Healing families. Strengthening communities.

Uplift Family Services History

Transforming the System of Care for California's Children & Families

Since 1867, Uplift Family Services has grown from a single building in San Jose providing a shelter for local homeless youth to a statewide agency offering a range of community-based programs to children in crisis and their families. Uplift Family Services's rich history can be best described as an evolution and blending of best practices.

The name EMQ (Eastfield Ming Quong) represents the merging of two children and family services agencies; Eastfield Home of Benevolence (founded in San Jose in 1867) and Ming Quong Presbyterian Mission Home (founded in San Francisco in 1874). Eastfield began as an orphanage providing shelter, care, and education for local homeless youth. Ming Quong rescued Chinese girls from slavery and prostitution in the alleys of San Francisco. Mirroring the history of the child welfare system, these agencies evolved from orphanages to residential treatment center agencies, in the 1950s. The two agencies merged in 1987 and was later called EMQ Children & Family Services.

In 2006, EMQ merged with Hollygrove (originally Los Angeles Orphans Home Society founded in 1880). Hollygrove has over 125-year history of service to children in Los Angeles, including a young resident called Norma Jean Baker, later to become Marilyn Monroe. Today, Hollygrove concentrates on in-home, community-based mental health services.

In an effort to provide broader geographic reach with complementary strengths and services, EMQ Children & Family Services merged with FamiliesFirst in 2009. FamiliesFirst began in Davis in 1974 as the Praul Center, a small group home for three emotionally disturbed boys. In recognition of the central importance of the family in children's lives, the agency's name was changed to FamiliesFirst. For over three decades, FamiliesFirst has provided comprehensive treatment programs for troubled youth in Northern and Central California. FamiliesFirst primary programs include Foster Care, Adoption, Residential Treatment, Community Based Services, and School Programs.

Over the past 149 years, these blended agencies (now named Uplift Family Services) have truly transformed its system of care for California's children and families.

Today, Uplift Family Services is one of the largest, most comprehensive, innovative, family-centered treatment programs and is proud to provide services to over 20,000 children and their families annually throughout 30 counties in California.