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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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