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East Bay Agency for Children History

Think back to 1952. At that time, there were very limited services for children with special needs.  Parent’s choices were generally putting their emotionally disturbed, developmentally disabled, or mentally ill children into residential care or keeping them at home with little if any available services.  So when a group of families in the east bay decided they wanted to give their children “the same educational and recreational opportunities which contribute to the physical well-being and social growth of all children”, they searched for an alternative. 

They identified a program model in use on the east coast, brought it to the east bay, and created the first “day treatment” program west of the Mississippi.  Initially called the Berkeley Activities Center, then the East Bay Activities Center, this newly formed non-profit thrived for 30 years and eventually formed the basis for the Oakland Day Treatment program and what was to become East Bay Agency for Children. 

Over the ensuing decades, our day treatment program evolved as legislation, policy, and funding changed, so now we serve children with emotional and behavioral challenges issues rather than those with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The decade from the mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s was a period of significant expansion for EBAC.  Taking advantage of strong organizational leadership and vision and the synergies of collaboration, EBAC merged many other non-profit service providers into our growing family of services and launched new programs ourselves.  We welcomed a new day treatment program in Fremont and the Prevention and Life Skills (PALS) program.  We took over operation of the Therapeutic Nursery School from Children’s Hospital Oakland and in Fremont the first of several EBAC run Healthy Start programs.  We brought onboard PediatriCare Grief Support Center, known today as Circle of Care, and added the Hawthorne Community Collaborative, today’s Hawthorne Family Resource Center.

We built a successful model Healthy Start after school program at Sequoia Elementary in Oakland, and employ those best practices at East Oakland Pride, Achieve Academy and Peralta elementary schools.  We created our unique Probation Mental Health program, now called Youth Empowerment Services, to fill a very vital need- assisting teens transitioning out of the Juvenile Justice Center and helping at-risk teens avoid entering the juvenile justice system. 

In 2001, we also welcomed into the EBAC family the very successful and well respected Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Training Center which together with the 2008 merger with Child Abuse Prevention Agency (CAPA) now provides EBAC with solid prevention-based educational services to ensure each child has the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. 

Today, East Bay Agency for Children’s programs serve over 20,000 children and families throughout Alameda County each year, and we operate with a $9.7 million budget.  Our services give each child and family the specific resources, skills, and opportunity they need to help them reach their full potential.

Read a fascinating account of East Bay Agency for Children’s early history in a written account prepared in 1980.


East Bay Agency for Children improves the well-being of children, youth and families by reducing the impact of trauma and social inequities.



We are committed to building a comprehensive, place based continuum of accessible, trauma informed and culturally relevant services that build resiliency, aid in recovery, and, where possible, prevent exposure to adverse childhood experiences. We seek to reduce barriers that contribute to disparities in wellness for socioeconomically disadvantaged and racially marginalized families and to create communities where all children and families have supports to reach their full potential.

—EBAC Values—


"EBAC provides a safety net for the students who are most at risk of failure, catching kids who typically fall through the cracks. EBAC is very good at addressing whatever is distressing them and looking at how those stressors affect their ability to succeed in school." Barbara McClung
Program Manager, Integrated Student Support Services

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