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Nonprofit agency Child Care Links rebranding in wake of acquisition

Mental health services will be expanded starting in July

Private nonprofit agency Child Care Links will rebrand for the second time in its 43 years of serving Alameda County residents. The big change is part of its recent acquisition of San Leandro-based Family Service Counseling and Community Resource Center.

"The Tri-Valley has long been deficient in having enough (mental health) services and specialists, especially for those who can't afford full fee," CEO Kelly O'Lague Dulka told the Weekly about the mutual decision to adopt Family Service Counseling as part of the Child Care Links family.

"They were looking for executive level leadership but couldn't afford it and we were looking to expand our mental health services," so O'Lague Dulka called to get the ball rolling.

"This is a great marriage; we really complement each other's services well," she added.

Starting in July, Child Care Links will be expanding mental health services at its Oakland and Tri-Valley locations, including the addition of 20 clinicians who will help provide Tri-Valley residents of all ages with individual, group and family therapy.

Family Service Counseling, which has operated in the East Bay since 1926, will officially dissolve as an entity.

The new agency name will be revealed July 1, according to O'Lague Dulka, who said the change reflects the agency's broadened mission and added resources to better meet community needs. Child Care Links was originally named Resources for Family Development when it first opened in 1976. It should also clear up some confusion about everything that they do.

"It became clear to me at the first event I attended after assuming the CEO role that our agency name was confusing, even limiting," O'Lague Dulka said. "At a community volunteer fair, people would walk by and say, 'I don't need child care.' We don't provide child care. We help families find high quality child care. We train child care providers, but those are just a small part of the agency's work."

Among Child Care Links' services are parenting programs, child care vouchers and referrals, and providing needy families with free food, clothing and diapers. They also connect families and individuals to a number of vocational and educational resources and social services. Mental health services are available on a sliding fee scale.

To learn more about Child Care Links, visit www.childcarelinks.org.

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