Wayfinder Family Services

aka Junior Blind   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.wayfinderfamily.org


Wayfinder’s mission is to ensure that children, youth and adults facing challenges always have a place to turn. Founded in 1953 as the Foundation for the Junior Blind, we initially enabled blind and visually impaired children to lead fuller, more independent lives. Today, Wayfinder is a human services agency with expertise in child welfare, vision impairment and multiple disabilities. Across our programs, Wayfinder strives to achieve equity for all our clients, most of whom are low-income people of color. We serve 20,200 children, youth, adults and family members annually. Our name became Wayfinder Family Services in January 2018.

Notes from the nonprofit

As a member of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Wayfinder works to achieve a healthy, equitable society in which every child and adult can reach their full potential. Wayfinder provides critical services that reduce trauma and increase health and well-being for two vulnerable populations: children in the child welfare system and children, youth and adults with vision impairment or multiple disabilities. All of our programs are offered at no charge to our families. This is critical since 85% of those we serve are low-income. We are proud to say that 84 cents of every dollar supports direct services for our clients and families.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Miki Jordan

Main address

5300 Angeles Vista Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90043 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Foundation for the Junior Blind



NTEE code info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

Foster Care (P32)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our Vision: An equitable world in which every child and family has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our Values: Inclusive We honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We strive to create a culture in which everyone is accepted and encouraged to fully participate. Empathetic We seek to develop a deeper understanding of our children and families. We work to embed empathy into our decision-making, interactions, and actions. Collaborative We can’t do it alone and we must do it together. We work in partnership to address the holistic needs of children and families. Whatever it takes We never give up. We will always be there for our children and their families. Innovative We are agile and forward-thinking. We continually seek out better ways to help children and families thrive. Driven We take every opportunity to move forward in our strategic direction and to create meaningful change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Early Intervention Program and Blind Babies Foundation

The Early Intervention Program and Blind Babies Foundation provide in-home early intervention to children from birth to age 6 with vision impairment or multiple disabilities. Early Intervention assists children and families in Southern California, while Blind Babies serves Central and Northern California. Young children maximize any vision they have and reduce developmental delays. Parents learn to provide their child with therapeutic stimulation and to advocate for their child’s education and care.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with vision impairments

A certified, non-public school for students age 3 to 21 who have visual impairments and other disabilities.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Children and youth

Our Recreation Services include our Camp Bloomfield and our Visions: Adventures in Learning Program, all which offer blind, visually impaired and multi-disabled children and teens the chance to build confidence and independence through adapted recreational activities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Children and youth

Teens and young adults who are blind or visually impaired explore career options and successfully transition to independent living, college or the workforce in Wayfinder’s youth transition program. Through community-based workshops and summer programs, participants get hands-on experience, preparation and support to achieve their individual goals. Workshops are offered throughout California.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

The Davidson Program for Independence on Wayfinder’s Los Angeles campus and the Hatlen Center for the Blind in San Pablo in Northern California are comprehensive residential rehabilitation programs for adults ages 18 and older who are blind or visually impaired, many with recent vision loss. Participants learn assistive technology, orientation and mobility (white cane and safe travel), Braille, and independent living skills. Each client pursues individualized goals that lead to a confident transition to an independent life and education or employment.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

In 2013, Wayfinder opened six group homes to serve children and adults with vision loss and additional disabilities. In warm, nurturing single-family home settings, up to six residents are given the support and care they need to live their fullest lives possible.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Our Foster Care and Adoption program matches children and youth who have been displaced from their homes due to abuse or neglect with families that can provide safe, caring homes. Our adoption services find loving, lifelong families for children in the child welfare system. Therapeutic, supportive services from Wayfinder ensure that children reach their greatest potential in safe, nurturing foster and permanent homes.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Children who have been removed from their families because of maltreatment or disruption find safe, temporary shelter at The Cottage at Wayfinder Family Services. This transitional shelter care program nurtures and stabilizes children in short-term emergency placements. Working hand-in-hand with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, our services ease trauma for children and families. Our 24-hour nursing services and experienced team of professionals care for displaced children with medical challenges.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

As of July 1, Lilliput Families is part of Wayfinder Family Services. Located in Sacramento County, Lilliput is recognized locally and throughout the state for its high-quality delivery of timely permanency services—reunification, kinship care, guardianship and adoption—for children in the child welfare system. The merger of Lilliput with Wayfinder unites two organizations committed to the highest quality in child welfare programs. Together, we will build healthier families and find loving homes for children across California. With this merger, Wayfinder will be one of the largest nonprofit providers of foster and adoption services in the state. We will also continue to be one of the largest blindness nonprofits in the nation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Council on Accreditation (COA) 2014


4 star rating 2020

Charity Navigator

Wise Giving Alliance Member 2020

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit 2016

Great Nonprofits

Best in America Seal of Approval 2020

America's Best Charities

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of leadership staff who have completed coursework in implicit-bias and anti-racism training as part of the organization’s core curriculum in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Families, Foster and adoptive parents, Health

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of foster youth who will remain stable in their current resource family home, transition to a lower level of care or to a permanent placement.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Foster Care and Adoption Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Wayfinder’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan serves as a roadmap for what lies ahead for Wayfinder over the next three years.

Executing on Mission
Build out the continuum of supports for the populations we serve.

Advancing Equity
Integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the organization.

Measuring that Matters
Grow and sustain our capacity to use information to improve outcomes.

Investing in Capacity
Enhance the operating systems and functions that support high performance.

Executing on Mission strategies:
1. Expand mental health services.
2. Grow foster care and adoption services, including transition age youth services and supports for specialty populations.
3. Continue to expand youth transition services for those with vision loss and developmental disabilities.
4. Develop preventative services to address the social determinants of health.
5. Integrate select programs and services with managed care.

Advancing Equity strategies:
1. Leverage our expertise and brand to advocate for changes to the systems and policies that impact children and families.
2. Work in partnership to achieve sustained improvements in the neighborhoods we serve.
3. Ensure that staff from underrepresented groups have access to growth and leadership opportunities.
4. Incorporate client and family voice in treatment planning, service design and organizational goal-setting.
5. Recruit new board members consistent with the principles of equity and diversity.

Measuring that Matters strategies:
1. Improve performance measurement at all levels to better link efforts and outcomes.
2. Use internal and external data for continuous quality improvement.
3. Incorporate client voice in treatment planning, service design, and organizational goal-setting.

Investing in Capacity strategies:
1. Further build the skills and leadership of staff.
2. Fully utilize, integrate and where possible, streamline existing data systems.
3. Raise the visibility of and establish Wayfinder as a “charity of choice” for individual and institutional donors.
4. Modernize and improve our spaces for the benefits of clients and staff.

Wayfinder Family Services is a one-of-a-kind agency, providing unique services to a niche population. The distinctive competency that surfaces to the top is Wayfinder's ability to serve unmet needs in a fragmented industry where it is often difficult for students to: (1) get referred or (2) access services due to governmental issues as well as distance. Wayfinder enjoys a unique market position. It need not aggressively compete for referrals as the agency's programs and services are non-duplicative.

We are on track to meet the goals outlined in our 2019-22 Strategic Plan and measure specific outcome criteria on a quarterly basis, reporting them to our Board of Directors annually.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our clients are children in the child welfare system, children and adults who are visually impaired or multi-disabled, and their family members. In 2019-20, we served more than 20,000 clients who were 49% Latino, 25% African American, 16% Caucasian, 3% Asian and 7% other. Last year, 85% of our Southern California clients lived in low-income ZIP codes. Of direct-service clients, 91% were children, ages 0 to 18; 51% were in the child welfare system, and 49% had vision loss or multiple disabilities.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Clients with vision loss said that they would prefer our Assistive Technology Program be a prerequisite to our residential immersion training (Davidson Program for Independence) instead of attending it after the immersion training. They believe that learning assistive technology before residential rehabilitation jump-started their technology skills. Now, assistive technology is a prerequisite, replacing the prior approach in which clients filled gaps in their assistive technology skills after graduating from residential rehabilitation.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Wayfinder has always involved clients and other constituents in strategy, program operations and planning. Because Wayfinder has continually requested feedback from the people we serve, we have not experienced a change in our relationship or shift in power. To remain responsive to those we serve, Wayfinder maintains feedback collection methods that allow for both anonymous and direct feedback from clients, families and partners. We are committed to standing beside children, adults and families who are our clients.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,


Wayfinder Family Services

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Wayfinder Family Services

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Elworth A. E. (Brent) Williams, Jr.

City National Bank

Term: 2012 -

Harold Davidson

Harold Davidson & Associates, Inc.

Scott Farkas

Alperstein, Simon, Farkas, Gillin & Scott, LLP

Timothy Ford

Retired Attorney

Robert Held

Held Properties, Inc.

Miki Jordan

Wayfinder Family Services

Richard Kaplan

QBI, Inc.

Jonathan Macy

Macy Eye Center

Brent Williams

City National Bank

Stevie Wonder


Linda Dean

Wine Warehouse

Steve Hernandez


Glenn Sonnenberg

LaSalle Mortgage Real Estate Investors

Erica Fernandez

Wells Fargo Bank

John Nicolaus

Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data