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Optimist’s Family Finding Program is a way to locate family members via Internet search mechanisms.  This is aided by formulating family trees from memory, searching old case files for telephone numbers and addresses, and interviewing old neighbors.  Once a family is located, a great deal of discussion happens amongst the Family Finder, youth and the therapist (if different from the Family Finder).  The next steps are determined by the circumstances of each youth and the located relative. 

Many of the located relatives respond positively.  There are numerous accounts of family finding programs nationwide and statewide that give testimonials from “found” relatives who state they are happy to hear from the youth and have often wondered what happened to the child.  However, the Family Finder still proceeds with caution. Our Family Finding staff is still bound by confidentiality and the youth may shy away from divulging their location and circumstances until a later period or comfort level is reached.

Family Finding is not necessarily a plan to find a relative with the sole purpose of them
adopting the youth.  Family Finding is a success when relatives can be located and a
lasting connection can be established.  If the reconnection establishes nothing more than a report of a family history, periodic conversations, invitations to holiday gatherings/events, and our youth knows they are truly connected to others in the intimate way that family is, then it is successful.

For more information, please contact:
Brenda Watts-Bell
"My family or Mi familia is the most important thing in the world, just like Optimist!"
-Raquel Welch, Actress

Optimist Youth Homes
& Family Services

6957 N. Figueroa St. Box 41-1076 Los Angeles, CA 90041-1076
Telephone: (323) 443-3175

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Operated in collaboration with County Departments of Probation, this program was initiated to help several of our young men and women establish lasting, permanent relationships with significant family members who otherwise would not have been available to them.