DVD Series: Stories From Our Hearts

How They Met the Challenges and Thrived: DVD Series Shares Personal Stories of Families With Children Born With Unique Needs


Families are the experts about their children. They give voice to their children’s needs and play a critical role in ensuring that their children receive the services available to them.

Stories From Our Hearts
In Stories From Our Hearts: Brief Messages From Families About Important Issues in Our Lives, families share their personal experiences and the circumstances that led them to seek services on behalf of their children with unique needs and themselves. The four-part series offers an intimate look at families with very young children struggling with special health issues, maternal mental health issues, abuse and domestic violence, teen parenting and grandparent custody, and child behavior and child mental health.

Featured families created the series themselves with specific goals in mind:

  • To promote greater public awareness about the unique needs of families with very young children;
  • To inform public policy;
  • To change standard practices;
  • To empower parents and caregivers of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to know what they can expect in the way of support and care.

The featured families were an integral part of the process of developing the series. They selected the topic they wanted to share; wrote their own stories; chose photos, graphics and music; and gave final approval of the stories in their digital format. Stories are told in either English with Spanish subtitles or in Spanish with English subtitles.

Connecting Children to Families
Stories From Our Hearts
was developed by Project ABC (About Building Connections for Young Children and Their Families), with production support from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Designed to create a system of care for young children, aged birth to five, who are in need of mental health services in Los Angeles, Project ABC was a partnership among Children’s Institute Inc., the University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Service, and the USC School of Social Work. Project ABC was funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.

To order this DVD series, please click here to download the order form.