Model & Strategy

A Home Within seeks to heal the trauma of chronic loss experienced by foster children and to improve the foster care system by providing consistent support through professional therapy services. Under the guidance of senior clinicians, licensed mental health providers in the private sector volunteer to see one child in weekly psychotherapy until the treatment comes to a natural close.

The network of clinicians in A Home Within helps youth to break the cycle of childhood trauma. In addition to promoting direct services, A Home Within fulfills its mission through professional training programs, public awareness campaigns and advocacy. The therapy provided to this vulnerable population is often a transformative experience that reduces anxiety, stress, dissociate states and many other symptoms—ultimately enabling foster children to become healthy, productive members of their communities.

At a Glance
Founded: 2001
Founder: Toni Heineman
Current Executive Director: Reed Connell
Health
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast, West Coast, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast
A Home Within
San Francisco, CA
One child, one therapist, for as long as it takes
Meet Toni Heineman

Dr. Toni Heineman is the founder of A Home Within, the only national organization focused exclusively on the emotional well-being of foster youth. She is Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco in Psychiatry and has been in private practice in San Francisco, working with adults, children, and families for over 30 years.

Toni is the author of several articles focused on psychotherapy with children and has made numerous presentations to lay and professional audiences about the mental health issues facing children and parents.  She is author of An Abused Child: Psychodynamic Understanding and Treatment and Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of Loss and Hope.  She is co-editor of Building A Home Within: Meeting the Emotional Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care, and Treating Trauma: Relationship-Based Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.

Reed Connell joined A Home Within as Executive Director in 2020. Reed has 20 years of experience in foster care, mental health, housing, and special education settings, and has worked with a range of organizations on resource, program, and capacity development. He is the co-founder of Social Change Partners, LLC, which supports nonprofits and government in meeting the needs of children and families.

IMPACT

A Home Within envisions a world in which foster children are counted among those who have at least one stable, consistent adult who loves and cares for them.

More than 1,800 therapists have already worked with over 1,500 children, teens, and young adults and A Home Within clinical volunteers provide approximately 16,000 hours of therapy per year to this highly vulnerable population.

A Home Within also has an online Education & Training program to reach non-clinicians in the foster care system, schools, family courts, and families. The program offers trainings and tools to help understand the impact of early trauma and implement relationship-based practices to deliver trauma-informed care.

  • We asked former foster youth Jessica at @voicessonoma what motivated her to go to therapy the most, and this was he… https://t.co/oPJId2l6QG
  • Amber shared her thoughts at our last event. It's true - our volunteers are fabulous! Thank you Amber, Odelia, and… https://t.co/OHl9tEaH0j
  • Foster Care Unplugged is a Broadway production that showcases foster youth's experiences. @TheImprintNews article:… https://t.co/IgxTGIccNJ
  • FosterStrong is a nonprofit composed of foster care alumni that seek to elevate the voices of foster youth by shari… https://t.co/oRW8SnHYlv
  • Mitch has been receiving therapy through AHW for nearly 10 years. His full story: https://t.co/ucx2umxP0C. Apply t… https://t.co/lNnRuqbERG
  • Emily has volunteered as a therapist and Clinical Director with us since May 2021. If you'd like to learn more abou… https://t.co/mFgJbuw8ca
  • Join us for our next FREE CE EVENT on October 15th at 10am! We will be hearing from our friends at VOICES. Register… https://t.co/GhAdflBWt4
  • Our newest article is a spotlight on AHW's Hudson Valley Chapter. To read more, click here https://t.co/6k6qih8m3V.… https://t.co/ZWhgINLcRH
  • We take joy in changing lives for the better. If you connected with your therapist through AHW, please email chriss… https://t.co/PGDhxDlr8s
  • We envision a world in which every foster child has a relationship with at least one consistent, caring adult. If y… https://t.co/eTok2u1ODO
  • Foster youth in LA are asking for help. AHW connects them with free therapy, but we've currently got a waitlist in… https://t.co/4qcdWNKuQE
  • Elizabeth Earnshaw has been a #volunteer clinician in our Philadelphia chapter since 2016. We couldn't do what we d… https://t.co/5jhcUcqeLF
  • FREE CE Workshop Saturday, 9/25! Dr. Ling Lam will present "Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory to Working wi… https://t.co/xM8SJHhSD8
  • 📣 Calling all NYC therapists! 📣 We have more foster youth on the NYC waitlist than therapists available. If you… https://t.co/NgjpSvN2a0
  • A Washington Post article highlights the decline in children's mental health + a national shortage of therapists. R… https://t.co/fCqjYkucBh
  • If you or anyone you know are a licensed therapist in the DC Area, please consider donating one hour per week to se… https://t.co/5rGZfL4gLG
  • A former A Home Within client, Sammy, shares about his experience in therapy. To hear the rest of his inspiring s… https://t.co/jxCOsVKb7Z
  • Mark your calendars! We are offering a Continuing Education Workshop on Thursday, September 9th from 12-3pm: Meanin… https://t.co/8sT7CErLcs
  • If you're a licensed therapist with 1 hour per week to spare, we encourage you to learn more about the benefits of… https://t.co/PCVCmqLoqe
  • In the past 2 months, we've welcomed 12 new volunteer therapists! That means 12 foster youth are receiving the rel… https://t.co/EeOzUifTri