Environmental Alternatives (EA) is a private, nonprofit corporation that provides a variety of services to children and young adults.

Our Mission

The mission of EAFS is to support individuals and families in cultivating positive relationships and lifelong connections.

 

Our Philosophy

At Environmental Alternatives, we take an innovative approach in our dealings with families, children, and placement agencies.

Our agency blends Systems Theory and behavioral management practices into a relationship-centered treatment environment.

Our philosophy recognizes the foster parent and direct care staff are not only the principal caregiver, but also the primary change agent in the child's life. Our focus on strengthening the bond between foster parent and/or the direct care staff and the child has four main components: unobtrusive assessment, joint ownership of cases, decentralized management, and relationship-centered treatment.

Our decentralized management model, and the fact that our social workers share responsibility for all our cases, helps to set us apart from others within our industry.

We believe this element helps to avoid undermining the authority of the foster parents or caregivers, as well as allowing assistance (if needed) to be given by any of our qualified staff. Social workers freely explore solutions to childcare needs with foster parents and placement workers without interference from management, which guarantees they feel supported and independent. As a result, they’re better equipped to provide quality service, which in turn ensures the best possible care.

Simply put, we believe that giving caretakers proper guidance and support is the best way to help children placed in their care.”

Jerry Dorris Environmental Alternatives

Our History

Our organization was founded in 1981 by Patricia and Daniel Dorris, and Dr. Roddy Mac in Quincy, CA. Although the original plan called only for a six-bed group home, when we began to see the deficit of quality placement options, especially in rural areas, we expanded to meet that need. After opening more group homes in northern California, the decision was made to use our unique philosophy to develop a foster care program.

Since those early days, we have continued to expand and flourish, adding more programs and widening the scope of the care we’re able to provide. Despite substantial growth over the years, our core philosophy of empowering caregivers to provide the continuity and structure that children and young adults need, can be found running through every program we offer.

Although our continued success has allowed us to expand our team, we’re proud that many of our employees have been with us nearly since the beginning. We recognize the rarity of this (especially in a nonprofit), and we look forward to continuing to improve the lives of children and young adults placed in our care.

Our goal is simply to provide kids with a stable environment that’s both healthy and productive.”

Jerry Dorris Environmental Alternatives