Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One-stop shopping for at-risk families

Children's Bureau Family and Community Center breaks ground
With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's support

Press release, Children's Bureau, Feb. 16, 2007.

LOS ANGELES -- Children's Bureau, a 103-year-old nonprofit leader in child abuse prevention and treatment, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Family and Community Center set to open in early 2008.

The ceremony officially marked the start of renovations on a46,000 sq. ft. facility that will serve mostly low-income, ethnically diverse immigrant communities near downtown Los Angeles. The Family and CommunityCenter is made possible through a $20 million capital campaign undertaken by the organization.

Close to 200 supporters of Children's Bureau participated in the ceremony including: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angels County Board of Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, Court TV personality and child advocate Rikki Klieman-Bratton, local families and children and donors to the campaign.

The ambitious project aims to help low-income families with young children by offering four interlocking services: 1) child abuse prevention; 2) kindergarten readiness; 3) health and wellness promotion and 4) economic stability.

These efforts have been deemed necessary to foster productive and successful family dynamics by organizations such as the Los Angeles Children's Planning Council, the Department of Children and Family Services and First 5 LA.

"This Center represents an extraordinary evolution in how society will ultimately spare children from the social ills of abuse, poor health, school failure and delinquency," said Alex Morales, Children's Bureau president and chief executive officer. "By co-locating services in one place, we have created a comprehensive approach that engages families and empowers communities."

The Center is expected to serve more than 6,000 at-risk children and parents annually and will strive to be a model for other child-advocate organizations throughout the nation.

David Fleming, Children's Bureau board member and vice chair of the Los Angeles Children's Planning Council said, "The new Center is a wonderful illustration of a private organization taking the recommendations of government and bringing them together in an exciting and innovative way that has not been done before."

Children's Bureau worked with architects House & Robertson and design specialists Rios Clementi Hale Studios to create an attractive, lively and safe place for the entire community.

About Children's Bureau
For over 100 years, Children's Bureau has been a nonprofit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. More than 14,000 children and families are helped each year throughout Southern California with services that include foster care, adoption, school-readiness, parenting education, family resource centers, support groups, mental health counseling and more.

For more information about Children's Bureau, please visit


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