U.S. Senator Dick Durbin toured Erikson’s Center for Children and Families/Centro de Niños y Famílias in the Little Village community and discussed early childhood mental health issues and programming with Erikson President Mariana Souto-Manning, Chief External Affairs Officer Maura Daly, Associate Vice President for Clinical and Community Services Andria Goss, and Site Director Erika Flores.
After visiting therapy rooms equipped with a variety of colorful toys for children ages birth through 8 and hearing about Erikson’s play therapy model that equips parents with skills to support their children’s mental health, Senator Durbin and Erikson staff discussed a range of topics from what types of social supports help prevent negative outcomes for children and youth to the costs of high-quality programs and the challenges facing the early childhood workforce. The topic of student mental health in schools was of particular interest to the Senator and the Erikson team gave examples of our work in an elementary school on Chicago’s west side.
Erikson was honored to host such a passionate advocate for children, families, and communities. Over his four decades in Congress, starting as a U.S. Representative in 1982 and moving to the Senate in 1996, Sen. Durbin has worked tirelessly to secure resources for supporting healthy outcomes for Illinois children. The Senator’s visit to Little Village gave him additional insights that will help him further legislative initiatives that will benefit our youngest citizens.
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