Kids & Families Together is a not-for-profit support, education, and counseling resource center that provides services for individuals and families in foster/resource care, kinship care, legal guardianship, adoption, as well as birth families, for the preservation of families and the physical, emotional, and mental health of children.
We opened our doors on January 1, 2000 after various individuals in the foster/resource, kinship, and adoptive communities came together to discuss the gaps they saw in services throughout Ventura County.
Kids & Families Together is a contractor for Ventura County Human Services Agency, Ventura County Behavioral Health, and Ventura County Community College District.
We are continually seeking out innovative programs to meet the needs of our community. For a list of current programs offered, please click here.
Kids & Families Together’s mission is to strengthen relationships by providing safe, supportive help that keeps family members emotionally connected to one another.
We are committed to providing a welcoming, empathetic, and non-judgmental environment where you feel safe sharing your story and exploring your relationships. We value and embrace diversity and inclusiveness and want everyone who walks through our doors to feel safe and welcome here. Our goal is to help you strengthen emotional bonds with the important people in your life and make sense of your past and present. We believe people do the best they can, given what they know at the time, and always have the capacity to learn and grow. We are honored to support and guide you and your family on your journey to healing.
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” ― Virginia Satir
Kids & Families Together utilizes a trauma and attachment-focused approach and has adoption-competent therapists. We provide specialized education and support that will enhance the ability of parents and caregivers to create and promote healthy families. Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, loss, grief, and multiple placements often need extraordinary care, understanding, and attachment-focused, trauma-informed therapeutic interventions. To learn more about our therapeutic approach, click here.
Successful parenting takes dedication and hard work. Because it is more likely to happen when parents are supported by a team of family advocates, we are committed to bringing the best of guidance and resources to our foster/resource, kinship, adoptive, and birth families.
In addition to our counseling services, Kids & Families Together offers a supportive resource center where individuals, families and community members can meet and share information and concerns. Foster care, kinship care and adoption are more than legal arrangements; they are life-long processes made in the heart and soul.
Our clinical team includes Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists as well as Marriage and Family Therapist Associates and Associate Clinical Social Workers.
Our Support Programs team includes Peer Partner & Educators (para-professionals with the lived experience of being kinship/resource caregivers).
Our Parent Support Services Program team includes Parent Educators (para-professionals) as well as Parent Partners (para-professionals with the lived experience of being involved with child welfare and successfully reunifying with their children).
Every Family has the Potential to Thrive!
Despite having a loving and supportive adoptive family, Faith grew up always having unsettling feelings about being adopted. She would often catch herself thinking about her birth family. Without fail, each year on her birthday she would wonder if her birth mom ever thought about her. While growing up, she felt as if she had no place to go and no one to talk to that understood the reasons why she felt incomplete. She came from an era where adoption was viewed as a solution to a problem with no concern for the future ramifications that stem from the complexity of the adoption experience. For these reasons Faith’s fascination with family relationships and the adoption process turned into a lifelong mission.
Faith and her husband David Friedlander started with a shared passion to help others build strong and healthy relationships; they often dreamt of having their own support center. David told Faith “Why don’t you make adoption a specialty for something in your life? It is your passion, unique and different.” Social workers are simply too overworked to give foster and adoptive children the long-term care and consideration they need. Faith and her close friend Bev began meeting with social workers on a regular basis to develop a vision for Kids & Families Together (K&FT). She would ask, “What do you need? How can we fill in the gaps? What does our community need?”
After Faith had been working as a Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years and attended the North American Council on Adoptable Children, David, Faith, and Bev were given a unique opportunity to make their passion a reality. Another friend, with connections to a family foundation, offered them the initial funding they needed to create K&FT if they were able to gain nonprofit status. Within five months of this offer, the doors of K&FT were opened on January 1, 2000. Since the opening, David and Faith have never ceased to search for new ways to fill in gaps in the welfare system.
K&FT is a unique not-for-profit organization that not only treats children who come from foster/resource, adoptive, or kinship families but also the guardians of these children that need support and new techniques to create a cohesive family dynamic. David and Faith recognize that traditional white-walled therapy rooms can be uncomfortable and intimidating. To combat this, they purposefully established the K&FT support center in a charming Victorian house with white trim, made complete with modified bedrooms to fit therapy needs. The homey environment allows clients to feel safe and comfortable during treatment.
When asked, “When was the first time you realized you were making a difference?” Faith responded, “There was no particular moment that comes to mind, just knowing that parents would say ‘I feel like you are really listening and you get it, how hard it is. And I feel like you aren’t blaming me and you care that it is this hard and we are going to work together as a team to make this better.’”