Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS) is a 501 non-profit community organization.
Our mission is to enrich the lives of children and families through counseling and caring. We provide culturally sensitive and language specific services with expertise in the immigrant Asian Pacific Islander populations.
As of July 2011, there were over 10 million inhabitants in the County of Los Angeles. APIs are about 15.5% of the total and are reported as the fastest growing ethnic population.
Many of our clients are refugees or immigrants who have suffered greatly to reach this country.
PACS started as a response to a 1981 UCLA study by Dr. Harry Kitano that showed the mainstream public did not perceive Asian Americans as having social problems. Coupled with the low number of Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) who used social and public health services, most social service agencies had not developed programs for APIs. They thought there was no need but they were wrong. Without culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate programs, APIs did not seek services.
The Assistance League of Southern California founded “WRAP Family Services” as a pilot project on Pico Blvd. to address the lack of social services for APIs in Los Angeles by focusing on community outreach. In 1990, the agency moved to Westchester and expanded its services to include Family Preservation, CalWORKs, and became a member of the API Alliance in 1991. In 1994, it added an Adult Services contract.
In 1997, PACS divested and incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) so the organization could respond more directly to the mental health and social services needs of the API communities. At that time, the agency focused on children with its primary funding source from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health through its EPSDT contracts. In 1999, it opened a second office in San Fernando Valley and in 2000, a third office in Long Beach.
In January 2006, the agency changed its name to “Pacific Asian Counseling Services” (PACS) to better reflect its services. Over the years, PACS has served thousands of low-income children, families and adults from all ethnicities such as APIs, Hispanics and African Americans.
Located at three sites, PACS covers a large section of LA County including Long Beach, Carson, the South Bay Cities, Hawthorne, Inglewood, South Central, West Los Angeles areas such as Mar Vista, Venice, Culver City, Santa Monica and Westchester, and the San Fernando Valley including Van Nuys, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, and Canoga Park.
One of the unique features of the organization is its multilingual and multi-cultural perspective. With over 45 different Asian languages in the County, PACS is committed to hiring bilingual and bicultural staff because language and cultural sensitivity are identified barriers to accessing care. Generally, there are staff who speak English, Spanish, Cantonese, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Mandarin, Samoan, Tagalog (Pilipino), Thai and Vietnamese.
During the Fiscal Year 2018-2019, PACS had 849 clients and provided 16,513 counseling sessions. Approximately 50% of the clients were children between infancy to 21 years in age while the other 50% were between 22 and 65 years of age. The ethnic breakdown was 41% Hispanix, 23% APIs, 23% African American, 10% White, 2% Other (usually self-identified as mixed or biracial) and 1% Unknown. The FY2019-2020 budget is nearly $7.4 million with increased contract funding to serve the homeless and recently incarcerated.