A Pioneer in Mental Health Treatment: Uplift Family Services

The history of Uplift Family Service’s evolution is a unique and colorful one. The program began with Eastfield Home of Benevolence, an orphanage located in San Jose, CA, and Ming Quong Presbyterian Mission Home, an orphanage for Chinese girls who had been rescued from slavery. In the 1950’s, both agencies became residential treatment centers for foster children with emotional and behavioral issues. After their merging in 1987, the program, then named EMQ Children & Family Services, also merged with Hollygrove in 2006, a Los Angeles orphanage where Marilyn Monroe famously spent a portion of her childhood, and FamiliesFirst in 2009, becoming the largest comprehensive mental health treatment network in California.

Headquartered in Campbell, CA, the renamed Uplift Family Services has a specific focus on helping children in the community that are in need of psychological and psychiatric help. The agency is a pioneer in developing the Wraparound philosophy for the state of California. Wraparound is designed for high-risk children and adolescents with the most complex needs. These services aim to keep children and their families together through individualized services developed in a family-centered, team planning process. Recognizing that there is not a “one-size-fits-all method” for each child and family, the treatment team develops, facilitates and continually evaluates a comprehensive plan of services and resources. Uplift Family Services found that the Wraparound philosophy had positive outcome compared to traditional residential treatment. The organization boasts 92% of the children and teens who exit Uplift Family Services’ Wraparound services stay in a home setting, 90% stay in school, and 95% stay out of trouble.

The Uplift Family Services treatment network includes 30+ different types of programming, including Wraparound services, a residential treatment program, and an out-patient clinic that provides therapy and psychiatric services. The program, Continuum of Crisis Care, was established in Santa Clara County to help children recover from traumatic experiences in a safe and caring environment. The program also provides several counseling, behavior intervention, and mental health services to students in San Bernardino and Santa Clara county schools.

Uplift Family Services is also an advocate for youth in the foster care system. This year, the state of California is closing lower level group homes and, in conjunction, moving residing children to different foster care systems. The measure aims to move the state’s foster care system toward encouraging family-based placements for all foster children. Currently, Uplift Family Services is focused on helping children during the transformation of the congregate care system through increasing the number of resource families, also known as foster families.

Most recently, Uplift Family Services celebrated its 150th anniversary at its annual Silicon Valley Community Awards Luncheon this past spring. The program’s CEO emeritus, Jerry Doyle, was also honored with a lifetime achievement award at the luncheon. Jerry was responsible for developing the Wraparound philosophy and also helped pass legislation for the program in 1996. Today, 95% of children in California live in counties where Wraparound is available. According to current President and CEO Darrell Evora, Jerry was also responsible for the majority of the program’s growth in resources and staff during his 35 years with the program.

Today, Uplift Family Services annually helps 30,000 kids and families recover from abuse, severe neglect, addiction and poverty, in 30 California counties. Beacon Pointe is proud to serve an organization that advocates for those in need and works to support children in crisis.

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