For the ninth year, the Disneyland Resort Cast Community Fund has awarded a $5,000 grant to UCLA's TIES (Training, Intervention, Education and Services) for Families program for its services and achievement. The UCLA-based program is dedicated to preparing and supporting adoptive families of children from foster care.
"Disneyland's continuing confidence in and support for the project is very heartening," said Susan Edelstein, licensed clinical social worker in the department of pediatrics at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and executive director of TIES for Families. "This year's award was made possible by the nomination of a Disneyland employee whose family has used the project's services for many years." TIES for Families works to reduce the barriers to successful placement of foster children with special needs. Started in 1995, the program has worked successfully with more than 1,600 children, most of whom have special needs due to abuse, neglect, frequent placement changes, developmental delays or biological vulnerabilities.
The grant will be used to develop the expertise of TIES' clinicians in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) which will enhance the program's ability to accurately diagnose and formulate treatment plans for the children they serve.
"Early intervention is crucial in optimizing outcomes for young children with autism and ASD, and will help us to provide both information on the children's issues and referral to the resources that will best help our foster and adoptive parents," added Edelstein.
TIES for Families is a unique collaboration of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, the UCLA psychology department; the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and private foundations.
For more information on TIES for Families, please call (310) 825-6110 or visit www.tiesforfamilies.ucla.edu.