Play-Based Early Intervention Program
Helping Children Thrive
Who We Are
Empowering Families, Inc. is an early childhood intervention program vendored through the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center's Early Start Program. We provide one-on-one sessions to infants and toddlers birth to three years of age with developmental delays, disabilities or who are at risk for developing a delay or disability. During our sessions we address the following areas of development; cognitive, expressive and receptive language, gross motor, fine motor, social emotional and self-help (adaptive).
What is Early Start?
The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities was enacted in 1986 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 20; U.S.C., Section 1431 et seq.). This program is California’s response to federal legislation ensuring that early intervention services for infants and toddler with disabilities and their families are provided in a coordinated, family-centered system of services that are available statewide.
Play-based learning is a developmentally appropriate approach to learning new skills where children play at their own pace in a natural environments
We believe the best way to meet a child's needs is within their families and that the most effective way to ensure safety, permanency, and well-being is to provide services that engage, involve, strengthen, and support families.
We provide families with the support needed to thrive by connecting them to community resources such as mental health, housing, immigration resources and more.
Our Service Area
Our program serves the following cities:
Altadena (limited), Azusa, Baldwin Park, City of Industry, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, Irwindale, La Puente, Monrovia, Pomona, Rowland Heights, Walnut and West Covina.
Our Early Intervention Specialists
Empowering Families, Inc. is committed to employing highly qualified and dedicated Early Intervention Specialists. All of our Specialists hold a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development or related field.
Each Specialist receives a certification from the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute on the Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP) which is the curriculum-based tool we use to provide ongoing intervention and assessments. Our staff also receive ongoing training on topics such as the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process, housing rights, mental health, sign language and more. Each Specialist holds a CPR and First Aid Certification. Lastly, our diverse team reflects the diversity of the families we serve — 100% of our Specialists are bilingual, including our administrative staff.
Meet The Team
Maria (she/her) is the Program Director or Empowering Families, Inc. Maria has dedicated her career to supporting children and adults with disabilities and their families. She has over 30 years of experience working with adults and children with disabilities. From 1992 to 1997, she served as a Site Coordinator for MERCI, a program that supports adults with disabilities in East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. In 1998, she served as a Service Coordinator at the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center where she worked for 15 years before joining Empowering Families, Inc. in 2013. As a service coordinator, she experienced first-hand the profound impact Early Intervention has not only on the child, but the family and community as a whole. Maria holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from California State University, Northridge.
Maria Torres, M.A.