How It All Began

Since 1976, Walden Family Services has championed the vision that every child who enters foster care deserves the opportunity to realize their full human potential.

  • 1976

    Founded to provide quality care for children placed in residential group homes.

    1977

    Opens first residential group home in Sacramento twelve- to seventeen-year-old boys.

    1983

    Pioneered one of California’s first “Treatment Foster Care” programs to offer children and teenagers an alternative to group home placements.

    1985

    Merged with Westside Youth Homes in Antelope Valley, acquiring eight group homes.

    Expanded services to San Diego County.

    1986

    Awarded grant by Los Angeles County Probation to open six group homes and treatment foster care program in San Fernando Valley.

    1991

    Walden diversifies by offering non-residential services to support families in their own homes and communities in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

    1994

    Expanded foster care program to serve children with developmental disabilities.

    2001

    Created the Independent Futures program to serve and support foster youth before and after exiting care.

    Established a program to support pregnant and parenting teens.

    Pioneered a campaign program to advocate for and safely place LGBTQ foster youth in the community; began actively recruiting foster parents from the LGBTQ community.

    2002

    Launched a program to serve dependent children with special health care needs in Riverside County.

    2006

    Expanded services to children with special health care needs to Los Angeles.

    2007

    Expanded services to children with special health care needs to San Diego.

    2008

    Licensed as a full service adoption agency.

    2009

    Contracted to provide Independent Living After Care services to emancipated youth in San Bernardino County.

    2012

    Launched program to serve young people remaining in foster care until age 21, under the California Fostering Connections to Success Act.

    Launched Nurturing Parents and CalLearn programs to support pregnant and parenting teens.

    2013

    Contracted with San Bernardino County to run visitation centers that provide a place where birth families participate in court-ordered supervised visits while their children who are in foster care.

    Licensed to provide a combined transitional housing/foster care program to support young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

    2014

    Foster Family and Adoptions (FFA) programs accredited by CARF International, an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.

    2015

    Named “Live Well San Diego” partner by San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

    Launched THP+FC in Los Angeles.

    Received Seal of Recognition by Human Rights Campaign for providing culturally competent services for LGBTQ children/families.

    2016

    Provides mental health services for foster children/youth in San Bernardino.

    2017

    Achieved CARF 3-year re-accreditation.

    Launched THP+ transitional housing program in San Diego for former foster youth ages 18–24 who choose to remain in care.

    2018

    Launched life skills training for San Bernardino County foster youth.

    Expanded mental health services for foster children/youth in Riverside County.

    2019

    Earned Human Rights Campaign’s highest innovator seal of recognition “All Children – All Families” for providing culturally competent services for LGBTQ children/families.

    2020

    Provided full uninterrupted services and support to those we serve during COVID pandemic.

    Expanded the First 5 FAMILY Program to serve all age groups within San Bernardino County.

    Earned Human Rights Campaign’s highest innovator seal of recognition “All Children – All Families” for providing culturally competent services for LGBTQ children/families.

    2021

    Launched THP+ transitional housing program in Los Angeles and Antelope Valley for former foster youth ages 18–24 who choose to remain in care.

    Earned re-accreditations from CARF, the independent agency whose evaluations of health and human services organizations is internationally recognized as the gold standard of care.

    Earned Human Rights Campaign’s highest innovator seal of recognition “All Children – All Families” for providing culturally competent services for LGBTQ children/families.

  • 2021

    Invited by Loma Linda University to be part of their state research project on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and social determinants of health.

15,070

Days since founding