How to Raise Healthy, Successful Children

Each year Outreach Concern has attempted to provide parents information on how to raise healthy, successful children. This year is no exception however, we've asked our executive director Dr. Rick Capaldi to share his ideas on parenting, education and student performance. 

Dr. Capaldi founded Outreach Concern over 20 years ago and has had close to 40 years experience working in the Human Services field, specializing in education, parenting, child and family therapy, organizational development and non-profit management. We believe you'll find Dr. Capaldi's ideas interesting and provocative, as the thousands students, clients and parents who've worked with him, have in the past.

Dear Parents:

I founded Outreach Concern in 1993 recognizing a void in the area of counseling, prevention and Pupil Personnel Services in elementary, middle and high schools. For almost two decades, Outreach Concern has worked in over 250 schools, serving close to 500,000 children, adolescents and families, supporting student academic and emotional development. I'm proud to lead an organization that has a history of meeting the academic, social, behavioral and emotional needs of students. As we enter our third decade I look forward to continuing to meet the growing needs of the children we serve in private and public schools throughout Southern California.

My goal is to provide you with information I believe is relevant in helping you to develop your children to their highest potential. The areas I'm addressing are what I believe to be some of the most important points to consider when raising children in today's busy society. Over the next few months we'll be discussing, “Establishing Boundaries,” “Assessing Your Child's Emotional Temperature,” “Children and Technology,” “Courtesy and Consideration,” “Partnering with Teachers and Counselors” and “Why and When to Get Help,” just to name a few. First I'm going to give you a short commercial about Outreach Concern.

As you know, raising healthy successful children is about more than their care and maintenance, Xboxes and cell phones. It's about directing and supporting their efforts in school and at home and partnering with teachers and school support services to ensure your child's safety and performance. In a society where no one is going to give them a break, education is their key to lifelong success.

But today, children bring more to the classroom than their books, pencils and iPads. Their backpacks are often filled with academic, behavioral, family, social and emotional issues that impact their ability to perform, both in and outside the classroom.

Whether it's homework, a learning disability, ADHD, parents going through a difficult divorce, being bullied or just trying to fit into a new school, supporting your child so they can focus in the classroom and be successful, becomes difficult each and every day.

Sometimes, a child needs additional help in removing the obstacles that become barriers to their learning and behavior. That's where Outreach Concern comes in; Outreach Concern is a non-profit, school-based counseling program that's part of your child's school. Our focus is to assist students whose, academic, behavior, social or emotional concerns may impact their success. More simply put, Outreach Concern is there to help children improve their performance.

For the past two decades, Outreach Concern has been able to successfully assisted children and adolescents in meeting their goals. Whether it's through individual counseling, working with parents and teachers to establish actionable plans to improve performance or prevention programs that assist students in dealing with social, academic or at-risk behavior, our focus is on making your child more successful, both in and outside the classroom.

How does Outreach Concern work? We are part of your child's school. Our counselors are on campus, between two and four days a week, working with teachers, students and administrators, focusing on whatever aspects of a child's life are impacting their success. When working with students, you the parent are asked to be an active participant in this process. So whenever we're referred a student, you are the first to receive a phone call identifying why your son or daughter might have been referred and what we can do to help support their progress.

What about Results?

We are particularly successful when we can incorporate you in the process. You're an integral part of making your child successful, so we would of course, hope that, should you be contacted by one of the Outreach Concern counselors, you respond quickly, so we can collectively meet, whatever need your child might be demonstrating.

One example of our success is our Student Performance Accountability Study, a process we incorporate to measure our impact on student achievement. Last year we completed a four year pilot study, focusing on 3,860 students from elementary, middle and high schools throughout Southern California, referred for academic, behavioral and social/emotional issues. Of those students referred, 3,058 children, 79% demonstrated improved performance as a result of our intervention and partnerships with teachers and parents. (For additional information regarding this study refer to our website at and see Accountability Study).

What this means to you is simply, when needed, with our help and your participation; we've been able to impact a positive change in a student's life. That means a student, now goes to school with a better attitude, feeling better about who they are, as a result of their overall, improved performance. Please note, this is a voluntary support service, it's not mandatory. However, we know your child is your most important asset and when they need help, you're going to want to provide every opportunity to assist in supporting their success.

Should you wish any additional information, feel free to call the Outreach Concern counselor at your child's school, who can describe our program and services in greater detail. Then, should you be contacted by one of the Outreach Concern counselors, we're in hopes that you'll respond to assist us in making your child's learning experience a beneficial one. By the way, there is no additional cost to you, to utilize the Outreach Concern services, other than the investment of your time and partnership, which I guarantee will pay off in the success you see your child demonstrate.