Social Services at LAYC was established in 1979 to help meet the increasingly diverse needs of youth in DC's Hispanic community.
Approximately 200-250 youth from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds receive services each month. The social services staff is guided by the philosophy that the most effective way to encourage youth development is by strengthening and supporting the family unit.
Counseling: Face to face, goal oriented interaction to improve individual and family functioning. Crisis Intervention that focuses on acute critical situations. The purpose of this intervention is to restore the youth to his/her previous level of functioning and secure client safety.
Prevention & Treatment: Outpatient individual, family and group counseling services (including drug testing and referrals) aimed at helping youth change their addictive behavior.
Child Placement: Foster Care for victims of child abuse and neglect, emergency shelter and transitional living services for homeless and runaway youth.
Social Services is led by Jose Carlos Vera. Mr. Vera has more than 15 years of experience in the mental health field, particularly working with runaway, homeless, and street youth. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Social Services. Vera served as the Director of the LAYC Transitional Living/Street Outreach Program from 1993 to 1998. He earned his MSW from the Catholic University of America in 1996, a Master’s degree in Administrative Sciences from the Graduate School of Administrative Sciences, Speyer, Germany, in 1984, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, in 1981. Vera is licensed in Washington, DC, and Maryland, and is Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor and a Certified Addiction Counselor III. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, American Psychotherapy Association and the American College of Certified Forensic Counselors.