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April 30, 2009

Matilda Theiss Center gets CASA award

The Matilda Theiss Child Development Center at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic has received the Children’s Voice Award from the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Allegheny County.

CASA instituted the Children’s Voice Award to recognize individuals and organizations making a positive difference in the lives of abused and neglected children in the Pittsburgh community. Since 1993, CASA has worked throughout the Pittsburgh region to ensure that every child has a safe, supportive and permanent home by providing court-appointed volunteer advocacy for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the child welfare system.

To meet the special needs of infants, toddlers and preschoolers from lower-income families in the Pittsburgh area, the Theiss Center collaborates with other community agencies, including CASA, linking families to multiple resources.

The Theiss center programming being recognized by CASA operates within the context of the accredited National Association for the Education of Young Children and is designed to promote optimal intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.

“One of the many reasons that we have become so effective in providing services to young children in the family court system is that we are extremely tenacious in our attempts to engage both biological and foster parents. Parent involvement is critical to successful outcomes in early childhood mental health,” noted Kimberly Blair, faculty director of the Matilda Theiss Child Development Center and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Pitt School of Medicine.

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