Mission: FamilyPaths promotes the development of nurturing, responsible and resilient families within our diverse communities by providing comprehensive services that foster positive change, empowering parents and children.
FamilyPaths was formed in 1972 to address the high incident rate of child abuse and neglect in Alameda County. Its first programs included a crisis phone line and emergency child care (respite). In response to a rapid increase in the number of reports of children at high risk of abuse in the 1980’s, FamilyPaths implemented a Counseling Program in 1981 and a Positive Parenting Program in 1983. Continued and increased funding has allowed comprehensive, family-oriented counseling and parent education services to be developed. We offer a network of programs and services to all residents of Alameda County, with an emphasis on serving very low-income clients.
Over 95% of our clients live below the poverty level.
Geographic areas served: Alameda County
Programs: Family Paths provides families with comprehensive services that include: a 24/7 Family Support and Resource Hotline, which provides counseling, ongoing support and resources; a 24/7 Foster Parent Advice Line; Short-term Respite Childcare; Counseling (including a Victim of Crime program); Parent Education; Families In Transition (for children at risk of out-of-home placement or those transitioning back into their communities); Therapy and Case Management for CALWorks recipients (parents transitioning from welfare to work); Early Childhood Mental Health Counseling Program; Yoga for Parents Class; Finding Peace Within: A Skills Group for Trauma Survivors; and Honor Yourself: A Group for Adolescent Girls (takes place in Hayward).
Professional with expertise in this field
I have worked for Family Paths for nearly a year, and after many years working for various non-profits, I can say that Family Paths is one of the best organizations I have ever worked for in terms of quality of programs, client care, staff care, infrastructure, etc. The success stories from our clients, whether children, families or adults, is truly inspiring. Also inspiring is the longevity of the organization (43 years!) and the staff retention (it's not uncommon to find a staff members who have been with Family Paths for 5, 10, 15, 20 years! It's a testament to the amazing work being done here.
The Support Line at Family Paths is a terrific way to give back to the community as well as develop basic counseling skills. As a volunteer, you are trained by an amazing staff who are also on hand to support you with every call you receive. I always looked forward to my shift on the Support Line. The work was interesting and challenging, and the camaraderie among the staff and other volunteers felt wonderfully supportive.
I came to Family Paths 6 years ago when I was fresh out of college. I'd volunteered many places before I came to Family Paths. I was accustomed to organizations that didn't know what to do with a volunteer, that didn't seem to be helping their clients, or that gave me really boring menial work. Family Paths was completely different.
Family Paths gave me an intensive training on being a hotline counselor. I found I was looking forward to each day of the training! Once I started on the hotline, I found the work even more exciting. Talking to a real parent who needs my support makes me feel useful and connected to humanity very deeply. Each volunteer shift has a supervisor who is warm, supportive, and there whenever you need him/her.
My experience on the hotline was so rewarding that I joined the board of directors and became much more involved with the agency. It is a wonderful place to work and it provides a very needed service to the community.