WHO WE ARE Friends of the Family is a comprehensive family resource center known for pioneering innovative, practical programs where families are recognized as central to a child’s well being and are supported to build on their skills and strengths. Founded in 1972, the organization is a safety net of support for over 5,000 community members each year.
Based in Van Nuys, California, Friends of the Family serves disadvantaged families who are struggling to provide care and support for their children but are challenged by poverty and low income, lack of education and employment, shifts in family structure, family or community violence, and holes in the social safety net. Our work operates upon the assertion that outcomes for families cannot be separated from community conditions, since the capacity of neighborhoods to provide safe, stable, resource-filled environments is key to family success. Thus, Friends of the Family provides programs and services that strengthen and empower families while also serving as a catalyst for community organization and enrichment, positively enhancing the capacity of residents to advocate for themselves and their children.
WHAT WE DO Friends of the Family currently provides a range of programs designed to strengthen family members at all ages and stages of life. Individuals,families, children and youth of all ages have access to a wide range of services, activities, resources, and supports. Some programs focus on managing crisis situations while others focus on building life skills that support successful family life, thriving children, and the achievement of educational goals and economic advancement. All programs are designed to build on the strengths of participants and combine practical education, coaching, and mentoring with creative activities that empower and enrich their experience.
Programs are provided both at Friends of the Family’s central location in Van Nuys and at a range of more than fifty community sites, including schools, churches, and community centers in order to ensure maximum access for all families. All community-based programs are provided free of charge to participants.
WHY WE'RE HERE We are passionate advocates on behalf of children and families. We know that none of us make it alone. We are all challenged by the demands of family life, and even more so during difficult times. No one is immune from the impact of these challenges, but nowhere are they harder felt than in the neighborhoods we serve. Poverty, violence, overcrowded living conditions, overtaxed public schools and systems, and family stresses all combine to create a hopeless sense that things may never be different. We are here to say otherwise.
Acting as a combination of family, neighbor, and professional, we help parents meet their children’s needs, we help children reach their potential and we help communities support their residents. After almost 40 years, Friends of the Family stays true to its original commitment to families and communities. We are here to be the place where children and families learn to dream and build their lives.