United Advocates for Children and Families (UACF) is a non profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for all children and youth with mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges and to eliminate institutional discrimination and social stigma.
We are dedicated to empowering parents, caregivers, children, and youth through education, training, and technical assistance programs and services to ensure families are present at every level of decision making. We work to keep families informed on important news and events by providing monthly opportunities for networking and collaboration and extensive communications and outreach efforts . UACF also operates a direct services program for and by families in various counties of the state.
Parent Partners are the key to family-focused, family-driven services and work to directly engage and support families, convey information on how to effectively navigate systems and work collaboratively with community partners. Parent Partners help parents and families remain engaged and informed in order to meet the individual needs of their child or youth.
Meeting the mental health needs of children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs is a persistent challenge. Children and youth with mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues deserve access to the best possible mental health care but unfortunately, such services can be difficult to obtain. Parents, caregivers, and family members can help by being informed, involved and persistent advocates on for their children and youth.
The purpose of the Statewide Family Network Program (SWFN) is to enhance State capacity and infrastructure to be more oriented to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families.
Goals and Objectives:
The UACF approach is founded upon three main building blocks toward a more effective service delivery system that is family driven and youth guided:
In 2004, California voters approved Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to build an effective community-based mental health system. Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs are the heart of this system that aims to connect people with treatment and services early on in an illness and dramatically reduce the negative consequences of leaving mental illness untreated until it reaches our emergency rooms, jails and streets.
The UACF Leadership Institute was established to empower families to coach, mentor, lead, and use their ‘lived experience’ to bring positive transformation to the mental health system. Through natural community support systems that connect families to existing local resources, the Institute builds bridges between family members, providers, and mental health professionals to help children, youth, and their families experiencing mental health issues.
Faith Share 360°, a spirituality-based mental health initiative designed by United Advocates for Children and Families, is a network of faith-based organizations that support the mental well-being of families, children and youth through the development of caring congregations.
The Working Well Together Technical Assistance Center ensures public mental health agencies are prepared to recruit, hire, train, support, and retain multicultural clients, family members, parents, and caregivers as employees within the public mental health system. WWT is a collaborative effort of UACF, NAMI California, and CAMHPRO PEERS devoted to advocacy and empowerment for mental health consumers, family members, parents, and transition aged youth (TAY).
UACF’s Heroes for Hope Community Chapters were developed to engage California families on a grassroots level. Chapters offer community based support groups, education and training, and resources to parents and families to help reduce the stigma of mental health issues, promote systems change, and build a network of diverse community members passionate about representing the family voice for the needs of children and youth.
Committed to Protecting Privacy
United Advocates for Children and Families is committed to protecting your privacy and developing technology that gives you the most powerful and safe online experience. This Statement of Privacy applies to the United Advocates for Children and Families Web site and governs data collection and usage. By using the United Advocates for Children and Families website, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.
If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers that provides resources and connections to individuals in your community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be returned as promptly as possible.