Over a decade ago, Dr. Heineman persuaded 12 colleagues in San Francisco to join her in providing pro bono counseling "for as long as it takes" to foster children who are often bounced around the system and struggle to trust adults. As the group of clinicians grew, Dr. Heineman formed a nonprofit called A Home Within with a mission to heal the chronic loss experienced by foster children and provide them with sustainable and nurturing relationships.
By 2006, Dr. Heineman realized that A Home Within needed clarity, both with its message and its organizational structure. She approached the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team for help answering the question: How can we structure the relationship between the local chapters and the national organization of A Home Within?
Helping A Home Within To Scale
In partnership with an ACT team, A Home Within crafted a new mission statement and articulated its vision. ACT also suggested that the logo be redone to reflect the new message: continuous connections. More importantly, the team was able to suggest a new organizational model to structure the chapters as the nonprofit scaled nationally.
Fast forward a few years: A Home Within's long-term viability has increased, and it continues to expand to new cities around the country in a much more efficient manner using the new decentralized structure the ACT team introduced. This spring a second ACT team helped A Home Within address a new question: how can we support local chapters as they recruit therapists to staff new locations?
An Advocate for Foster Care Kids
With over 20 chapters now active nationwide, 500 foster children served, and 400 volunteer therapists committed to making a difference in the lives of foster children, Heineman's current goal is to increase the number of A Home Within's volunteer therapists to 2,500 by 2013. "Most people have little grasp of what it means to grow up in a world where no single person is fully responsible for your care or your future," Heineman says. ACT congratulates Toni Heineman and thanks the ACT volunteers who have helped her and A Home Within continue to reach out to more foster children and connect them with an adult who cares.
- Lana Guernsey, SLO ’01
- Susan Helfrey Monson, MBA ’96
- Kristina Omari, MBA ’97
- Huma Khan, MBA ’07
- Kiyoung Sung, MBA ’04
- Mustafa Vahanvaty, SLO ’03
- Neha Gupta