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Growing Up Where the Code is BE STRONG AND TRUST NO ONE!
~ Otis D. Ward, Jr.

October 4, 2021
Our new Outreach Program Manager, Otis Ward, who has been with Family Paths since 2019 as one of our Parent Education instructors, offers his perspective in response to this New York Times article about The Extra Stigma of Mental Illness for African-Americans.

I was Born in Berkeley and raised up in East Oakland. I have experienced my share of trauma but learned to deal with my issues by suppressing them and imbedding my anger deep inside my heart. This is how most people grow up in communities like Oakland, California where the code is be strong and trust no one!

I never understood the disparities which surrounded me while growing up as a youth. I used to think counseling services were only for extreme mental health illnesses until I received counseling some 5 years ago. I grew up believing the only time someone received counseling was if they were in extreme crisis and needed hospitalization. Through my personal experiences and education, I learned this was not the truth.

A few years ago, I had some problems that were affecting me at work, as well as in my personal life. A friend recommended counseling, and after much thought I decided to get help! The extra support got me through a tough time and prevented me from making some bad decisions.

Today I’m an advocate for mental health services and continue to seek counseling in various areas when needed, which has added to my success in life.

Many suffer from traumatizing issues, and because of the “word on the streets,” many believe they can overcome the monsters which haunt them daily on their own, especially people of color. I’m thankful for my friend today for caring enough about me to refer behavioral health services as a better way of support in life!

Otis Ward, Family Paths’ Outreach Manager

Who Will Help the Children?
~ Barbra Silver, Executive Director

July 20, 2021

Throughout the country and here in Alameda County, demands for mental health services for children are exceeding the capacity of the system. At my own agency, we are now seeing a mental health crises at younger ages, particularly among youth under 12. Some as young as 8. This includes suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors and impacts of sexual abuse.

According to recent report in the New York Times, “Even before the pandemic, a mental health crisis was brewing among children struggling with bullying, abuse, eating disorders, racism or undiagnosed mental health conditions. But now, children are facing even more stressors, like the loss of a family member to Covid-19, adjusting to remote school or the anxiety of returning to in-person school.” 8-Year-Olds in Despair: The Mental Health Crisis Is Getting Younger

As we anticipate the opening of schools and prepare ourselves and our systems for this surge of need, we are also experiencing state-wide mental health workforce shortages. We must understand the risks of not investing fully in mental health prevention and early intervention and the benefits of fully supporting the continuum of services that supports both parents and children through stressful life circumstances combined with the impact of social inequities. This also includes investing government and private dollars to provide for a well-trained, and fairly compensated workforce to respond to these challenging issues before children end up needing emergency services. For those most vulnerable, these services are primarily provided by non-profit organizations who have deep ties to diverse communities and can adapt to shifting trends rapidly.

The mental health crisis will have far reaching consequences – life and death consequences. Rising to these challenges as a society to say children’s lives are worth the investment is essential.

Barbra Silver, Family Paths’ Executive Director

News

Growing Up Where the Code is BE STRONG AND TRUST NO ONE!

Our new Outreach Program Manager, Otis Ward, who has been with Family Paths since 2019 as one of our Parent Education instructors, offers his perspective in response to this New York Times article about Read More

DRAG QUEEN STORY TIME

DRAG QUEEN STORY  Read More

Who Will Help the Children? by Executive Director Barbra Silver

Throughout the country and here in Alameda County, demands for mental health services for children are exceeding the capacity of the system. At my own agency, we are now seeing a mental health crises at younger ages, particularly among youth under 12. Some as...

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We thank The Greater Good Science Center for helping us develop our parenting classes.

Two years ago this month, a grant from The Greater Good Science Center helped us...

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Fall 2020 Quarterly Newsletter: New Board Members and more

CLICK HERE to read about our new Board members, new and returning staff, COVID...

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Top Tips for Staying Cool in the Heat

It’s hot out there Alameda County! We know many homes don’t have air conditioning or can’t afford running air conditioning 24/7 to keep your home cool. In normal times we would escape to a movie theater...

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Responding to Children’s Mental Health Needs – Parents Need Support Too

By Executive Director Barbra Silver August 11, 2020 According to doctors across the county, concerns are rising about the impact of the pandemic and the increase in family stress on children’s mental health. As discussed in a recent New...

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Letter of Solidarity from Family Paths

It is challenging and difficult times. With each death of an unarmed black person we are reminded again and again of the brutal impact of racism and legacy of pain that many in our community live with on a daily basis and others of...

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SAFE SLEEP 101: 6 Steps to Safe Sleep your baby from birth to one year

Safe Sleep 101:

Learn the 6 Steps to always safe sleep your little one from birth to one year!

Read a PDF of the article Read More

5 Tips for Managing Family Stress During COVID-19

Our Top Five Tips for Managing Family Stress During COVID-19

Parents in Alameda County are experiencing a uniquely stressful time as they balance parenting,...

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Announcing Parenting Stress Helpline

After 48 years, our parent support hotline is now Parenting Stress Helpline. We are here to help with every day parenting stress, as well as time of crisis and increased stress. Call 1-800-829-3777 to speak to one of our counselors with questions about parenting skills, child development, to register for our classes, and also when you are at your wit's end and need help ASAP. Read more about why the change and what you can get from the Helpline by clicking Read More

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Fall updates from Family Paths - New Programs, New Faces, New Ways to Engage!
We've expanded programming and introduce our new BOOST! Program for CalWORKs Welfare to Work recipients.
We are happy to introduce you to some new...

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June 26 – Celebration of Fatherhood Event

We hope you can join us on Wednesday, June 26 for a FREE special event in celebration of dads, father-figures and male mentors and our new fatherhood programming. For info and to RSVP by June 21, visit our Eventbrite page HERE. Read More

President Willard Ogan resigns from the Family Paths Board

With abundant gratitude we bid a fond farewell to Willard Ogan, who presided over his last meeting of the Family Paths Board of Directors Thursday evening, April 25. Willard gave eight impassioned and selfless years of service to the agency and all the parents, children and families we serve. During his tenure, he celebrated great successes with us and stewarded us through challenging times. We wish Willard and his family all the best as he approaches retirement, and we thank him for all the...

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Family Paths weighs in on Active School Shooter drills in schools

Kimberly Cohn, psychologist and Family Paths' Head of Development, was featured on KTVU-Channel 2 on Feb 13, 2019 discussing the trend of school shooting drills and the potential trauma it causes for our children. Have these surprise drills been done at your child's school? What has been your...

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2018 Toy Drives help make it a happy holiday for our clients!

The "Toy Store" in our Hayward office is open for business Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20 as parents and caregivers of children we serve "shop" for free from the array of toys, games, art supplies and stocking stuffers generously donated by students, their families and staff at two local schools - Wildwood and Beach...

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2018-2018 Winter Shelters & Warming Stations

Winter Shelter and Warming Stations in Alameda County

CLICK HERE for a listing for winter shelters (open every night during the winter months) and warming stations (shelters open only in rainy or cold weather) in Alameda County. Print the list and share with those who need it. For additional information about accessing shelters, transitional housing, and other...

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Be Inspired by the Impact ~ Read Our 2018 Annual Report

It's here! In Family Paths' 2018 Annual Report, not only do we attempt to thank our wonderful donors, volunteers and supporters, but we share the positive impact your donation dollars have on the Alameda County...

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Trauma and Triggers: How to Respond by Barbra Silver, Executive Director

Trauma and Triggers: How to Respond

By Barbra Silver, Family Paths' Executive Director

  As millions of people watched the heart wrenching testimony...

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Women’s Leadership Luncheon 2018 – September 21

We hope you will join us for our Women's Leadership Luncheon 2018 on September 21 with a keynote by Piper Payne, music industry entrepreneur and Chief Mastering Engineer/Owner of Neato Mastering and Co-Founder at Second Line Vinyl. You don't want to miss Piper's Keynote: "Quality and Equality in Oakland's Evolving Music Industry Ecosystem". Tix available now! Read More

Congratulations to Alameda County Fathers Corps on its 5th anniversary!

Family Paths is a proud partner of Fathers Corps, and incorporate their Father Friendly Principles in all aspects of our work. We congratulate Co-Founders Kevin Bremond and Gary Thompson and everyone at Fathers Corps, First 5 Alameda and Alameda County Public Health Dept. on their very successful first 5 years and wish them many more!

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Thanks to Family Paths, Dad Has New Hope for His Daughter’s Future

CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES: “Vanessa” -

Initially, Vanessa was depressed. She lived with her dad, who was worried about her ever since her mom died. He wanted her to have a better life than he did and wasn’t sure if that was possible. She was now in middle school and had no friends, got into arguments and fights daily and walked around with her hoodie up, face covered and eyes down. This is how she started therapy at Family Paths – barely a nod from her slumped position in...

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An Important Message from Board President, Willard Ogan

An important message from Family Paths' Board President, Willard Ogan: Offering mental health and supportive services to low-income children and families impacted by trauma and abuse, Family Paths provides over $54,000 in pro bono services to close the gap between our current government funding and meeting the needs of...

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Exciting WLL After-Party Announcement!

We are thrilled to announce the two HOT musicians who will be lighting up our happy hour VIP After-Party following the luncheon.

KEV CHOICE, 2014 Oakland Soul Indie Award winner, and JENNIFER JOHNS, who has opened for marquee...

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Accolades

Award-winning, innovative programming at Family Paths

“Excellent tools and wonderful, compassionate leaders. This class is a gift to the community.” ~ Finding Peace Within participant.

CONGRATULATIONS! Family Paths’ Finding Peace Within group is the recipient of the Alameda County Mental Health Advisory Board’s 2018 Community Service Award in...

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Oakland Mayor’s Proclamation – October 2015

See the entire Proclamation by Mayor Libby Schaaf HERE

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CA State Assembly Recognition – October 2015

See the entire Recognition presented by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond HERE

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Multimedia

Media Kit

Click HERE for our Media Kit, including:

  • Quick Facts
  • Family Paths Logos
  • Press Releases
  • Videos
  • Articles

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Past Events

PARENT EDUCATION CLASS – OAKLAND

2015 Nov 25 5:00 pm

EVERY MONDAY, JULY 6 – SEPTEMBER 28  |  7:00pm to 9:00pm

Our Positive Parenting Classes are appropriate for all types of families – expecting parents, parents of children of all ages, foster and kinship care providers, adoptive parents, LGBT families and others involved in parenting roles. Our curriculum is designed to provide parents with an understanding of parenting skills and knowledge, particularly in the areas of child development, communication, discipline and self-awareness, while emphasizing the importance of self-care. Our goal is to provide parents with the tools they need to create a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment.
Classes are offered in both English and Spanish and in several locations throughout Alameda County. Free childcare is provided onsite

PARENT EDUCATION CLASSES – OAKLAND

2015 Jul 6 7:00 pm

EVERY MONDAY, JULY 6 – SEPTEMBER 28  |  7:00pm to 9:00pm

Our Positive Parenting Classes are appropriate for all types of families – expecting parents, parents of children of all ages, foster and kinship care providers, adoptive parents, LGBT families and others involved in parenting roles. Our curriculum is designed to provide parents with an understanding of parenting skills and knowledge, particularly in the areas of child development, communication, discipline and self-awareness, while emphasizing the importance of self-care. Our goal is to provide parents with the tools they need to create a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment.
Classes are offered in both English and Spanish and in several locations throughout Alameda County. Free childcare is provided onsite