Organization Overview

Founded in 1924, Wellnest has always been on the leading edge of mental health and supportive services for children and families. Wellnest helped to pioneer early intervention programs for the 0-5 population, intensive services for at-risk children and families, skills-based mental health services for young adults 16-25, and an inventive collaboration with primary care providers, bringing mental health professionals on-site in community settings.

Wellnest has earned designation as a Trauma-Informed Learning Community by the National Council for Behavioral Services, and offers trauma-informed services in all aspects of its program, including the walk-in Access and Wellness Center, where children and adults can get immediate services.

Wellnest’s Socially Integrated Service Model is designed to address the whole child, from 0-25, the entire family, and the communities they live in. We blend evidence-based clinical practices to address the effects of trauma; youth development programs and TAY housing to enable children and youth to develop coping skills, self-esteem and stability; and family support services to build on family strengths to promote thriving futures. Exposing vulnerable children to new opportunities for learning and growth, with an emphasis on positive youth development, academic achievement, health and wellness, prevention services, are critical coping skills for future self-sufficiency. We work in partnership with the family and engage the larger community—particularly schools and other youth service providers—because we recognize that children need functional families and healthy communities to thrive.

Our programs are family-driven and culturally respectful. They have been influenced by our more than 98 years of experience treating traumatized children, our longstanding participation in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the burgeoning literature on the importance of brain development, and the recognition that services need to focus not only on reducing risk factors but also on increasing overall health and wellness (protective and promotive factors). For many of our children/youth and their families, this is the first time that they have received holistic health services. We work diligently to “demystify” mental health and work with them so that they feel included in the design and implementation of services.

Further, our clinical mental health programs also serve as a training site for the various graduate schools of Social Work from major universities in Southern California, with a more than 20-year history of training culturally competent social work practitioners.

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We’re All About

View the Wellnest Strategic Plan PDF ›

Our Name Change

We would like to provide you with some background on our new name—which has changed from Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic (LACGC) to Wellnest.

During our nearly 100 years serving Los Angeles, our scope of services, as well as the clients served have significantly expanded. We continue to serve some of the most underserved communities in our city through an integrated approach to emotional health and wellness that recognizes the importance of family and the ability to address the needs of children, young adults and their families.

Not too long ago, we embarked on the development of a strategic plan and one of the findings revealed the need to explore a new name for the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. After lengthy consideration and review, we are excited and proud to introduce our name and identity to you—Wellnest. Our new name helps to communicate our expanded services and client reach. It also recognizes the changes in our community’s needs and the advancement of emotional health and wellness.

Our Community

Services are community-based, family-focused, and culturally sensitive. Clinicians and professionals partner with families and caregivers, using a strength-based approach to treatment, to address children’s and youth’s mental health issues and achieve positive outcomes. This approach is designed to support existing family strengths and empower parents and caregivers to replicate this strength in other areas of family interaction.

This data demonstrates our community’s need for Wellnest’s specialized services provided to children, youth, and their families.

Data Point County SPA 4 SPA 6 SPA 7
Total Population1 10,192,376 1,167,286 1,048,734 1,322,943
% of Population Ages 0-171 22.9 19.8 28.8 25.5
% of Population Living in Poverty1 18.4 24.3 33.6 17.3
% of Children who are Uninsured1 3.4 1.9 3.0 3.1
% of children 3-17 whose parents tried to get them mental or behavioral health care in the past year.1 7.4 8.0 5.6 8.2
% of children ages 0-17 years who have special health care needs1 14.5 12.3 12.5 13.4
% of children ages 0-17 years who have difficulty accessing medical care1 11.0 14.5 15 9.5
Homeless Population (All Persons, Sheltered & Unsheltered)2 58,936
16, 436
Homeless TAY (18-24, Sheltered and Unsheltered)3,4,5 773
Homeless Population (Under 18, Sheltered & Unsheltered) 3,4,5 5,280
Homeless Population (18-24, Sheltered & Unsheltered)3,4,5 3,635

Data from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s Community Health Assessment 2015
*The primary ZIP codes in SPA 4 served by LACGC are 90004, 90005, 90006, 90015, 90019, 90020, 90023, 90026, 90033, and 90057

Services Planning Area Map

Service Highlights


Wellnest engages in a variety of community collaborations in order to meet the needs of children and their families.

To best meet the mental health needs of children and their families, Wellnest partners with the following organizations:

  • California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
  • California Department of Rehabilitation
  • Department of Public Health
  • First 5 LA
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
  • Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
  • Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
  • Los Angeles Unified School District – Non-public school contractor and other service projects
  • The Association of Community Human Services Agencies

Further, to actively promote the training of mental health professionals, Wellnest engages in training partnerships with the University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; Cal State University Dominguez Hills; Azusa Pacific University; Cambridge University and Columbia University.