Few agencies specialize in matching foster children with disabilities and special health care needs with loving families. This year, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism recognized Walden for ensuring that all foster youth grow up in families when they awarded the agency a $10,000 grant.
Walden foster and adoptive families have been specially trained to parent children with autism, cerebral palsy, and other challenges. With the constant love of a nurturing family, children in Walden’s program often defy expectations. One little girl who came to Walden unable to walk on her own or speak has since learned how to ride a bike and communicate using assistive technology.
In June, St. Germaine Children’s Charity awarded Walden a $15,000 grant to match children with foster families and provide young adults with transitional housing. Walden also received a $5,000 Inspiring Future Leaders grant from SDGE to hire an employment specialist who will assist foster youth in Walden’s transitional housing program in building their workforce skills and finding jobs.