From the News

Blue Ribbon spotlight — SHIELDS for Families program

Indicative of its steadfast commitment to serving families in South Central Los Angeles, CA, the SHIELDS for Families program completed the Parents as Teachers (PAT) Quality Endorsement and Improvement process and earned the coveted Blue Ribbon Affiliate designation for 2019.

SHIELDS for families logo

SHIELDS was honored at our international conference, along with other PAT affiliates that were awarded the blue ribbon in October 2019. SHIELDS earned the prestigious distinction by meeting all the PAT Essential Requirements and at least 75 percent of its Quality Standards. Blue Ribbon designated affiliates are recognized as being exemplary, delivering high-quality services to children and families.

SHIELDS was founded 25 years ago by Xylina Bean, Kathryn Icenhower, and Norma Mtume, three women who came from different backgrounds but shared the belief that they could help shape the future. They are still running the agency together today, along with the program’s first employee, first client, and many of its original staff.


SHIELDS is one of only 10 agencies in the nation to receive the U.S. Department of Labor grant for working with the “reentry” population — helping to advocate against the mass incarceration of men and women, particularly of color, through mentorship, training, and development of living wage jobs for ex-offenders.

SHIELDS currently serves about 10,000 families in Los Angeles’s most challenged communities and is revered as an internationally recognized organization that offers award-winning programs.