Los Angeles, CA –  Special Needs Network’s Areva Martin joined Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and St. John’s Community Health, along with multiple County departments and community members, on Wednesday, November 15, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Jacqueline Avant Children & Family Center (The Center). Named after the renowned philanthropist and advocate for children and families in South Los Angeles, The Center is set to become a national exemplar for programs assisting at-risk children facing trauma, as well as behavioral and mental health challenges. 

The County of Los Angeles invested $55 million to build the 50,000 sq. ft Jacqueline Avant Center located on the beautiful MLK Campus. On the first floor the County’s Pediatric Hub, already in operation, with plans to serve 4,000 children and teens annually by providing medical and mental health evaluations for those who have been exposed to violence, and primary pediatric care for children in the foster care system. The third floor is under construction with the Augustus F. Hawkins Children’s Mental Health Program and the Pediatric Crisis Stabilization Unit coming soon. The second floor, now open to the public, is a collaboration between St. John’s Community Health and Special Needs Network’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (C.A.D.D.), a comprehensive and fully integrated developmental and autism center, the first-of-its-kind to serve black and brown children in the state of California.

Special Needs Network’s C.A.D.D. is a comprehensive and fully integrated developmental and autism center, marking a transformative milestone and setting a national standard. The state-of-the-art facility, led by Special Needs Network Founder and CEO Areva Martin, provides a welcoming environment for families with special needs, utilizing Natural Environment Teaching (NET) methods. C.A.D.D. is dedicated to addressing disparities by offering a full spectrum of services, including diagnosis, early intervention, therapies, and medical care, all within an anti-racist framework.

“We will not let you down,” said Special Needs President and Founder Areva Martin. “We will provide the best quality care that this country has seen. We plan to be an inspiration and national model for public private partnerships to demonstrate how health care delivery can be provided to our most vulnerable children.”