June 6, 2016
Every child deserves a loving family and the ability to realize their greatest potential toward becoming a self-sufficient and productive member of their community.
Founded 40 years ago, Walden Family Services has earned national recognition for its pioneering foster care, adoption and youth services that prepare children and youth throughout Southern California to thrive. Every day, Walden social work professionals provide families with the skills to break the cycle of neglect and abuse, and ensure that children who cannot return home grow up in loving foster and adoptive families. In 2015, Walden served more than 1,500 children, youth and families, and became the first foster care and adoption agency recognized by the County Board of Supervisors as a Live Well San Diego partner.
Since the California Fostering Connections to Success Act went into effect in 2012, Walden has also become the fourth largest agency offering extended foster care and transitional housing for youth ages 18 to 21 who are continuing their education or pursuing employment. In 2015, Walden served 170 youth through this program, which aims to reduce homelessness, increase graduation rates, and put young adults on the path to self-sufficiency.
And because growing up in family and community settings is vital to kids’ well-being, Walden recently started to examine how limited affordable housing impacts the agency’s programs and services. For example, high housing costs constrain families’ capacity to care for their children, and reduce the number of families who meet state-mandated space requirements to foster or adopt a child or sibling group. Walden also struggles to find safe, affordable housing near public transit for young adults in extended foster care.
To offset housing costs and other expenses not covered by county contracts, Walden engages businesses such as AJW Facilities and Construction, Barney & Barney, the San Diego Business Journal and Union Bank to sponsor Wine D’Vine and other signature events that benefit children and families. Through these events, Walden builds relationships with philanthropists and corporate partners who see value in ensuring that every child in our community reaches their full potential.