Penfield Children’s Center, Marquette to expand mental health services to Waukesha County with $2 million grant

Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union
The Behavior Clinic is a partnership of Marquette University and Penfield Children's Center.

A $2 million federal grant will allow the Behavior Clinic, a provider of mental health services for young children in Milwaukee, to begin offering services in Waukesha County next year.

Milwaukee-based Penfield Children’s Center, which partners with Marquette University in operating the Behavior Clinic, announced it has received a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“The Behavior Clinic speaks to the value that a strong partnership between a community-based organization and an academic institution can have on the community,” said Christine Holmes, president and chief executive officer at Penfield Children’s Center. “SAMHSA’s incredible investment in the Behavior Clinic will support the critical work our staff is doing with children and families exposed to significant trauma.”

Penfield Children’s Center received a $1.9 million grant from SAMHSA in 2016 to support its services in Milwaukee County. The new grant will allow the clinic to continue serving Milwaukee County and expand behavioral health services to Waukesha County in 2022.

Currently, the clinic serves more than 250 children annually, providing in-home counseling and services that address issues early in a child’s development to help prevent the development of serious mental health issues.

It also offers training opportunities for aspiring mental health professionals at Marquette, with graduate students getting work in the clinic through their university’s clinical practicum and internship courses.

The partnership was founded in 2003 by Marquette’s College of Education and Penfield.

“This is a tremendous endorsement of the Behavior Clinic’s work to provide trauma-informed care to children living in Milwaukee County,” said Alan Burkard, professor in the College of Education Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology at Marquette and the consulting psychologist at the Behavior Clinic. “The SAMHSA grant will support our work to provide critical care to young children exposed to trauma, allow us to continue to train mental health practitioners to serve children in our community and contribute to the growing field of research on best practices for trauma-informed behavioral health services for children under the age of six.”

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Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, and seeing live music.

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