Jeanette Yoffe, M.A., M.F.T., Executive Director, earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University in June of 2002. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and /or multiple placements. She has specialized for the past 10 years in the treatment of children who manifest serious deficits in their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development. Jeanette’s desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. Her personal experience has informed her education and provided insight into the unique stresses involved with these issues. During her four years as a professional social worker and therapist, Jeanette developed a series of groundbreaking interventions for working with foster and adopted children and currently presents creative workshops for parents as well as therapists and social workers in Los Angeles, most recently at the 2005 Child Welfare League Conference.
Her interventions include The Anger Bag, which helps children deal with the many angry feelings they may experience through a variety of household objects and unique games. Jeanette has used her interventions to help children and teenagers deal with their placements into foster care, as well as working with families of divorce, domestic violence, abuse, and neglect.
Because of Jeanette’s life experience she can more easily connect and relate to the children and teens she works with. She is an exceptional child-care worker who is dedicated to helping each of her clients reach their full potential through mental health therapy and make the difficult journey from despair towards resiliency and hope. Jeanette is frequently asked to speak on panels to prospective adoptive parents and social workers to help provide an understanding of the psychological and emotional impacts of multiple transitions for children in out of home care and provide tools for parenting adoptive and foster children.
In 1999, Jeanette wrote and performed a one-woman show titled, “What’s Your Name, Who’s Your Daddy?” about her life story growing up in the New York State foster care system and being adopted at age 7 1/2. Her show received a standing ovation on opening night! She held benefit performances for Concerned United Birthparents and Stephen S. Weiss Adoption Support Center. In 2006, Jeanette received the Foster Care Hero Advocate award (right) for the Foster Care Awareness Campaign from the County of Los Angeles for her outstanding contributions to the children and families served by the Los Angeles County Foster Care System.
In July 2012, Jeanette felt compelled to start a non-profit organization named, Celia Center after her first mother, Celia, whom she was separated from at the age of 15 months due to mental illness. She has always thought “had her first mother received support services as well as her foster family, she would have remained in contact with Celia, even if she could not live with her permanently.” The not knowing what had happened to her first mother caused her much strife and pain. Jeanette’s mission today is to keep connections sacred within the child’s family of origin.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Justin and her son, Nathan.
Download Jeanette’s resume.