The Gathering Place

Mental Health Services

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place is a collaborative project among Alternative Family Services (AFS), Alameda County Social Services Agency and Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. The Gathering Place provides a safe, comfortable, family-friendly environment where referred parents and children who have been separated can complete their visits and receive a range of services including therapeutic, supervised and observed visits. The Gathering Place is committed to maintaining family attachments during the difficult period of separation. It seeks to eliminate obstacles to visitation while promoting positive family interaction.

The Gathering Place Services and Features

  • Three levels of services: Therapeutic, Supervised and Observed
  • Full kitchen and dining room allowing parents to cook and eat with their children
  • Age appropriate visiting rooms for infants, toddlers, teens and families
  • Meals and snacks available for families during visits
  • Family access to outdoor walking trails, park and play areas
  • Center and Community-based visitation experiences and opportunities
  • Guest Lounge for County Workers with phone, computers and WiFi access
  • Family Lounge and Library with computer/WiFi access and resource material
  • Free parking at The Gathering Place
  • Within walking distance from the AC Transit 98 bus line (Oakland)
  • Within 1/2 mile of food and shopping
  • Limited transportation assistance

Levels of Services


  • Visits are guided by trained clinicians
  • Children referred for this service must be Alameda County dependents with Full-Scope Medi-Cal and meet eligibility requirements for EPSDT services
  • Therapeutic visits focus on improving family functioning, promoting positive parent-child interactions, reducing the impact of separation and improving parenting skills


  • Supervised visits are managed by trained Support Counselors
  • Some activities may include: direct observation, supportive feedback and practice of positive parenting skills
  • Individual sessions with parents can be scheduled to debrief, review and practice parenting skills that are utilized during visits


  • Observed visits are the least restrictive services offered
  • Support Counselors periodically observe families throughout the visit
  • The Support Counselor is available to collaborate with parents to prepare for visits, provide feedback and guidance, answer questions and debrief after sessions

The Gathering Place Oakland
401 Roland Way, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94621
Telephone Number: (510) 746-2800
Fax Number: (510) 746-2810

Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Thursday, 9:00am – 8:00pm
Friday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday – Monday, Closed

The Gathering Place Pleasanton
5167 Johnson Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Telephone Number: (925) 474-2154
Fax Number: (925) 474-2156

Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Thursday, 9:00am – 8:00pm
Friday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday – Monday, Closed