Santuario del Corazon: Agency Work Underway to Assist Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors

Las Cumbres was recently awarded a federal grant to identify, screen, assess and provide comprehensive trauma treatment for immigrant chidren ages 0-18 who have experienced separation from a parent or caregiver due to deportion or arriving in the United States as an unaccompanied minor. This project, Santuario del Corazon, or the Heart Sanctuary: Healing Traumatic Stress in Immigrant Children, has already sent a team to the border this past February to visit Las Cruces, El Paso and Juarez community advocates and church representatitves. among others.

The Santuario Project Team within Las Cumbres now provides specialized biilingual and bicultural services to immigrant children in two distinct ways: screening and triage for children at detention and/or immigrant shelters along the NM/MX border, and wraparound family navigation and comprehensive clinical treatment to children in our northern New Mexico service regions of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, and Taos Counties.

We are currently appealing to community partners to assist in raising community awareness and building resiliency around the needs and recovery of these children. Below are a number of ways you can help. A recent story appeared in the Albuquerque Journal regarding the involvement of Monique Jacobson, former New Mexico Cabinet Secretary with the Children, Youth and Families Department. To view that story for additional details, please use this link.

For more information about partnering in any of the areas below, please contact Jose Gonzales, Project Director, at 575.779.9119 or by email at .

Help with the project through:

1) Referrals: if you know immigrant children in need of services because their caregiver was deported or they arrived as an unaccompanied minor. Contact Jose or one of the agency offices to make a referral.

2) Connections: if you know of other providers or resoures you think we could coordinate with, or you would like to become directly involved yourself, please contact Jose.

3) Community Leadership: we want to build awareness around this situation, the trauma these children have experienced and what we as a community can do to support them. Email or call Jose.

4) Engagement: if you would like to be periodically informed of upcoming project events and trainings, please call Jose and you will be added to our communication.


Community Kindness: Santa Fe Botanical Garden Welcomes Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Group

In early August the Santa Fe Botanical Garden (SFBG) was designated for an evening field trip for seven grandparents and their nine grandchildren, members of Las Cumbres' Santa Fe Grandparents Raising Granchildren (GRG) group. After partaking of a nourishing meal provided by Las Cumbres in their Fifth Street office, monthly GRG support group participants made their way to Museum Hill for a summer evening outing to the local mesmerizing landscape.  Upon arrival they were greeted by staff member, Lydia Lopez, who then led the group to what "felt like stepping into another world", according to group facilitator Naomi Diamond.  The younger children gravitated toward the garden-related art activities that had been set up for them to engage with while the older children and their grandparents walked the meandering paths taking in the tranquil beauty of the colorful landscape as well as the amazing Dan Ostermiller bronze wildlife sculptures on site.

Las Cumbres Community Services would like to gracioulsy thank Mollie Parsons, Education Director, and staff member Lydia Lopez of the SFBG for providing our grandparents and their grandchildren with a truly unique experience of wonder and contemplation in a very special place. Following the outing, facilitator Diamond received a follow up call from the SFBG administartion extending a generous offer for free annual memberships for not only the families in attendance that night but to all of the Santa Fe Grandparents Raising Grandchildren participants - heartfelt tale of community generosity and collaboration.

To learn more about the agency's Grandparents Raising Grandchildren programs, offering support and education for this population of caregivers across three counties, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, and Taos, click here.

And to find out how you can visit and/or support the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, please, enter here.

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Recent Grants Received to Aid Families with Children who are Most Impacted by Trauma

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book has just been updated. The disheartening news is that according to the latest data, New Mexico has dropped, again, to the very bottom of the list, 50th across the nation for wellbeing of its children in the State. Las Cumbres, with its vital collabortion with select funders, continues to expand its services to families with children to meet the unsettling factors head-on that impact our community children and their families. We are pleased to announce the award of three supportive grants from the following private and city funders.

City of Santa Fe Children and Youth Commission award of $69,000 a year for two years will assist with maintaining treatment for a selection of Santa Fe's most trauma-impacted children and their families through the agency's Santa Fe Community Infant Program (CIP). Addressing multi-generational cycles of interpersonal and community violence, CIP staff will be in an even stronger position to aid parents and other caregivers to restore their role in their children's lives as "Protective Shields", with intensive intervention, concrete assistance, and parenting skills. To find out more about the Santa Fe-based infant and early childhood programs through CIP, click here.

United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) has bequeathed Las Cumbres $50,000 toward continuation of the agency's HEART Project. HEART, which stands for Healing Early Adversity through Resilience and Treatment, is now entering its third year. The project aims to nurture a behavioral health system that integrates and leverages agency expertise in trauma-informed and trauma-focused infant and early childhood mental health and education with intervention, assessment, and treatment; parenting supports; family navigation; and collective impact. With this year's HEART Project expansion, behavioral health supports will broaden to include the agency's therapeutic Pre-K preschool, Conjunto, in Espanola. This will further assist three- and four-year-olds as the ready and transition into kindergarten and public school. This UWNNM grant will assist families enrioled in Las Cumbres across Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. For more about Conjunto, click here.

A Santa Fe Community Foundation Spring 2018 Community Grant will similarly bolster therapeutic interventions for preschoolers enrolled in Conjunto. With introduction of an assessment tool reviewing "adverse childhood experiences" (known as ACEs) administered for both the child and their caregivers, preschool staff and behavioral health team members will better understand the range of factors that affect a child as he or she grows, tracking their progress on into kindergarten. One in ten children nationally has experienced three or more ACEs, placing them in a category of especially high risk. In five states - including Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, and Ohio - as many as one in seven children has experienced three or more ACEs. ACEs are traumatic experiences that can have negative, long lasting effects on health and wellbeing in children and later in life. The Santa Fe Community Foundation grant award, in the amount of $50,000, will benefit children in Conjunto who arrive from Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe counties.

Searchlight New Mexico, James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, is quoted "We can continue to dis-invest in our children or we can insist upon a new direction, one in which we make a deep commitment to improving conditions for all New Mexicans."

Learn more about specific demographics for New Mexico's children, by visiting Annie E. Casey's KIDS COUNT Data Book, by following this link.United Way of NNM logo

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Agency's Conjunto Therapeutic Pre-K Preschool in the News

 KUNM Conjunto story picture Jan 2018

A Public Health New Mexico article, highlighted recently on KUNM, looks closely at the very specific services available through Las Cumbres' Conjunto Therapeutic Preschool in Española, serving three- and four-year-olds whose families may be experiencing drug-related trauma.

In the story, Nora Volkow, who directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that we now know that traumatic childhood events like losing a parent to the criminal justice system, abuse or neglect causes physiological changes in the brain and that those changes can have serious consequences later in life if they’re not dealt with early. But if children learn to function well in groups, express their emotions in healthy ways, and control their impulses in their early years, research shows they’ll be more likely to succeed in school, and their chance of falling into addiction later in life can fall drastically.

That’s why there is a push for more support of programs like Conjunto—which Volkow said is even more important in communities with longstanding addiction issues like Española.

To read the full article, click here. To access KUNM's Public Health New Mexico website, clink on this link.

And to learn more about Conjunto Therapeutic Pre-K Preschool, visit this page.

Finally, consider making a much needed donation today for use by the preschool, always seeking funds for healthy snacks, art supplies, and creative activities and outings. Contact the agency Director of Development and Communications to find out how you can help by emailing . Or by telephone: 505.819.5117.



Free Baby Boxes Available in Santa Fe and Espanola Las Cumbres Offices

Assembled Baby Box

The Santa Fe and Espanola offices of Las Cumbres are now distributing Baby Boxes! Originally developed in Finland in the 1930s, in a country that boasts one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates, Baby Boxes have since gained popularity in the United States. Las Cumbres Community Services' Confident Parenting Home Visiting Program staff offers Baby Boxes to all families who are expecting a new baby or have a child under 3 months. This FREE Baby Box includes a firm mattress and sheet, along with useful baby supplies to help the baby get off to a healthy start. Along with receipt of Baby Box, families will receive free education surrounding safe sleep.

Dr. Kathryn McCans, chair of New Jersey’s Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, explains the goal of the program is preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). “Through education and awareness, people can make better choices and hopefully we can see fewer children dying.” Although the rate of SIDS deaths in the U.S. has declined drastically since 1994 when the Back to Sleep campaign spread the word about putting infants to sleep on their backs, it’s gone up in recent years.

The hope is that the number of kids dying from SIDS will decrease in the states that make baby boxes free and available. In most cases, the boxes can accommodate a baby up to six months old and the SIDS rate is highest between months two and four.

Contact the agency’s Santa Fe office to learn how you can receive a free Baby Box. Telephone: 505.955.0410 in Santa Fe or 505.753.4123, Española.


Administrative Office

(if you are seeking information on Child and Family services in Española, please refer calls or fax referrals to Espa
ñola Early Childhood Services Center numbers below-
Thank You!)

102 N. Coronado
Espanola, NM 87532
phone 505.629.1813
fax 505.747.0421

Española Early Childhood Center

404 Hunter Street
Española, NM 87532
phone: 505.753.4123
fax: 505.753.6947

For referrals, ask to speak to Rebecca Quintana at ext 129

Adult Services

104 N. Coronado
Española, NM 87532
phone: 505.747.4715
fax: 505.747.4524

TTY/TDD/Audio Relay 711 National Voice Relay available:
Dial 711 to be automatically connected to a Telecommunications Relay Service operator who can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe Early Childhood Center(including Family Infant Toddler/Early Intervention)

1911 Fifth St., Suite 100
Santa Fe, NM 87505
phone: 505.955.0410
fax: 505.955.8577

Los Alamos
(Adult Home)

2056 Peach Street
Los Alamos, NM 87544
phone: 505.662.4703 [Women’s Apartment]
phone: 505.662.7653 [Men’s Apartment]

Chama Office

493 Terrace Ave., Suite 1
Chama, NM 87520
phone: 575.795.4681 or 575.209.0347

Taos Office

1332 Gusdorf Rd., #A
Taos, NM 87571
phone 575.224.3197
fax: 575.224.3198

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