Our Programs and services support four key strategies:
- Successfully transition emancipated foster youth
- Support children in foster care
- Sustain the Orangewood Children's Home
(now called the Orangewood Children & Family Center)
- Strengthen at-risk families
Successfully Transition Emancipated Foster Youth
When a foster child turns 18, it could be the worst birthday of his or her life. Released from the county social services system, many teens find themselves on their own, without the experience, training, or resources needed to transition into a responsible adulthood.
Orangewood Children's Foundation is a pioneer among social service agencies, establishing a holistic approach by developing coordinated initiatives that positively impact the lives of these children, among these:
Children's Trust Fund offers financial assistance to current and emancipated foster youth in Orange County, scholarships for college and trade school, and emergency funds for living expenses. It provides grants for special needs to eligible applicants, such as counseling, school supplies, sports programs and graduation expenses.
Guardian Scholars Program
is a partnership with local educational institutions that provides
comprehensive support and resources to former foster youth in
their efforts to gain a university, community college or trade
school education. Partnering institutions in the greater Orange
County area include CSUF, UCI, Orange Coast College, Hope International
Univ., Chapman Univ., American Career College, Fullerton Community
College, Concordia Univ., Taller San Jose, USC, UCLA, Santa Ana
College, Cypress College, Santiago Canyon College, Irvine Valley
College, Golden West College and Saddleback College. Areas of
support include academic advisement, housing and job assistance,
tutoring, financial aid and mentoring.
Mentor Program was developed
to provide one-on-one adult interaction for the increasing number
of foster care youth in Orangewood programs. Mentors support and
encourage youth from ages 12-25.
Independent Living Program
provides workshops, special events, and support services to foster
youth, ages 16 to 21, to help them prepare for emancipation. Workshop
sessions focus on four areas - education, career, relationships
and daily living - and provide vital information and practice
these young people will need when facing life on their own. Services
may also include one-on-one guidance to youth needing extra support
pre- and post-emancipation.
Rising Tide Communities
offers selected young adults who have "aged-out" of the foster
care system at age 18 a unique living program that provides subsidized
apartment living, educational opportunities and mentoring in an
18 month period designed to help them transition successfully
into life on their own.
Peer Mentor Program began
in 1992 when Children's Trust Fund recipients, former foster children
themselves, approached the Foundation wanting to give back and
help other young abuse victims. Peer Mentors are an active part
of our Orangewood Resource Center and Independent Living Program
and hold sessions with the teens at the Orangewood Children’s
Home (now called the Orangewood Children & Family Center).
Orangewood Resource Center (ORC) is a drop-in center for current and emancipated foster youth in Orange County offering services they need to become independent adults, including educational activities and resources for jobs, college, housing, health, etc.
These and other individualized programs ensure current and former foster children are provided fundamental services—offering a second chance for those who may not have had a first.
Support Children in Foster Care
Approximately 4,000 Orange County, CA youngsters are currently being cared for through the County's foster care system. These children live with individual foster families, in agency-managed group care facilities or with relatives ("kinship care").
Disconnected from the warm family life most children experience, foster children often grow up in lonely surroundings. Orangewood Children's Foundation offers these children the following support:
Financial support: To reduce the feelings of alienation and offer the children "normalizing" activities, the Foundation's
Children's Trust Fund provides funding for items such as sporting equipment, counseling, music lessons, after school activities, and summer camp, as well as specialized medical and dental care.
Advocacy for foster children: The
California Youth Connection (CYC) is a leadership group of current and emancipated foster youth who participate in policy development and legislative change in the area of foster care. CYC youth meet on a monthly basis to discuss issues and participate in statewide meetings and conferences. Orangewood Children's Foundation is Orange County's representative to this statewide organization.
FaCT (Families and Community Together) program, Orangewood is also involved in foster parent recruitment and kinship care support.
The Foundation also works to educate the general public and policy makers about the unique needs of foster youth, supports youth leadership programs, and helps promote positive images of foster youth through its education and public awareness efforts.
| Sustain the Orangewood
After raising the money to build and later expand the Orangewood
Children's Home (now called the Orangewood Children &
Family Center), the Foundation turned its attention to the ongoing
needs of abused children, both while in foster care and as they
transition to independent adulthood. Although the Center is a
county-run facility, the Foundation continues to help sustain
We like to think of it this way: The county makes the Orangewood
Children & Family Center a first-class facility for the children;
the Foundation makes it a home.
Peer mentoring: The Peer Mentor
Program began when Children's Trust Fund grant recipients,
former foster children themselves, approached the Foundation to
find ways to help other young abuse victims. Serving as powerful
role models, Peer Mentors conduct mentoring sessions at Orangewood
Children & Family Center and Independent Living Workshops
as a way of representing positive outcomes.
Activities: Orangewood PALS
(Providing Assistance, Love and Support) is a group of fun and
energetic professionals who have come together to make a positive
impact in the lives of abused and neglected children in Orange
County. PALS supports the work of Orangewood Children's Foundation
by hosting events and activities for children at Orangewood Children
& Family Center, funding scholarships, and interacting with
current and former foster care youth.
Financial support: The Foundation assists the Center with
a wide variety of needs. From upgrades to the campus to art supplies
for the children, we help make the first-class facility feel like
Strengthen At-Risk Families
The Orangewood Children’s Foundation, in collaboration with other children’s service organizations, and state and county agencies, offers support to families in the community to prevent child abuse and neglect from starting.
Community-based support for families:
Families and Communities Together (FaCT) supports 12 Orange County Family Resource Centers. FaCT Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are family-friendly, community-based sites that provide access to comprehensive social, educational, and health services for all families, including birth, blended, kinship, adoptive and foster families. FRCs often serve as vehicles for engaging local residents and community organizations in the identification and resolution of community concerns as they relate to raising healthy children. Each FRC is unique to its community, and services are offered by multicultural and multilingual staff that reflects the surrounding neighborhoods and families served.
Core services include:
» To visit the FaCT website,
- Case management
- Parent education
- Resources & referrals
- Domestic violence prevention and treatment services
Support for Orange County non-profits and service providers:
CONNECT Partnership For Nonprofit Solutions offers community-based agencies the following services:
CONNECT strives to provide all non-profits with the resources necessary to both fulfill their missions and reach their full potentials so that their abilities to deliver services to children and families in the community is maximized.
- Professional training
- Executive coaching
- Organizational assessment
- Non-profit consultation
» To visit the CONNECT website,
Health access and home visitation services: Orangewood Children’s Foundation coordinates ProjectConnections.FRC, a program that links community health workers to public health nurses and Family Resource Centers to deliver appropriate social and family services to local communities. Hospitals and clinics also participate in this Children and Families Commission of Orange County funded program for families with children ages 0 - 5.
ProjectConnections.FRC focuses on:
» For more information on Health
Access programs, click
- Improving immunization status
- Health insurance enrollment
- Access to a medical home
- Delivering health assessments
- Bringing parent health education to the community
- Intensive home visitation
- Providing case management services to children ages 0 through 5 and their families.