Originally founded in 1900, Stanford Sierra Youth & Families (SSYAF) has remained committed to helping vulnerable youth and families since inception. Over the span of SSYAF’s 120-plus-year history, the organization has transitioned from an orphanage to a community-based organization focused on ensuring every young person has a family and the tools to overcome their challenges and become healthy, happy and successful.
With a merger in 2019, Stanford Youth Solutions and Sierra Forever Families became Stanford Sierra Youth & Families, offering a greater depth of services, staff, resources and expertise. Today, SSYAF provides a continuum of care to empower youth and families to overcome challenges together and connects youth in foster care to the permanent loving families they need and deserve.
“Over the years, our organization has continuously evolved to meet the needs of youth and families,” says Dr. Laura Heintz, CEO. “What hasn’t changed is our commitment to help youth overcome obstacles, develop life skills and grow into self-sufficient adults. We support the entire family with professional treatment and compassionate care so every youth has the opportunity to thrive.”
“We support the entire family with professional treatment and compassionate care so every youth has the opportunity to thrive.” Dr. Laura Heintz, CEO
SSYAF’s services include family stabilization, behavioral/mental health services, substance use prevention and treatment, juvenile justice intervention, mentoring, foster care, and pre- and post-adoption support. These programs are uniquely designed to help end the child welfare cycle by keeping children safe and together with family, in school and out of trouble.
In the coming year, SSYAF expects that its community-based programs will benefit more than 6,000 youth and families throughout 17 Northern California counties.
Looking to get involved? There is a critical need for foster/adopt families to provide the love, safety and unconditional commitment that youth in foster care need and deserve. Make a difference in the lives of local youth through SSYAF today — Foster/Adopt, Mentor and/or Donate. For more information, call (916) 344-0199 or visit online at www.ssyaf.org.