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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Walden Family Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adoption, Children & Youth, Family Services, Foster Care, Human Services, Philanthropy

Mission: The mission of Walden Family Services is to support the lives of children and families through lasting relationships. For 37 years, Walden Family Services (Walden) has been a recognized leader in providing treatment-level foster care to children in need throughout Southern California. Specifically, Walden serves the most tragic cases - children who are mentally and physically handicapped, developmentally delayed, autistic, and medically fragile - AND children who have been removed from their homes as a result of abuse, negligence or abandonment. It is hard to imagine the challenges of being a child and living with an emotional, mental or physical impairment. Now imagine compounding that obstacle with a mentally, physically and/or sexually abusive home environment. The stories of Walden?s children are often so heart-breaking, they seem impossible. On average, most of these children have already suffered the trauma of an average of 10 failed placements.

Results: In 2013 Walden's annual fundraiser, Wine D'Vine, raised more than $240,000 for program funding. This year we are looking to exceed that amount with the Eleventh Annual Wine D'Vine in October 2014.

Target demographics: Foster children throughout Southern California with Special Healthcare Needs and/or Developmental Disabilities. Walden provides services to more than 225 children daily in over 180 certified foster homes.

Direct beneficiaries per year: approximately 600 children and youth, many with developmental disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Geographic areas served: San Diego, Riverside, Northridge, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Kern, Imperial, and Ventura Counties.

Programs: Therapeutic Foster Care Specialized Care - Children with Developmental Disabilities Specialized Care - Children with Special Health Care Needs Independent Futures Program Adoptions

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Walden is a wonderful agency that provides quality loving foster homes in the SFV, Riverside, and Sand Diego areas. The agency staff are professionally trained and provide guidance and suppoprt to their wonderful foster parents.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I joined the Walden family just over a year ago to adopt a little girl through the foster program. After everything we have been through, we could not have done it without the unwavering support of all those working for Walden. We have had an emotional roller coster ride on this journey and Walden representatives are always there to help us through this process. They dedicate themselves to the welfare of the "kiddos" and assisting their foster families. They are truly a cut above the rest and we would not still be doing this today if it weren't for all those working at Walden! Walden rocks!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I once heard someone say “Do for one what you would do for the world". Here at Walden I believe we accomplish that. I am Proud to be part of such a great organization and am inspired daily by our children, our emancipated young adults, our foster parents and co-workers. How lucky am I to see generosity, love, kindness, hard work and unconditional acceptance replace what all too often was abuse and neglect. Whether it’s a foster parent opening their doors in the late evening hours, a social worker working way past their "8" hour day, a donor answering the call to a much needed donation or a young adult who has emancipated ask " How can I give back to Walden?" The word Family is rightfully placed in Walden Family Services.

David84

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was with Walden from 15 untill I was 18. They have helped me sooooo much!!! I am the person that I am now thanks to them. As I type this I sit here at work in my desk with tears in my eyes as I recount everything I whent with them. Yes good and bad experiences, but with them it was sooo different. I got a life I had always wanted. I thank them now and for ever!!! I love you Walden!!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working at Walden Family Services for the last 11 years. I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the life changing effect our agency has on the youth we serve. None of it would be possible without the support of incredible team members which include: foster parents, adoptive parents, donors, coworkers, volunteers, board members, community involvement, etc. If I forgot to mention anyone...I apologize. A special shout out to the loving parents who open their homes and hearts to a youth in need...much respect!

Maria30

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working for Walden for a little over a year and I have learned a lot from the foster families,children and te staff. Walden provides life changing experiences to not only the children but to all of us involved. At Walden I feel at home with all the loving and caring people. Children have people who love and are for them.

Jennifer105

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I went to an orientation with them to get more information on adopting and foster care. It was our experience that the company is very organized and runs efficiently. We enjoyed the orientation and are convinced we would rather go through them than another organization to adopt or become foster parents. They seem to offer more services and to offer them better than others can. But most importantly they seem to have their hearts in the right place for what they do and therefore are able to help others better.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been working for Walden Family Services for 4 years now. I love the work environment and the appreciation that is given. The staff members are very dedicated within the field of foster care. They strive to provide the children with loving and stable homes, during time of transitions. Coming to a work environment that is friendly and caring, makes the work enjoyable. Working for Walden Family Services has been a great experience and highly rank them in the field of social services.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This coming July it will be 10 years that i started working for Walden Family Services. This company has been a pleasure to work for, the staff is like my second family we work as a team to make sure that our foster children are well taken care of and that are family feel supported!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former employee and current volunteer at Walden Family Services, I have witnessed firsthand all the wonderful work that is done by the Walden Staff. The Walden Family works hard to provide the best homes possible for kids, as well as the best resources that each child needs. In addition, not only do the kids receive the highest quality of care, but so do the Foster Parents. Foster Parents are offered 24 hour support and are guided through each moment of the very rewarding experience that is being a Foster Parent.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working at Walden for the last 6 years. Working at Walden has been such a great experience. Walden is a great organization that helps children and families in the foster care system. Walden helps match foster youth to foster and adoptive families, and everyone here is like a family. My experiences here have thought me to care for others and fight for people who are unable to. Walden continues to help the youth that emancipate from the system and helps them become responsible adults in society.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined Walden Family Services in 1996 and it has been a pleasure working with such a great organization. Walden continuously strives to offer the best services and resources to the children and foster parents it serves. The entire organization is committed to providing a loving and stable environment to the children that come through our doors. Walden Family Services is an organization that trully believes that we must do everything we can to better the lives of our children.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I just celebrated 10 years working at Walden Family Services, and Walden is beyond compare. From it's high ethical standards, to "doing whatever it takes", the many kids who have passed through our doors have been encouraged, mentored, helped and healed. I am incredibly proud of the work we do, and the lives we have changed.

David82

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My wife and I have been foster parents for Walden Family Services for about 3 years now. It all revolves around one thing. . . the kids. These children have been put in difficult circumstances by no fault of their own, yet they must face the challenges that await them. We have helped many kids, both short term and long term. . . but more qualified foster parents are always needed. By becoming foster parents, we become "stepping stones" for these kids while their own parents hopefully get their lives back in order, or until a close family member comes and rescues them. Walden has now added adoption services to their criteria, another option for these precious ones that cannot be reunited with family. My wife and I are currently involved with this program as well. Do I have any regrets? No. My own kids didn't realize how good they had it until they see and hear the stories from some of these foster kids. . . a real eye opener.

Vince H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been honored to serve on the Walden Family Services board of directors for the past three years. Walden offers services that are essential to children and youth in need and has changes the lives of countless families for years. I wholeheartedly support the mission of this organization and am proud to serve on their board.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very honored to recently have been asked to join the Walden Family Services Board of Directors. As an attorney who has the privilege of handling adoptions, I have the opportunity to repeatedly see what an important and fulfilling need adoption provides both children and parents who want to create and or grow their family. As I was in foster care prior to being adopted by my parents, I have a very special place in my heart for the too many children Walden Family Services tirelessly continues to make the world a better place for. The foster parents and families who continue to give above and beyond to children who might otherwise be without a sense of hope, love or family, deserve all of our admiration, gratitude and support. Fortunately for our community, Walden Family Services not only exists but continuously strives to do more to help what some consider an underprivileged population. I do not regard the children Walden serves as underprivileged, but rather children awaiting their opportunity to receive the love they so deserve, while providing the same in return. I look forward to working with Walden in striving to provide lasting and loving relationships for children and families within our community. I encourage everyone to find out how they too can contribute to Walden’s mission.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first joined the Board of Walden Family Services in 1993. Over the past 19 years, I have seen Walden make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children and families through Walden's amazing foster parents, Walden's dedicated and talented staff and Walden's innovative and effective programs. I am honored to be part of a Board of very dedicated individuals who give generously of their time and money to support Walden and help raise awareness for the agency in the local community. The private funds raised by Walden enable the agency to provide support and services to foster youth and families in critical areas not addressed by government funding. Our Independent Futures program has enable hundreds of foster children to successfully transition into adulthood by providing mentoring, training and financial support to enable them to become productive members of society rather than ending up homeless or in prison like the majority of former foster youth. I mentored a Walden foster child since he was 12 and now he has graduated from a 4 year university, is working for a child services non-profit and has recently joined Walden's board to give back to the organization that provided a path for his life success.

Review from Guidestar