community that they may experience on a daily basis, “Being able to lower children’s distress level in response to violence is fundamental to children’s emotional health.”


Many of the children served at the clinic do not have access or exposure to outdoor spaces.  Diaz and her staff are very proud of the sensory garden they have been able to create in the once unused alley space next to the clinic, “The senses are a primary way young children experience the world.  The garden allows them this unimpeded healing experience.”


With the beginning of year two already underway, Diaz looks towards the future, “We want to keep expanding the collaborations with other agencies and organizations, that way we can make sure we reach more families who can use our services.”


For more information on clinic services, call (831) 585-1900. 

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