One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Metropolitan Indochinese Children and Adolescent Services (MICAS)-South Cove, Lynn, MA
Contact(s): Ms. Bounthay Path-Reth, Clinical Supervisor: (781) 595-2300
Purpose: To promote racial understanding by fostering dialogue, presenting educational programs, providing comprehensive mental health and health services, and encouraging cultural awareness and appreciation

Background Program Operations Outcomes


South Cove is a community health center founded in 1972 in Boston. In 1982, it founded the Metropolitan Indochinese Children and Adolescent Services (MICAS) to provide mental health and social services to the Southeast Asian community. MICAS operations are split into two offices: the Cambodian Youth and Family Center in Lynn and the Vietnamese Youth and Family Center in Dorchester. MICAS is located in the Community Minority Cultural Center (CMCC) and collaborates with other community-based organizations to facilitate joint youth activities and to foster inter-ethnic acceptance and understanding among the youth of Lynn.

Program Operations

MICAS offers a variety of services to both individuals and families. Programs include after-school and summer programs that have cultural, social and academic components aimed to encourage youth to stay in school and to prepare them for high school and further education. There are support groups for parents whose children display at-risk behavior. MICAS also provides home-based intensive family intervention. MICAS offers a liaison service between parents and law enforcement agencies, schools, health agencies and social service agencies. To foster inter-ethnic acceptance and understanding, MICAS works in partnership with the local police, community agencies, statewide agencies and schools. MICAS has partnered with the Lynn YMCA to offer its youth clients the opportunity to interact with youth from other communities in a recreational setting. It also partners with the CMCC to offer homework assistance, and to provide another opportunity for cross-cultural interaction. Other cross-cultural programs are offered through partnerships between MICAS, the local police and the Cambodian community of Massachusetts.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

MICAS projects have been presented as models by the Massachusetts Departments of Education and Mental Health, the Refugee Policy Group, the National Coalition of Advocates for Children and the National Technical Assistance Center for Refugee Mental Health. MICAS has received the Community Program Staff Award from the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. South Cove works with other community organizations to form a network of service providers to establish collaborative programming. MICAS serves not only to help the refugee community, but also to forge a bridge of understanding between the refugees and the community in which they now live. In the 1997-98 school year, MICAS served 30 youth with its programs, and over the past three years has served more than 200 youth. Other MICAS activities have served more than 300 families over the last three years.

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