Important News About ACS’s Programs

Dear ACS Supporter:

We are writing to you today with news about recent changes and exciting opportunities for the agency and the clients we serve.

Since its inception in 1975, Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) has grown from serving a small number of at-risk teens in Palo Alto, to providing an array of programs that help local youth and families grow and thrive. In the spirit of betterment, our board and management consistently evaluate community needs so that we can proactively address pressing issues and learn about opportunities to best serve our community.

As ACS’s fiscal year draws to a close on June 30, 2017, we have made important decisions on how to focus our strengths, staff, and resources to optimize impact for our clients and grow our core competencies to better align with our mission.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2017-18, ACS will:

  • focus on implementing a model of deeper, longer-term therapy for our clients with a specific emphasis on treating and supporting the entire family as a system; and
  • concentrate efforts on education and training for clinical interns and professional service providers.

To this end, ACS will no longer be providing on-campus therapy to students attending the five secondary schools within the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) beginning July 1, 2017. Over the years, on-campus services within PAUSD have moved toward brief, therapeutic interventions and triage, and away from the intense, longer-term therapy and family-system care that ACS wishes to practice. Over the past 37 years, ACS has invested approximately $15 million in the On-Campus Counseling Program within PAUSD. The City of Palo Alto and PAUSD have historically provided approximately 30% of the funding for the program, leaving ACS to raise the majority of the necessary funding from private donors, foundations, and corporations in order to provide PAUSD students with the professional, high-quality, compassionate care that they both need and deserve.  Our fundraising efforts will now be focused on in-depth therapy, which is no longer in accordance with the direction school-based counseling has taken in PAUSD.

ACS’s Board of Directors, management, and staff are deeply grateful to PAUSD for this long partnership and the opportunity to help Palo Alto youth through the struggles of adolescence. ACS cares deeply for PAUSD students and looks forward to partnering with the incoming service provider to provide coordinated care.  ACS is also excited and proud to continue to welcome all Palo Alto students, families, and stakeholders to our Palo Alto offices at 231 Grant Avenue where our award-winning Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT), Outlet, and Community Counseling Programs provide intensive, family-centered therapy.

ACS looks forward to this opportunity to grow our services in alignment with our core competencies. As a fiscally conservative organization, the funds we have raised to serve PAUSD with on-campus services will now be directed toward the development of a state of the art Clinical Training Program for Interns along with growth and expansion of our ASAT, Outlet, and Community Counseling services accessible to families throughout the Peninsula at our locations in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and downtown San Mateo. Notably, ACS’s on-campus services will still be provided on three San Mateo County middle and high school campuses where circumstances allow our therapists there to provide care to clients in keeping with ACS’s mission and direction.

Although change can often be scary, ACS is confident that this new direction will make for a healthier organization. During our 42 years of existence, ACS has created and acquired new programs, such as our Outlet and Community Counseling programs, and closed residential programs. These changes have only strengthened ACS and allowed us to better serve our clients.

To donors like you who have graciously supported us for so many years: we hope that you will continue to support ACS as we grow and strengthen our core competencies and in-depth mental health services, support, and education.

We look forward to welcoming you to ACS’s luncheon on May 10th, 2017, at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto from 11:30 to 1 pm. Lunch is free! To reserve your space, visit:

Come and experience the impact that, together, we make in the lives of our youth today and in the future!

With gratitude,


Dr. Philippe Rey, Executive Director                Annette Smith, President, Board of Directors