Child and Family Services

Family Service of Santa Monica

Family Service of Santa Monica (FSSM) has been serving children, adults and families for over 85 years.  As a community-based, Joint Commission accredited agency, FSSM provides a broad range of programs and services to more than 1,200 children, adolescents, adults and families annually.   FSSM programs are founded on principles of prevention and early intervention providing services that reduce parental and familial stress.  The most effective services are those that are provided early, are comprehensive, intensive, and shaped to fit the needs of a child or individual family.   We help families become self-sufficient economically and more integrated into the community.

Counseling & Psychotherapy

Licensed mental health professionals and supervised interns provide individual, couples, family, and group counseling to address a broad range of issues, including behavior problems, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, loss and bereavement, substance abuse, sexuality, career changes, life transitions, illness and disability, separation and divorce, and parenting. Our professional staff has training and expertise in working across the life span from pre-natal through older adults.

Teen Parenting Program

This state-recognized program was developed to provide comprehensive services to pregnant and parenting teens at Santa Monica High School, Olympic Continuation School, Lincoln Middle School, and Santa Monica College. The Teen parenting program serves pregnant and parenting teens by providing a combination of education, case management, and counseling services. It is designed to help students stay in school, be good parents to their children, and avoid continued involvement in high-risk behaviors.

Elementary School Based Service Programs

Family Service staff is on-site 30 hours weekly at John Muir, Edison and McKinley Elementary schools, where they are available to provide direct services to children and their families. In addition, staff provides consultations to teachers and school site administrators. Parent education, teacher training and a variety of other support services are also available to children and families at each site. FSSM is also on site at several other Santa Monica-Malibu Union School District (SMMUSD) sites one day a week. Services at these sites include individual and family counseling, parent education, teacher consultation, and crisis intervention.

Evidenced Based Programs

Research in the social and behavioral sciences has demonstrated that certain approaches and strategies for working with youth and their families can positively impact important social problems such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and family violence.   These effective approaches and strategies have been packaged into programs targeting outcomes specific to individuals, schools, families, and communities.

These programs are found to be effective based on the results of rigorous evaluations and research.  Some of these “evidence-based” services have been integrated into our programs.

These services include:

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)

Our staff provides this evidence-based practice in our schools for 5th through 10th grade students. This program educates parents, teachers and other school staff members on issues relating to trauma and its relationship to academic success. Students are screened to identify those who have experienced trauma or who have symptoms. A focused cognitive behavioral group is then offered to those students with the goal of symptom reduction and increased ability to function at school.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Our staff provides this service to support children ages 3-18 who have experienced a trauma and are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-related symptoms. Using a time-limited curriculum (12-20 sessions), the model provides education/normalization of responses to trauma, helps develop relaxation and cognitive coping skills in both child and parent, and utilizes the development and sharing of the child’s trauma narrative to help families process traumatic events’-CBT has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing symptoms of PTSD in children who have experienced a wide variety of traumas including physical or sexual abuse, neglect, traumatic grief, medical trauma, witnessing domestic or community violence, and natural disasters.


Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

CPP is a psychotherapy model that integrates psychodynamic, attachment, trauma, cognitive behavioral and social-learning theories into a dyadic treatment approach. CPP is designed to restore the child-parent relationship, the child’s mental health and developmental progression that have been damaged by the experience of domestic violence. CPP is intended as an early intervention for children ages birth to 5 years who may be at risk for acting-out and experiencing symptoms of depression and trauma.


Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP)

Our staff uses this evidence-based practice for children and adolescents who struggle with depression, anxiety, disruptive behavior and trauma. This service is not a single treatment model. Rather, it involves several decision and practice support tools to assist our clinicians to select the most appropriate treatment interventions for each individual child.


Seeking Safety

Designed for flexible use with diverse populations and settings (outpatient, inpatient, residential) and can be conducted in group or individual format. Treatment is intended for individuals or groups who are trauma-exposed, experiencing symptoms of trauma(s) and/or abusing substance.  Seeking Safety has been used with people who have a trauma history, but do not meet criteria for PTSD.


Early Intervention Program

Since l944, Family Service of Santa Monica has been providing mental health consultation, treatment services, and other supportive services to public and private preschools and child care programs throughout Santa Monica. Currently, FSSM mental health professionals serve more than 15 different school sites. These consultation programs are financed through a combination of Santa Monica City, Head Start, and private funding. Our services include assessments of developmental, mental health and family needs, referrals to community resources, as well as mental health consultation to teachers, directors and parents of preschool aged children.

For parents of infants and young children, we offer assessments of family and child needs, together with an individualized plan that may include parenting education and support, as well as therapy for the individual child, parent or family as indicated. In addition, further developmental/psychological assessments of the child may be made as requested.

Reflective Parenting Program

FSSM offers a manualized parenting group for parents of children from newborn to 5th grade. The group is based on attachment research, with emphasis on the importance of the parent-child relationship and parental reflective functioning. These groups bring together parents with children of similar ages, for 10 or 12 weekly sessions that focus on problem solving and parenting techniques with use of experiential exercises. Groups are offered in the agency as well as in community settings.

Group Workshops

Workshops are offered throughout the year at area schools and community locations on a variety of topics, including children’s self-esteem, parenting of adolescents, stress management for adults and children, anger management, shyness, and limit-setting.

Training Programs

FSSM provides traineeships and internships to Master’s and post Master’s level students in Social Work and in Psychology. FSSM’s affiliation with UCLA and USC Masters in Social Work programs spans many decades. The supervisors and the training program itself have been recognized with awards for excellence by both universities. Opportunities exist for training in intensive psychotherapy and other mental health services with all ages and modalities, both in the agency and on school and community sites.

Family Service of Santa accepts clients of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.

For more information, please contact Family Service of Santa Monica at 310.451.9747 or

Located at: 1533 Euclid St, Santa Monica, CA 90403