McKinley believes that providing a home-like environment to those who aren’t fortunate enough to have one is vital for the healing process. Our Residential Program offers a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week haven for boys between the ages of 10 and 18. The boys reside in cottages that provide a warm, secure environment with individual, group, and family resources that promote emotional health and provide permanency placement upon discharge from our facility.


McKinley Children’s Center is proud of our heritage of making a positive impact in the lives of children in need. For some children, McKinley is a safe haven for a brief period of time, for others, the Center’s influence becomes a life changing experience that will never be forgotten.

“The main thing that I enjoyed about being a McKinley was the exposure to a variety of activities.”

Tomy Stanley, 1953

“McKinley was a safe haven for me during a very difficult period of my childhood.”

William E. Rogers, 1970-1971

“I had it made and nobody knew it.”

Bill Sklut (Ingham), 1969

“I look upon my time at McKinley as what made me most of the man I am today.”

Robert Nixon, 1980-1984

What We Offer

In addition to a home-like environment, our Residential Program also provides experiences and offerings that enable the child to feel cared-for while giving them an opportunity to grow, learn, engage with others, and have fun. Offerings include:

  • Activities & Outings

  • Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Anger Management & Conflict Resolution

  • Sports

  • Monthly Events

  • Spiritual Care

  • Community Service

Our Healing Environment

The McKinley Children’s Center offers quality, home-like housing facilities and state-of-the-art amenities to our children. These offerings include:

  • Four residential cottages, each of which is named after one of our major benefactors (Whittier, Kiwanis, Campbell, and Gregory)

  • A sports pavilion for basketball, hockey and other sports

  • A large swimming pool

  • Various open areas for soccer, football, baseball, etc.

  • Full service dental facilities

  • A health service staff that is ready to attend children’s health needs

  • A dining hall and stage for presentations, plays, etc.

  • Bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades


Step 1:
At the time of interest or referral, an Intake Coordinator and our Treatment Team screen the client for admission.

Step 2:
At the time of admission, the child’s representative will meet with the Intake Coordinator to complete the intake process, and will at that time discuss programs and treatment in more detail.

Step 3:
The child will be placed in one of four residential cottages and will be assigned a clinician.

Step 4:
A complete mental health assessment will be completed within two weeks of placement. It will take no more than 30 days to determine a client care plan and treatment needs, and that time tangible goals are set for the child.

Step 5:
The child receives on-going treatment.

Step 6:
Every 90 days, the child’s treatment plan is formally reviewed and revised based on any findings.


6:30 Rise and Shine
Our children—grouped by age—wake up in one of four cottages that serve as homes for up to 7 boys. They’re gently awoken by a morning counselor who will help them get ready for their day.

7:15 Breakfast
The children are provided a healthy, nutritious breakfast. The food served is diverse, and accommodations are made for children with special dietary needs. During breakfast, the staff go over the day’s schedule with the children, including activities and special announcements, and help to focus the children for the day ahead.

8:00 School
Children attend either McKinley’s on-site school, Canyon View, or a schools in the community. Where the child attends is based on his educational needs.

2:00 Back From School, Snacks
Once school is over, the children come back to the Center and discuss with their counselors what their day was like and what they learned. They then get ready for a day of fun, exciting activities.

2:00 – 5:00 Therapeutic Activities
Children are busy with activities that are customized to help each of them develop essential skills, including: peer community groups, athletics, arts & crafts, nature walks, and time with their therapist to discuss personal and family issues.

6:00 Dinner
Once recreation is over, it’s time for a healthy dinner in the dining hall. The children once again eat as a group with children from other cottages, and are given the choice of several hot entrée items, salads, fruit, etc. Like breakfast, the food served is diverse and can be made to accommodate special dietary needs.

6:30 – 9:00 Study Hall, Additional Activities
Children are given time to have phone conversations with their family to discuss how their day went and what activities they took part in. These interactions are very important to a child’s therapy during what can be a very emotional time, and our counselors are available to help children communicate with their families.

9:00 Transition to Bed
After a full day, the children start to get ready for bed. They’ll take part in quiet activities like reading, writing in a journal and listening to music on headphones. They’ll then sleep in their own room, with counselors providing supervision through the night to provide for a safe environment.



Your donations allow us to bring valuable services to children and families throughout Southern California. Thank you for helping McKinley continue our mission, as we recognize and celebrate the unique contributions each individual makes to our community.