Founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children is the oldest children’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the region accredited by The Joint Commission for its excellence in quality of care. The Center provides evidence-based therapeutic, educational, foster care and transition age services to children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Today, with 8 program sites and community-based services within hundreds of homes and schools across San Diego County, the Center empowers over 1,000 people every day.

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission

Protect the joy of childhood. Prevent emotional suffering. Incite change.

Our Vision

Inspire a world where all children and families live joyful and healthy lives.

Our Values


Everyone experiences a positive, friendly, inviting environment when they connect with the San Diego Center for Children.


Our 130 years of experience focusing on strengths and successes give us the confidence to know we can help children and families.


We provide and promote excellence in all we do to improve the lives of those we serve and our community.


We promote the health and well-being of the whole person and the safety of their environment.


We value and seek the opinions and thoughts of others. We strategically partner to achieve common goals to make a greater impact.


We regard others with understanding, empathy and a willingness to help.