A gift from Mose J. & Sylvia dilman Firestone Charitable Trust to expand child and family counseling services

Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) is the proud recipient of a $500,000 donation from the Mose J. and Sylvia Dilman Firestone Charitable Trust to expand its Child & Family Counseling department for children with autism or other developmental challenges and their families.

The Firestone gift will support additional staffing in PCDA’s Child & Family Counseling department, which will greatly increase the agency’s ability to help meet the local unmet need for mental healthcare for children and families affected by developmental disabilities. PCDA plans to hire a second staff psychologist as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist with an art therapy credential to enhance the Counseling and Creative Arts programs currently offered. The Firestone gift will also support the adapted drama workshop PCDA is piloting in partnership with the Pasadena Playhouse, a new Vocational Discovery program for teens and young adults, and provide funds to expand training and research efforts.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Firestone Charitable Trust for this gift that will play a critical role in helping PCDA meet a growing need,” said Dr. Diane Cullinane, PCDA’s Executive Director. “So many families struggle to access high-quality mental healthcare for their children, or for the whole family. PCDA is a leader in providing that care, and we are eager to serve even more children, teens and their parents and siblings.”

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PCDA’s Board Chair Eric Kaufman adds, “The gift from the Firestone Charitable Trust is transformational for PCDA. It enables us to grow in ways that are critical for our agency and for our clients. We are humbled to have been selected for this generous donation, and we look forward to honoring the legacy of the Firestones by expanding our good work.”

PHOTO: PCDA | SouthPasadenan.com | PCDA Executive Director Dr. Diane Cullinane(left) and Firestone Estate trustee Marilynn Garcia (right)

Mose and Sylvia Firestone were both recognized by the National Assn. of Social Workers as “Social Work Pioneers,” seeking to demonstrate that counseling was a professional service that should be available to anyone. Mose J. Firestone (1915-2011) practiced in children and family social service agencies, in hospital psychiatric social services, and maintained a private practice for more than 50 years.

He served as a board member of the Venice Family Clinic and president of the board of the Los Angeles Retarded Children’s Foundation. Sylvia Dilman Firestone (1915-2009) was a leader in clinical social work services to children, families, veterans and the sick. Locally, she was director of clinic services at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles.

PCDA improves the quality of life for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families in greater Pasadena, Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Valley by providing therapies and services grounded in the DIR philosophy. Using this play-based therapeutic approach in five clinical departments – Child & Family Counseling, Creative Arts, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, and Programs, which includes individual and group social-emotional interventions – PCDA clinicians helped over 1,100 children, teens and young adults in 2017 to reach developmental milestones, enjoy warm relationships with others, and live more fulfilling lives.

For more information about PCDA, please contact Franci Levine-Grater at (626) 793-7350, ext. 289 or email development@pcdateam.org