With nearly 130 years of experience in caring for children and teens who are struggling and often at-risk, the San Diego Center for Children has gained the skills, knowledge and expertise to improve the safety and quality of life for our next generation.

The challenges children and families face may have changed over the decades, but the heart of what we do remains the same: we are committed to the safe and joyful childhood each child deserves, as well as the family empowered to live with the security of overall health and well-being.

Evidence-Based Practices

Utilizing evidence-based practices in our programs not only provides consistent methodology of treatment across our Continuum of Care, but also ensures the highest quality of care based off research-based treatment models. Training our dedicated and professional staff is top priority so we remain knowledgeable of new and innovative “best practices” in our field. These practices include:
Continuum of Care

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Managing and Adaptive Practice (MAP)
  • Parent Management Trainings (PMT)
  • Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care for Preschoolers (MTFC-P)
  • Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care for Adolescents (MTFC-A)


EMBRACE ModelEach class, each activity, each event we coordinate in our programs has an intention. Each is designed to be a part of the bigger objective in having this child, and the family, achieve better health and quality of life.

We have created a unique model – our EMBRACE Model – to outline the deliberate thought behind what we do and why we do it. While we might not be the provider of every layer in each program, these domains remain top of mind in our treatment plans and delivery of care across the board.

Additionally, the model breaks down the perception that certain funding covers the basic, bare minimum in our care while others fund the “icing on the cake.” Instead, it represents our conscious commitment to maintain its fullest integrity, regardless of the funding sources.

However, in order for this model to exist, it is absolutely essential that the community joins the valued public funding sources to make this life-changing investment for each child possible.