Victor has a story to tell that permeates every aspect of the organization. As a 10 year old boy, Dave Favor was taken from his family home and placed in an orphanage. With this experience, he felt alone and afraid, abandoned by everyone who cared about him. Out of his fear and pain, a personal mission was born that has profoundly impacted troubled children and their families throughout the state of California. Through Dave's unwavering commitment to his personal mission and the organizations birthed from this mission, Victor has given thousands of families hope for more than four decades. One man, through his perseverance and tenacity, turned his pain and the harshness of life into a group of organizations that helps troubled children and their families succeed in life. He turned his belief that every individual should have the best chance possible for success into a reality by demonstrating that troubled kids can survive and thrive in a community setting modeled more on a family than an institution. Today, Victor serves thousands of children and families who are suffering with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties, acting as a change agent and support to their achievement of happier and more successful lives.
The power of Victor's mission began with its founder Dave Favor back in the 1960s. At that time in California more than 3800 children under the age of 18, who had severe mental and emotional problems, were being raised in state mental hospitals. In the 1960s, there was no other place for them to go. Dave Favor, along with many of his colleagues, determined that there had to be a better way. Motivated by deep compassion and the experiences of Dave's formative years, this group came up with the concept of creating community-based residential settings just for these kids. Dave called these new homes Victor Treatment Centers and they grew all over California. Undaunted by the size and scope of their task, Dave and his colleagues had one focused mission, "to eliminate the need for state hospitals for children." Led by Dave's passion and commitment to this goal, Victor and other agencies succeeded in achieving their original mission.
As the folks at Victor began to take care of these children and youth in the community based live-in facilities, the staff continued to learn more of the needs of this group. While they were in the residential settings, the children were learning basic living and behavior skills, however, when they went to school their severe behavioral and emotional needs prevented them from progressing in their academic learning. The Victor organization realized that the public schools were not equipped to help this population of students learn. This was causing challenges in how well the kids were responding to care overall. The Victor organization saw the need as an opportunity to further their mission to help these kids succeed, and with renewed commitment and excitement, North Valley Schools was established. Its primary goal was to give students a safe environment in which to learn and prepare them for a return to public school. North Valley Schools was definitely the next evolution for Victor in the treatment of these kids and the continued and evolving purpose of helping them become productive members of society.
Victor Treatment Centers and North Valley Schools continued to become more proficient and effective at the services they were providing year after year. In time it became apparent that even more good could be done if Victor stepped out once again towards their ultimate goal of assisting children and young adults build, rebuild, or create family relationships that could sustain them throughout their lives. This time the need was for community programs to help children, youth, and young adults at risk of being placed in residential treatment, juvenile detention, psychiatric hospitalization, and other restrictive, non-family settings. Victor responded to this need and the result has been an amazing set of programs that continue to help children and young adults further become productive in society by reaching out to them before they are in need of a residential program and seeking to help them and their families manage their challenges more effectively at home. Victor Community Support Services is now the fastest growing organization within Victor's family of services.
Chapter 4 and Beyond...
The mission of Victor is based on a truly amazing story. More than 40 years ago, a man with a vision to rescue 3,800 kids from state mental hospitals created Victor Treatment Centers. From there he and his colleagues took one step in front of another towards the goal of giving these kids and young adults a chance to live better, happier and more successful lives.
Today, Victor employs over 1000 dedicated staff who are committed to the same values and ideals that have been in place from day one. Victor's family of services reaches throughout California, helping literally thousands of individuals and families deal with their unique challenges every day and inspiring hope for the future. With a strong foundation in place and a 50 year history of demonstrated excellence and success, Victor daily commits itself to seeking new and innovative ways to meet the needs of the people they serve today and into the future.