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Aetna Voices of Health Competition

EPU Children's Center


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EPU Children's Center

The Mission of EPU is to strengthen and empower underserved and high risk children and families facing extraordinary medical, developmental, and parenting challenges. Our Vision is that children grow up in families in which their individual needs are met; their parents are healthy, have confidence in themselves and their ability to meet the needs of all family members, and are empowered to be successful in life and in parenting. Core goals of EPU include:

  1. Promote the development of infants and children with special medical, developmental or emotional needs;
  2. Support secure parent-child relationships and assist parents as they grow in the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to help themselves and their children succeed in school and in life;
  3. Collaborate with other agencies toward the creation of inclusive family-centered services.
  4. Founded in 1976 at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, Exceptional Parents Unlimited (EPU) was started as a support group for parents who had given birth to babies with major life-long disabilities. Forty-three years later, EPU utilizing the expertise of psychologists, mental health clinicians, physical, occupational and speech therapists, child development specialists and parents who work together to realize the hope for young children and their families.

There are five main program areas:

  • Learning About Parenting is the umbrella for our child abuse prevention programs at EPU providing intensive long term home visitation and center based services to overburdened families in which the children are at risk of abuse and neglect.
  • The Infant Family Program is a therapeutic rehabilitative early intervention program for infants with disabilities and other special needs up to the age of three.
  • The Family Resource Center serves parents of children with disabilities of all ages living in 13 Central California counties. Support groups, advocacy, training programs, workshops and the lending library are available to parents.
  • Play and Grow provides therapeutic, developmental playgroups for all children and families served by EPU's programs. The focus is on socialization, communication, and early childhood literacy.
  • The Assessment Center for Children provides early childhood mental health assessments, referrals, treatment, and care coordination for young children (birth through age 5) experiencing difficulties in development, social interaction, attachment, or behavior.

This is just a snapshot of the amazing work done by the EPU team. Our staff has the experience and passion to meet the vast and diverse needs within our communities focusing on underserved populations.

To ensure families feel safe, respected, and heard EPU is the "go-to" place that is effectively staffed with well-trained and highly qualified individuals that foster empathy, knowledge and understanding of child and family development. Today, 70% of children with delays go undetected until they reach kindergarten. Every year, 12,000 three-year-old's are missing from California's special education system based upon the historic data of the incidence of developmental and behavioral disorders in children. The programs at EPU, underscore the need for continued innovation and improvement in how we serve families and meet their needs. EPU continues to cultivate and lift up the voices and experiences of families facing extraordinary challenges and its family-centered and child-focused programming over the last four decades illustrates that the spirit and commitment to educating, supporting, serving and empowering families with young children is ever strong and remains undeterred. Difficult journeys should not be walked alone and here at EPU, we walk together with children and their families.

Our contact info:

EPU Children's Center

4440 North First Street, Fresno CA 93727
Phone: (559) 229-2000
Fax: (559) 354-5974