Consejo Counseling and Referral Service provides culturally competent mental health services and substance abuse treatment to under-served, low –income Latino individuals and families.
Accessibility and Cultural Competency
The 2010 census indicated that the number of individuals identifying as Hispanic or Latino grew by more than 70% over the past decade to 755,790 people, making this population the largest minority group in Washington State. For every documented Latino, Consejo believes there are another two or more undocumented Latinos in the State. Mainstream services are often unaware of the complexity of situations faced by Latina survivors of domestic violence, such as: legal status, immigration, socio-economic issues and culturally-specific understandings of relationships and community. Consejo has built trusting relationships with individuals from the Latino community and addresses all of these issues in their work.
Mainstream service providers are often unaware of the complexity of situations faced by the Latino community such as: legal status, immigration, socio-economic challenges and the need for culturally-specific understandings of relationships, the family and the community. Many Latinos lack the capacity to access mainstream services because of these challenges and barriers related to language, immigration status and fear of deportation. These factors therefore require the comprehensive, unique approach that Consejo provides.
As government funding becomes scarce, Consejo recognizes the need to diversify its funding sources, increase private funding and reduce operating expenses. Consejo hired a permanent, full-time Development Manager in March 2011 to increase funding from foundations and individuals. In 2011 they secured five private foundation grants totaling $21,500 for the Domestic Violence Program and acquired 100 new donors through Consejo’s 1st Annual Staff Walkathon. With the hire of the Executive Director in February 2012, the fund development plan is fully operational with increased visits with individual, foundation and corporate prospects. On April 25th, Consejo hosted its first community event to cultivate and identify prospective donors.
In May 2012 Consejo’s Board of Directors and staff began updating their five year Strategic Plan. The Plan will address personnel recruitment and retention, infrastructure, technology upgrades, training policies, resource development, program orientation and internal communication strategies. They hope the Strategic Plan will strengthen Consejo’s external and internal procedures move them into the future.
Technology is a key challenge for Consejo. They seek to implement Electronic Health Records to promote efficiency and accuracy in staff time and reporting and prepare for Health Care Reform. Currently, behavioral health therapists use a paper record keeping system which gets entered into a database by administrative staff. An improved direct data entry of visits and progress by the therapists would provide timely, secure and compact reports.
Health reform is a challenge and opportunity for Consejo. In the next few years, Consejo will need to build new collaborations with community-based organizations and health care institutions. By creating efficiencies in client service, Consejo will be able to serve more families and individuals.
Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:
Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:
$20,000.00||provide general operating support.|
$26,500.00||support the Furnishings Capital Campaign for the Villa Esperanza development.|
$20,000.00||support general operating expenses.|