At Sycamores, we provide a safe and stable environment for boys who may be struggling with a variety of challenges. For children who have experienced trauma, restoring their sense of agency is important. Residential treatment provides security, comfort, and support that can help a child develop the skills they need to overcome their difficulties and thrive. Our staff is committed to the safety and provision of competent care to our diverse youths and families. El Nido is much more than a building — it’s an environment where boys can start to create a better life
How We Help Stabilize Mental Health and Provide the Structure Needed for a Bright Future
El Nido, Sycamores’ residential campus in Altadena, is a safe and welcoming place for boys, ages 11-18, who require intervention and care. Also referred to as a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP), it is designed to offer care and supervision to dependent and/or neglected young men, many of whom are part of the foster care or probation systems in Los Angeles or other California Counties.
The program’s main objectives are to stabilize mental health symptoms and help the youth and their families by providing them with the necessary tools to enable their child to return home and live successfully within their community. Youth in this program benefit from various services that help them process trauma, and focus on improvements in education, health, behavior, emancipation preparation, and social and emotional well-being.
The youth and their families receive intensive therapeutic services, including individual, family, and group therapy, family search and engagement, vocational assistance, and robust adjunctive and supportive services. These services are personalized to each youth and family and are provided both on-site and in their family homes. Support and services continue even after the youth’s discharge, at home and in their community, to achieve longterm stability and success.
These employees, who were previously part of the foster care system, provide support, share their lived experience, guide our youth and sponsor our campus Youth Council.
These Sycamores employees are hired to work closely with families to support and nurture family relationships that are necessary for successful reunification and permanency. Having been through similar life experiences, they provide real examples of successfully navigating such challenges.
There are two family cottages on site where families can stay overnight for multiple days while focusing on intensive family treatment and bonding.
Our on-site garden allows youth to learn gardening and harvesting skills. It provides a warm, therapeutic space to attend therapy, meditate, or engage with friends and family.
Our art program allows youth to learn skills in 3D printing, painting, drawing and more, from an on-site instructor. This program provides valuable skills training and creates a space for youth to be empowered through creative expression, while engaging with peers and adults in a productive setting.