About Us

La Puerta Abierta (LPA) is recognized as an effective organizational model that significantly improves access to quality mental health care for the Latino immigrant and refugee communities who typically face barriers to this care. One key feature of LPA is a service learning model that builds the capital of competent, bilingual clinical providers through the training and supervision of interns and volunteers, as well as through cross-systems training. The collective impact of this work is critical at a time when many service providers are in most need of understanding how to best serve the growing population of immigrant youth and families who present with complicated emotional and other life challenges.

Our Work

La Puerta Abierta (LPA) began its work in partnership with a network of family therapy programs based in Latin America over 20 years ago. In 2010, LPA was established in the Philadelphia region in response to the growing need for mental health services as well as training of bilingual clinicians who have a specific interest in working with immigrant youth and families facing multiple barriers to mental health support.

LPA offers a bilingual, culturally and trauma-informed source of pro bono counseling support that is flexible and accessible. We work to standardize the care offered to constituents while being responsive to the complicated needs and issues facing this diverse community. We collaborate closely with psychologists, educators, and community service providers; and educating and training mental health providers and others who work with immigrants in understanding the broad range of migration, acculturative, and family stressors that can affect the mental and behavioral health of immigrant families.

Additionally, LPA works to empower youth and families through a peer-mentor training model to function as “first responders” in the local immigrant and refugee community. This serves to increase both the bandwidth of LPA’s work while promoting a culture of dignity and respect that is healing and hopeful for the multitude of community members who have previously suffered in the shadows of community life.

Community-Based Groups

As requests for support began to increase over the past several years of LPA’s localized programming, we made a number of strategic decisions to design and implement both youth and adult groups that would increase the range and reach of our work.

Groups are now available through LPA’s community-based sites that focus on:
• Reunification between adult family members and children after prolonged separation
• Women in transition within the family and community context
• Youth in school and community settings
• Collaborative support for educators and providers working within immigrant and refugee communities

Special Initiatives

In collaboration with several of our community partners, LPA is currently engaged in special projects which target specific needs identified within the regional community. These include:

Voces Trabajadores
Compas de Viaje (Buddies on the Journey)
Mental Health/Legal Partnership for Unaccompanied Minors in Schools
Specialized Services to Victims of Human Trafficking


“La Puerta Abierta represents a model program and a source of inspiration and support to providers and organizations across the country who are struggling to find ways to serve immigrant children and youth and their families with very little economic and community resources. La Puerta Abierta not only embodies the principles of social justice but is one of the few programs that operates from a diversity informed practice where direct services, teaching and training recognize the richness and plurality that exists in the immigrant Latin American community. Through its model of supervision and training, LPA has a commitment to developing a truly bilingual, bicultural workforce of clinicians who will be able in the future to mentor other bilingual clinicians through direct training and reflective supervision.” -- Carmen Rosa Naroña, LCSW, Ms.Ed, CEIS
Child Trauma Clinical Services and Training Lead, (Boston)
Child Witness to Violence Project