Because a child cannot grow up twice...

Los Angeles, CA   |

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Our mission is to empower families in low-income communities in Los Angeles County to break the cycle of poverty, child abuse, violence, academic failure, and teen pregnancy through outstanding educational, youth development, health and therapeutic services.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Liz Herrera

Main address

440 Shatto Place Ste 417

Los Angeles, CA 90020 USA

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NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Mental Health Treatment (F30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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

El Nido works in communities affected by poverty, low educational attainment, unemployment, child abuse/neglect, crime/violence, teen parenting, heightened health risks/poor access to care and lack of opportunity. Programs address specific needs/problems among the children, youth and families served:
• The Pacoima & South West L.A. FamilySource Centers seek to increase the income/assets of disadvantaged families and improve their children's academic achievement.
• The Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Program addresses cases of abuse/neglect and children/families at high risk.
• Our continuum of care for parents of young children (Teen Parent Family Services, Welcome Baby, Select Home Visitation, Building Stronger Families and Early Head Start) strengthens parenting skills and social supports. Children's school readiness is enhanced while maltreatment is prevented from ever occurring.
• The Gang Reduction & Youth Development program cuts off the supply of new recruits for gangs.

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?

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment

Child abuse prevention and treatment. This program area focuses on abused children in an effort to reduce trauma and symptoms and heal emotional wounds. It also focuses on the family to prevent the causes of abusive behavior and enhance family functioning.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Parenting education and family development. Programs in this area are designed to increase parenting skills and knowledge and improve the quality of parent-child relations.

Population(s) Served

Youth development: teen pregnancy prevention and delinquency prevention. This program area provides counseling, education and social activities in an attempt to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy, juvenile crime and gang violence among youth by strengthening their support networks including his or her family, school and community.

Population(s) Served

Teen Parent and Family Development. This program area offers a variety of services to pregnant or parenting adolescents and their babies and help young children develop cognitively and behaviorally so they will be successful in school as well as in life in general.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

El Nido's vision is one of healthy families and communities that provide the resources and support for all young people to attain their full potential. To realize this vision, our strategic goals are as follows:

• Continue to improve our responsiveness to clients. The success of our programs and services depends on recognizing the strengths and challenges faced by our target population, and creating innovative solutions and capacity to address both their immediate needs and their longer-term prospects.

• Invest in infrastructure and operations. The Family Centers we operate aim to reflect the level of services we provide. Similarly, our staff—our most vital asset in providing quality services to our clients—are encouraged to develop professionally and have the bandwidth and support to excel in their jobs.

• Strengthen our financial foundation. El Nido's 92-year history is testament to its ongoing commitment to manageable growth and fiscal responsibility. None of our major program contracts covers the full expense to the organization of implementation (direct program costs, as well as necessary general and administrative costs). Thus we are increasingly looking to private funding sources and individual donors as the demand for services increases and as government priorities periodically shift.

• Increasingly engage senior citizens in varied services for youth, benefitting both generations.

• Enlarge our corps of volunteers with talents to share, support to offer and time to devote to children, youth and families.

• Attract a more diverse Board of concerned individuals with the high level of expertise and commitment of our current members.

El Nido's strategies to continually improve responsiveness to clients include:
• Meeting or surpassing projected outcomes
• Building and formalizing new programming, enhancements and service strategies, to fill vital needs for our client population (e.g., in employment/career development, education, health/mental health, etc.)
• Continuing to expand internal evaluation processes, to identify best practices and share with/learn from others in our field
• Recruiting/engaging more volunteers, particularly seniors, for the benefit of our clients, the individuals involved and the community's commitment to advancing equity

To improve our facilities and operations, we pursue the following strategies:
• Continually modernizing our Family Centers so all are welcoming and accessible
• Updating and maintaining vital technological infrastructure to increase efficiency
• Providing and supporting staff development trainings, including those that promote wellness and growth
• Reinforcing staff through promotion within the organization and recruitment of new talent

We are strengthening our financial foundation by:
• Raising more funds, particularly unrestricted funds, from private sources (e.g., foundations, corporations/the business sector and individuals—diverse in their ages, giving capacities, geographic locations and ethnicity/culture)
• Increasing our reserve fund, in the event of cash flow interruptions
• Intensifying marketing efforts, to increase awareness of El Nido's work and to attract new supporters/volunteers at all levels.

• Long history of effective programming
El Nido Family Centers has offered 92 years of sustained service to disadvantaged children, youth, families and communities in Los Angeles County. From our early beginnings, El Nido has demonstrated its ability to continually understand the changing conditions of our target areas and populations, and to proactively adapt, employing methods that are both proven (or evidence based) and creative. El Nido's most significant accomplishments are rooted in its role as a pioneer and innovator, creating strategies for reaching out to, engaging and strengthening both families and communities.

• Commitment to efficiency
El Nido's leadership (staff and Board) is dedicated to devoting as much of its revenue as possible directly to client services and benefits, while maintaining its management and administrative expertise.

• Cultural competency
Nearly all direct service staff are bilingual and reflect the population they serve; many grew up in or live in the communities in which they now work. They bring a personal awareness of the target population's conditions, and appreciate that each family has its unique culture, strengths and needs.

• Culture of leadership development
El Nido strongly believes in clients as resources for others and for the community, when natural leaders are given the opportunity and guidance to emerge. In our view, success breeds success; clients offered the chance to take on new challenges gain a sense of mastery and confidence that they can do more. Similarly, leadership development among staff is a core element of El Nido's work culture. Many members of the management team have been personally cultivated by the Executive Director over her long career with the agency. Together, team members now guide leadership development for others.

• Devoted Board members
El Nido is fortunate to have a multi-talented, experienced and devoted Board. Board members are highly involved in all areas of El Nido's success, from administrative and fiscal oversight, to public relations and fund development, program review and evaluation. Board members also lead marketing efforts and some provide direct services to clients.

El Nido served 12,876 children, youth and families in 2016-17, well surpassing our goal of 11,000. Examples of objectives and recent outcomes obtained include to: increase family income/assets and improve academic achievement (exceeding detailed goals for FamilySource Center adults and children/youth); enhance parenting skills and family functioning (for a large majority, across programs); improve the odds for adolescent parents and their children (increased teens in school/graduated, babies delivered full term and at healthy weights, teens motivated to postpone additional childbearing until adulthood and infants/toddlers up to date on immunizations); reduce juvenile delinquency/gang involvement (most Gang Reduction & Youth Development youth free from gangs with reduced global risk factors); and prevent child abuse/neglect (no subsequent DCFS reports for nearly all families, with reduced effects of trauma, and improved home environments). The FSC figures above relate only to the Pacoima FSC, as the SWLA was still in its implementation phase. Among the 2,550 parents and youth served in Pacoima last year (2016-17), their collective income/assets rose by $1,400,000 through FSC services, as valued by the City.

Results from a pilot project evaluating the impact of El Nido programs on Family Strengthening Protective Factors are very positive. Improvement was found across all: 1) Family Functioning/Resiliency; 2) Nurturing & Attachment; 3) Social Support; 4) Concrete Support; and 5) Knowledge of Parenting. Statistically significant differences were observed from pre- to post-timepoints for Protective Factors 1 and 2, indicating that clients have better family functioning skills, increased resiliency to negative experiences and improved nurturing and attachment behaviors after participating in El Nido programming. Statistically significant changes were also observed for Factors 3 and 4, showing that clients were more likely to report having support from friends, family and services/community resources. Factor 5 is analyzed differently, by survey item. Statistically significant improvements were observed on four out of five, indicating that clients gained a better understanding of how to help their children. El Nido will broaden survey administration to clients across all programs over the next years, and then will explore the effectiveness of various service strategies.

Backed up by data from the County Department of Public Health, LAPD and the U.S. Census, El Nido believes that its collective work, in collaboration with organizations and institutions over many years, has contributed to improvements in larger-scale measures of the problems we have addressed. These include: a dramatic decline L.A. County's teen birth rate since the mid-1990s; an overall decrease in serious/violent crime and juvenile arrests over decades; and improvement of economic conditions in the Pacoima community.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 11/06/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Lisa Carloss

Real Estate Investor

Term: 2023 - 2024

Fred Samulon

Executive Service Corps

Bianca Guzman

California State University Los Angeles

Jesse Shapiro

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

Steven Poretzky

Poretzky and Associates

Carlos Rosales

Wells Fargo

Laurie Spivak

Lucy Zepp

Meredith Freid


Lisa Carloss

Real Estate Investor

Ed Dreyfus

Clinical Psychologist/ Writer

Eliza Howard


Sylvia Lopez

UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity

Mike Still

Retired CFO

Patricia Alba

Founder and CEO, Alba-Walker Life Strategies

Steven Canup

Managing Director, Focus Client Solutions

Robert Hirshland

Managing Director at JP Morgan Securities, LLC

Trish Lopez

Chief Financial Officer Southern California Permanente Group

Navid Moshtaghi

President / Owner, M Capital Partners, Inc.

Mindy Stern


Sam Stewart

Distribution Strategy, Sony Pictures Ent.

Alex Sigoloff

Associate General Counsel

Shelly Suh

Former Chef & Restuaranter

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable