History of AFS

Alternative Family Services has provided foster care, adoption and mental health services in Northern California since 1978. AFS is a foster, adoptions and mental health agency that has been creating safe, permanent connections for foster children and youth in the Bay Area since 1978. The mission of Alternative Family Services is to support vulnerable children and families in need of stability, safety and well-being in communities.


AFS currently serves the diverse and varied needs of approximately 1,500 foster youth, plus their biological and foster families, in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Sacramento Region. Services provided by AFS include therapeutic foster care, intensive services foster care, support for foster children with developmental disabilities, therapeutic visitation, emergency shelter placements, community-based mental health services, transitional housing support, independent life skills training, and much more.


AFS employs case workers, home approvers, office managers, case aides, mental health clinicians, family counselors and other staff members of all creeds, colors, religions and walks of life. AFS is a vibrant community - a rich tapestry comprised of diverse staff, foster, adoptive, and biological families, volunteers and community partners who have been helping foster children and youth since 1978. We celebrate diversity, equal opportunity and excellence. AFS employs about 200 staff members from more than 12 countries with education ranging from high school graduates to PhDs to provide a wide range of foster, adoption, mental health and transition-aged youth services in English and Spanish.