El Paso Child Guidance Center
Providing quality child and family mental health care since 1954.

Causes: Community Advocacy, Health and Wellness, Youth

The History of the El Paso Child Guidance Center

The El Paso Child Guidance Center is the realization of the efforts of a broad based El Paso citizens’ group who recognized the need for an outpatient treatment facility for children and their families. In 1942, this group first recorded its efforts. In 1947, the El Paso Mental Health Association appointed a chairman to spearhead this group and gather people from the community interested in working toward creating a Guidance Center.

School officials, doctors, ministers, social workers and other interested El Pasoans made up the twenty-six member Guidance Center Committee. Dr. Robert Sutherland, Director of the Hogg Foundation, University of Texas and Mr. Charles Mitchell, Director of the Mental Health Division of the Texas State Department of Health, helped this group conduct a survey to determine the readiness of the community for a Guidance Center.

As a result of this survey an eighteen member rotating board was chosen to start a Guidance Center in September, 1951. The Executive Board of the El Paso Medical Society approved the plans for the proposed Center. On February 9, 1953 the Center was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The El Paso Child Guidance Center opened its doors on November 14, 1954 with Dr. Chester Reynolds, Child Psychiatrist, as the Director. The Center has been providing quality mental health care ever since.

Our Accreditation

The El Paso Child Guidance Center has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) for fourteen years. COA partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards. COA envisions excellence in the delivery of human services globally, resulting in the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Through this process the Center undergoes a rigorous review in the areas of: ethical practice, financial management, governance, human resources management, performance and quality improvement, risk prevention and management, administrative and service environment, behavior support and management, client rights, training and supervision, and mental health services. Receiving accreditation proves the Center is meeting the highest national standards of professional performance.

To find out more about COA accreditation, please go to their website:

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