Mental Health Services in Northern California

All children, teens, and families cared for by AFS are learning how to cope with the events that precipitated their involvement with the child welfare system. Every youth endures a different level of personal grief and trauma with the loss caused by the separation from their family.

Community, Office, Home, & School-Based Mental Health Services

AFS provides family-centered and community-based services designed to meet the mental health needs of children, teens, and families involved with foster care, adoptions, and juvenile probation. AFS collaborates with biological and foster parents, child welfare workers, foster care support staff, schools, and community providers to ensure quality healthcare services when addressing the mental health needs of children, youth, and families.

AFS Mental Health Evidence-Based Practices

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is specifically designed to help individuals suffering from PTSD or other significant traumas.
  • Motivational Interviewing helps individuals fight antipathy and instigate self-directed behavioral changes.
  • AFS’s Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) helps both biological and foster parents understand mental health needs in youth and provide thoughtful, relevant support.

AFS Mental Health Evidence-Informed Practices

  • The WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP) is a culturally competent, therapeutic, parent coaching model for caregivers raising trauma-informed children/teens who present with significant emotional and behavioral challenges that are beyond conventional parenting strategies and not typically responsive to outpatient psychotherapy.
  • High-Fidelity Wraparound is wraparound used as a strengths-based planning process that occurs in a team setting to engage with children, youth, and their families. Wraparound shifts focus away from a traditional service-driven, problem-based approach to care and instead follows a strengths-based, needs-driven approach.
  • Integrated Listening Systems research-based, non-invasive multisensory programs include music, movement, breathing, meditation, and language exercises designed to support individuals experiencing difficulties with:
    • Anxiety/Depression • Attention/Memory Difficulties • Behavior Regulation • Learning Differences • Sleep Disturbances • Social Challenges

AFS School and Community-based Mental Health Services

AFS Community & Home Based mental health care allows clinicians to stabilize and strengthen families in schools, homes, and communities making interventions and teachable moments more applicable and impactful. Some services are preventative, assisting families so a child or teen is able to stay in the home. Other services are implemented once a youth has been placed in care.

  • Reunification: AFS works within a family’s environment to rebuild family relationships and work towards reunification.
  • Adoption: AFS supports families both before and after adoption, helping them to stabilize and gain insight into the emotional issues confronting them.
  • Placement Stabilization: AFS works collaboratively with children, youths, and foster families to reduce tension, realign expectations and increase understanding and empathy within the foster family. This helps to create the space for important permanency work.
  • Emancipation: Our intensive one-to-one support is designed to reach difficult-to-engage children and adolescents, striving to increase their access to community resources and build the extended family supports necessary for a stable life.
  • Individual and Family Therapy: AFS therapists provide therapy for a wide range of issues to foster youth and families as part of the overall treatment plan, in order to achieve more positive outcomes in reunifications and foster care placements.

Telepsychiatry (Alameda County)

AFS Telepsychiatry services is a branch of telemedicine, which provides psychiatric care remotely through live and interactive video conferencing. Telepsychiatry provides easy and timely access to needed care in order to better serve our families. AFS telepsychiatry provides:

  • Consultation and Collaboration of Care with the Clinician
  • Mental Health Evaluation
  • Medication Assessment
  • Prescribed Medication as Needed
  • Follow-up Care
  • Advantages of AFS Telepsychiatry
  • Convenient for Children and Their Families
  • Bi-lingual Services in English and Spanish
  • Reduce Delays In Mental Health Assessment
  • Monthly Basic Physical Health Assessment
  • Easy Accessibility for Children
  • Technology Support for Children and Their Families
  • Supports Children’s Mental Health and Well-being

Insurance Accepted: Medi-Cal

Telepsychiatry Office Contact Information: Oakland Office, 401 Roland Way. Suite 150, Oakland, CA 94621

Renee Burnett, Telepsychiatry Aid (510) 423-2236

Therapeutic & Supervised Visitation Services

AFS provides Therapeutic Visitation Services to provide counseling and support for foster youths that have entered foster care and their biological parents. Highly skilled AFS staff facilitate therapeutic sessions between biological parents and their child who is residing in foster care. These sessions are called, "Therapeutic Visitations." During these visits, clinicians work to assess, address, and teach the family how to work through a variety of situations. Upon completion of the required number of visits, the family will have learned essential family and life skills to resolve conflicts and avoid escalation to violence or abuse more effectively. Go to our Therapeutic Visitation page for more information.

The Gathering Place

In partnership with Alameda County, AFS runs The Gathering Place, which provides therapeutic visitation services.

Note: The foster care mental health services provided by AFS are solely for the Northern California foster youth and families we work with and support. For more information about how to access mental health services through AFS, feel free to reach out to us by phone at 800-300-1022 or via email at