Reuniting Families

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Featured Slider, News | 3 comments

Senior Vice President Joe Ford is passionate about the valuable work that happens at Hathaway-Sycamores’ El Nido residential campus. Adjacent to JPL, El Nido is “home” to some 50 boys from 6 to 18-years-old. The programs on campus include Foster Care and Adoption Services, Shelter Care and out-of-home care for boys with severe challenges that prevent them from living safely at home. The boys who come to the El Nido campus are at a critical crisis point in their lives. In addition to mental health issues, the youth may have substance abuse issues, and many have suffered from trauma, abuse or neglect in the past. Joe and the caring staff at El Nido are dedicated to helping the youth turn the situation around to create more promising futures.

Hathaway-Sycamores' Joe Ford

Senior Vice President Joe Ford

Working on campus can be tough at times, as Joe observes, “It’s pretty sad to imagine a kid that doesn’t have a place to live at six years old, but yes, that happens.” Joe continues, “We get youth referred to us from Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Mental Health and the Probation Department. Sometimes they are brought here in a sheriff’s car and they are at the most problematic times in their lives when they typically need some stability, a safe environment, and to connect with somebody who understands what they are going through. That’s what we provide for them in our short-term Shelter Care. In our residential facility we are working with the kids more long-term (6 months average) and putting them on a path to permanency.”

Joe’s main goal is to help reunite families whenever possible. He is a big believer in Hathaway-Sycamores’ long established practice of providing support to the entire family and continuing to do so once the youth returns home. “At Hathaway-Sycamores we pride ourselves on innovation. That’s the way we are lead from the top down.” In the past, typically a youth in a residential facility would get treatment and then return home. When the family didn’t get any help, problems often reoccurred and recidivism increased. At Hathaway-Sycamores we work with the whole family as a client, not just the youth. Joe explains, “We have a child and family team meeting process, and it’s a team of people working with the youth and their family as one client.” It truly is a unified team approach where relatives, clinicians, case workers and psychiatrists create a plan and work together to reunite children with their families. The same staff that work with the youth at El Nido continue to provide services after they leave and return home. The value of this approach is now recognized industry-wide and is being employed by others in the field too. Joe sums up, “Our job is to get them home, and our community really needs this work. We collaborate with the community to solve community problems, and one of them is making sure that our most vulnerable youth have successful opportunities in life like others do. That’s what we do here.”

Guests at our upcoming Celebrating Children event will have the opportunity to meet some of the youth whose lives have been changed by the services they have received at El Nido. We hope you are making your plans to join us for the event on Saturday October 7, 2017 at the Los Angeles Zoo. In addition to being a fun evening for the whole family, funds raised from the event will support programs at our El Nido campus. Click here to learn more about Celebrating Children.




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  1. Rob Myers

    Great article on Joe Ford…..he truly makes the world a better place!

  2. Oliver

    His work is really a great help for youth. It can’t be forgotten.

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