Our Grantees

« Return to Grantee Stories

st davids center logo

St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development: Making Room for Understanding

Early diagnosis and clinically proven therapeutic interventions are crucial to helping young children with a mental health diagnosis function better within their families and achieve success in school. The Medica Foundation awarded a three-year strategic grant to advance two key initiatives at St. David’s Center. 

The first program established a multi-disciplinary assessment team of professionals in childhood mental health, speech and physical therapy. The team provides same-day comprehensive assessments for children with a high risk of autism and other mental health disorders. This innovative approach was used to provide assessment services to children and families at St. David's Center and in offsite locations, such as shelters. 

The second program addressed the needs of the Somali community to support their children and respond to the significant rise in the diagnosis of autism in Somali children. The day treatment program at St. David's was culturally modified and expanded to a new urban site in Minneapolis serving Somali children under age five. This culturally-specific community model is one of the first in the state. 

"In the Somali language, there is no word for autism. We are the bridge to help parents trust and feel safe." 
  - Amina Hassan, Paraprofessional, St. David’s Center

About St. David's Center