Children & Youth Services

PHP works with children at all ages and stages to ensure that they are healthy, both physically and mentally, and are ready to succeed in school and life.

Early Mental Health Wellness

PHP’s counselors work with students in the school setting who were referred for emotional, social and behavioral issues by their school or their parents. A coordinated behavioral plan, reinforced by the teacher and the parents, is then established. This program offers the only counseling available to low-income families and the only option for Spanish speaking parents in the Santa Ynez Valley. See additional information under Health Services, Mental Health Wellness.


In partnership with the Santa Ynez High School District, a PHP mentor provides academic and life skills coaching at the high school’s “Pirates Cove” to encourage and guide 50-60 students each academic year to graduate and continue their post-secondary education. Pirate’s Cove gives students a place to read and study before and after classes and during nutrition and lunch breaks. Students also have access to computers to complete schoolwork and research secondary education opportunities. Historically, 95% of Mentoring Program students graduate on schedule.

Life Skills Education

Student Action Prevention Network (SPAN): This alcohol and drug prevention program is designed for 7th and 8th grade students in partnership with Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos, and College School Districts. PHP’s Prevention Specialist teaches a nationally recognized life skills curriculum, and implements “Generation Kindness” programs and “Drug Free Clubs” on campus.  This approach to prevention is designed to equip students with the knowledge and tools necessary to avoid the hazards and consequences associated with alcohol and drug consumption.

Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition

The Coalition consists of more than 30 volunteer leaders from local businesses, education, service groups, non-profits, and parents under the umbrella of PHP and utilizes federal, state, and local grant funds to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by local youth.

The Coalition also includes the Youth Action Council, a teen advisory group and active club at the high school that works with their peers to promote healthy lifestyles. The Coalition is committed to building and strengthening these collaborations in order to change community norms around the acceptance of youth substance abuse and to give youth the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

The Coalition meets quarterly with task groups to further data collection and sharing, public relations, policy, and youth activities work. Community members that are interested in joining the Coalition or accessing additional information, including local usage statistics, are encouraged to visit the Coalition’s website at