Who We Are & What We Do

Oakes' focus is to serve local children with mental health need. Thanks to you, our families, our community, and all of our supporters, in 2023 we will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary helping San Francisco children. If you are a parent or caregiver interested in help for your child through any of our programs, reach us through the Caregivers link above or our contact information below.


Oakes Children’s Center is dedicated to

providing education and mental health services to youth with emotional and/or developmental challenges and to their families, particularly in underserved communities. Our goal is to foster the social, emotional and educational growth necessary for children to continue learning and fully realize their potential. We fulfill our mission by providing individualized education, innovative and culturally- responsive therapeutic services, comprehensive assessment, and clinical


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Linda Wohlrabe, MSW, Interim Executive Director

Dr. Larry Brenner, PsyD. Clinical Consultant

Sarah Cohen, LCSW, Partnership Consultant


Lawrence Villegas, Financial Consultant

Cathy Abel, Director of Development and Outreach

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Oakes Children's Center Board of Directors

D. Austin Hare, Chair          

Attorney at Law, The Law Offices of D. Austin Hare

Jeffrey Ralls, Vice-Chair          

Senior Strategy Manager, Treasure Data

Nicole Roger, Secretary                

MFT, Senior Manager of Clinical Partnerships, Spring Health

Akin Mousse, Member                

Software Engineer, Bloomberg LP

If you are interested in joining our Board, please see our Board Member Application here.

Oakes' History

Oakes began in 1963 as the San Francisco Children's Center preschool for autistic children set in Parnassus Heights. Over time, we began to serve young children with mental health diagnosis and, by 1970, became Oakes Children's Center, a school serving children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. In addition to our School and Outpatient services, in 1988 our program expanded to include a Clinical Training Program for graduate students in psychology and social work. Our Partnership Program started in 2004 with the aim to reach students in San Francisco public schools. Clinicians from both our Outpatient and Partnership Programs are currently serving over 250 clients and classrooms in 10 SOAR classrooms and in up to 62 elementary, middle, and high school sites. With increasing attention to early intervention, and increasing developmental delay and mental health diagnosis, the number of clients seen though Oakes’ Outpatient Program continues to grow. Oakes hopes to develop new mobile programs to continue our reach into the community.