Community

Help One Child: Supporting foster and adoptive families across four counties


Courtesy of Help One Child
Approximately 60 Help One Child campers ages 7-12 and 30 full-time volunteer counselors participate in a summer camp held in August.

• Mission: Help One Child recruits, trains and supports those willing to provide a home or volunteer services to at-risk children in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Sonoma counties.

• 2019 update: Founded by Los Altos Hills residents Mark and JoAnne Morris 26 years ago, Help One Child expanded to Contra Costa and Sonoma counties in October, and executive director Valerie Crane said the nonprofit expects to launch in Alameda County next year.

“It’s an exciting time,” Crane said. “It wasn’t our intention (to expand), but if you call us, we’ll come – and these counties reached out to us.”

The organization also has added several support groups for foster and adoptive parents because “there’s such a huge need,” Crane noted.

Help One Child has gone from three to nine support groups in the past 18 months, with the latest one launching earlier this fall in Walnut Creek.

The organization also is bringing CarePortal – an online network enabling Help One Child to directly connect social workers with churches that can help fulfill their clients’ needs – to the East and North bays. While such programs are primarily led by volunteers, “we still need feet on the ground and will need to grow our staff,” Crane said.

• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: Donations will go toward working with attachment- and trauma-focused therapists to develop curriculum for the support groups, according to Crane.

“We want to create sustainable and fresh new content,” she said. “There’s not a ton of curriculum that exists.”

A podcast is in the works, set to launch by the middle of 2020, and Help One Child also plans to produce training videos for streaming that will be available to anyone who wants to view them online.

Help One Child

Location: 858 University Ave., Los Altos

Founded: 1993

Annual budget: $670,000

Staff: 1 part-time, 4 full-time employees; 4,087 volunteers

Information: helponechild.org

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