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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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.


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.