Cascadia’s 10-Year-Strong Partnership with PPS Meets Students Where They Are

December 14, 2018 — Cascadia’s Child and Family Services program has been partnering with Portland Public Schools (PPS) for over 10 years. As Pari Mazhar, Clinical Director for Child & Family Services/ Refugee & Immigrants Services, explained, “Meeting kids and youth at school and connecting with teachers, school counselors and families is one of the most powerful ways of intervening in a student’s life, from a prevention perspective.”

This year, Cascadia and PPS’s partnership, which is always evolving, involves six Cascadia counselors providing services to students at Buckman Elementary, Bridger K-8, Jason Lee Elementary, Vernon K-8, Woodlawn Elementary, and Chief Joseph Elementary. Cascadia counselors are able to offer mental health services to students through the Oregon Health Plan and offer pre-engagement, staff meetings, and assistance for families without insurance coverage, thanks to additional funding from PPS.

“By being present in academic settings, we are providing a form of integrated care specific to youth and families, thus working to mitigate the long-term effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences,” said Mandi Hughes, the Child & Family Program Manager at Garlington, who serves students at Woodlawn Elementary each week.