Our Blog

The latest news and exciting developments

See also our blog for Foster Care and Adoption.

Wanting Children of Their Own...

October 9, 2014

Angela and her husband talked about adopting for years, but overseas adoption seemed all too overwhelming. One day, Angela picked up a brochure for Rebekah Children's Services’ Family Linkage Program, which provides an array of services to support children and families through the foster parenting and adoption process. 

After careful discussion, Angela and her husband contacted Rebekah Children’s Services to begin taking the steps that would bring together their future family. 

It wasn't long before they met their sons. Even though the brothers were only 4 and 7 years old, they had a lot of healing to do. But Rebekah’s Children’s Services was there to give their family “personalized services and attention”, ranging from guidance and advocacy to therapeutic services that would help the boys overcome past trauma and transition into their new lives.

Within about a year and a half, the adoptions were finalized. Six years later, the boys are now in middle school and high school. Not only have the brothers been able to stay together, but they have become cherished members of a loving family. 

“You have these children in your life,” Angela says. “They would have been people that we would have never met that I get to interact with every day… and help guide them through life… and provide a moral compass for the people that they will one day be.”

With the help of Rebekah Children’s Services, Angela has found, “The end result is the children you always wanted.”

Thanks to Angela and her husband, two young brothers share the life altering gift of dedicated, supportive parents who are helping them grow into responsible adults with bright futures. This is the kind of positive outcome that Rebekah Children’s Services strives to achieve for all of the children we serve. But the need is as pressing as ever.

This year, Rebekah Children’s Services is serving 61% more foster care children on average per month than last year, reaching the highest number of foster care children served in years. This represents a 61% greater need for assistance, guidance, and—most of all—loving homes. 

If you are unable to open your home to a child in need, there are other ways that you can help. Items needed include financial donations for the recruitment, training, and preparation of foster and adoptive homes; gift cards for the purchase of new clothes; and hygiene items for children coming out of emergency situations. For babies and toddlers placed with us under emergency circumstances, we also need infant essentials, such as formula, bottles, baby food, diapers, wipes, clothing, car seats, and pack’n plays.

Please help fulfill the growing need in our community:

  • $5,000 sponsors a foster family (recruitment, training, and home preparation)
  • $3,000 underwrites the placement of an infant or toddler (includes essentials such as formula, clothing, and car seats)
  • $1,000 supports two foster families through training
  • $500 purchases new clothes and toys for a foster child
  • $100 purchases hygiene items and school supplies for a teen placed in foster care

You can support a foster child today by donating online and designating "Family Linkage."

Help Support Rebekah Children's Services

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Relocating Our Salinas Site

August 12, 2014

The time has come for us to relocate our office in Salinas, CA. We are now serving more children and families than ever before out of this site in collaboration with Monterey County DSES and Behavioral Health departments. This new site will allow us a little more space to host meetings with families as well as house the staff who will be supporting them.

We will be begin relocating this Friday, August 15th at 8 AM.

During the move, we expect that there will be interruptions to our phone and fax lines, however we expect those to be back up by the end of the day (estimated 6 PM). If you need to reach someone from the Salinas site you can:

  • Contact them on their mobile phone (if known)
  • Call any of our other numbers and either dial the extension (if known) or speak to the operator.
    • 408.846.2100 (Gilroy Area)
    • 408.871.4900 (Campbell Area)
  • Email (most Salinas staff will continue to have access to email during the move)

After the move our phone numbers and fax number will remain the same, however you will be able to find us at 1260 South Main St, Suite 101, Salinas, CA 93901. This address is located behind Elli's Restaurant.

Thank you for your patience as we complete this upcoming move. It is our hope to minimize, if not avoid, any disruption in services for the children and families in Monterey County.

Letter From The Board

August 21, 2013

It surprises me, when I visit a Lodge, to hear our members still think Rebekah Children’s Services, (RCS) does not need the help of our lodges because it is now funded by the government.  I understand how this perception may have started, but let’s set the record straight. After nearly 60 years of running our Gilroy facility, as a non-profit group home for at-risk youth, and no longer the orphanage we started in the late 1800’s, we need your help more than ever.

The history of our Children’s home, not only in California but across all jurisdictions, is noble. Our Membership took care of orphans in a time when money was tight and locating family was a challenge.  The Rebekah Children’s Home in California was opened in 1897. The land and materials were donated by Caroline Hoxett, a Past Rebekah Assembly President who lived in Gilroy. We quickly grew in size and in the care provided to our youth. By 1925 we housed over 100 orphans, all sponsored by members of the order. In the late 1950’s, the Federal Government de-institutionalized the system of orphanages. They mandated a governed support system that allowed orphaned children a way to stay connected with family. When family was not available, a foster family maintained the continuity of a family environment.

During this time of transition, between our courts and our Odd Fellow community, many orphanages closed their doors.  Here in California we opened our doors to the opportunity of supporting at-risk youth who need special care and counseling. In 1957, Rebekah Children Services took in its first court appointed youth to our residence program. Today, The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of California can proudly say that we still own, govern and maintain our Children’s Home.

RCS provides services that range from County “Wrap-Around” programs, where families receive needed services in their homes, to our new “Hospital Diversion” program that takes at-risk youth from the hospitals and bring them to a secure, controlled environment with full counseling opportunities. We have “Links to Life” (TAY), which incorporates several programs for older youth ready to move into the workforce including a “Culinary Academy”. We also have a non-public school, parenting education, fostering, and adoption services available.

These services are partially funded by health insurance or government grants. This program funding is very specific to what can be covered and government cuts have affected every level of care from the federal to the school district.  Our facilities and overhead are not covered by government funding. To maintain the high quality of our staff and facilities, it takes the support of everyone in the world.  When called upon in your lodges, we ask you to make a contribution to support the needs of this wonderful facility so that we can continue to support our youth.

RCS VISION STATEMENT: “To be the national leader in creating, shaping, teaching and providing services that achieve positive, permanent outcomes for children and families.” Today, we are a National Leader in our industry, one that is looked upon by our peers for guidance and support.  We do not take this role lightly and appreciate what our lodges around the world may do to help.  It is most important; we get the word out about what RCS does. We must change the perception; we are not self supported by government funds.

If you have any questions on our services or to make a donation, please visit www.rcskids.org.

Thank you for your past and continued support of our home. If you wish to have your donation designated to a specific fund, here is a list of funds that have been set up by our Board to assist where there is the greatest need; “Major Medical”, our kids at the home do not always have enough insurance to cover the needed medication. “Holiday”, along with our annual Christmas party for our residents, this fund also covers birthdays and other parties given at the home for our kids. “Good Times”, we send residents to prom, leadership conferences, job fairs and much more. “Facilities”, our building and grounds need constant upkeep. “Links to Life”, is a group of programs set up to link our transitioned youth (TAY) into the real world including developed culinary skills. “Scholarships”, we offer several scholarships.

Our Board is very excited about the work that we do in California and are pleased to have the opportunity to share our excitement with all of you.

Nancy Johnson, President, RCS Board of Directors

A New Do

July 30, 2014

We are excited to announce that a our website, www.rcskids.org, is about to get a makeover. The current design was built in 24 hours by Zurb during ZurbWired 2011 and we still love it!

So why change it?

Unfortunately, the site is starting to show its age. It was originally built on a pre-release version of Foundation 2 and now there are visual flaws appearing on many modern browsers, especially on mobile devices. Additionally, with the abbreviated time frame, many pages could not be incorporated into the Content Management System allowing for non-coders to update content.

Gaps and font blemishes now on mobile devices.

It is now time for the site to clean up a bit. We are growing and serving more children and families on any given day than ever before. Plus, with Meaningful Use and Health Care Reform we need to get ready to provide more web-based solutions to our clients over the next few years, such as a secure portal to access their personal health information.

The More Things Change...

As stated before, we love the current design. This means that this makeover is intended to retain the spirit of the original design just clean it up a bit. It is our hope that once the update is done it will look familiar, yet cleaner, faster to load and more up-to-date.

Here are some of the key milestones for the project:

  • Move all content into the Content Management System (done)
  • Create the new template using the latest release of Foundation (done)
  • Test, test, test
  • Launch

Once we got started, we discovered some additional ways to improve the site, such as a new Donation interface and a new Calendar.

Coming Soon

Our target date to launch the new design is on August 19, 2014, the three-year anniversary of the ZurbWired launch. We hope you like it!

Change a Lifetime

May 1, 2013

This May, we are celebrating National Foster Care Month. This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. Every day the urgent needs of these young people rise and citizens nationwide come together and get involved-as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers and in so many other ways.  

When it comes to thinking about childhood, we think in terms of the fissile family. The reality is that things do not usually work out that way. For many reasons, parents sometimes end up in a situation where they are unable to care for their children, either temporarily or permanently. What happens at that point?

Throughout history, the fate of these children has depended on the inclination of the community. In the past, if the extended family, neighbors or strangers didn't step in as alternate parents, parent-less children would be turned out on the streets. Today, childcare is institutionalized, but it still relies on the kindness and compassion of individual members of the community. When parents are unable, unwilling or unfit to care for a child, the child must be placed in a new home. In some cases, there is little or no chance a child can return to the custody of their parents. In other situations, children only need a temporary home until the situation with their parents change. Nonetheless, the children still need somewhere to stay until a permanent home is possible.

People just like you are helping young people in foster care build brighter futures by serving as their foster parents, relative caregivers, mentors, advocates, social workers and volunteers. As more help is needed, communities are seeking more everyday people to come forward and support our nation’s most vulnerable children so they can realize and utilize their full potential.

This month, we are asking our surrounding communities to come together and get involved. You do not need to become a foster parent to show your support. You can support us by wearing a blue ribbon, spreading the word and share the facts about the well-being for children and youth in care. Raising awareness will not only provide support during the month of May, it will continue in the years to come to the foster children and youth in the future.

For more information: