a preventative model of care

our mission

Well Baby Center believes that every family deserves a place to feel supported, especially in the beginning.

By strengthening family connections, healing past traumas, and providing social support, we help families and communities thrive.

As a primary prevention model of care, we begin by asking two questions:

1. What are the conditions by which families and communities thrive?
2. How might Well Baby Center provide the services that are conducive to these conditions being met?

From a prevention model there are two ways to prevent family dysfunction from taking root:

The first is for there to be adequate community support and the second is for there to be adequate emotional support by culturally sensitive, de-stigmatizing professionals. We provide these services for both those juggling the enormous responsibilities as new parents and also for those struggling to just get by.

our core values

Well Baby Center is built on the belief that prevention and early intervention services provide the most effective path to transforming dysfunctional family systems. Unmitigated mental health challenges have far-reaching adverse effects on the family, particularly on the mother-infant relationship. 

Psychoanalyst and pediatrician Dr. Donald Winnicott famously stated that “there is no such thing as a baby. If you show me a baby, you certainly show me also someone caring for the baby.” Following this philosophy, we believe that early developmental support for the child must always include supporting parents during their transition to parenthood.


what’s at stake?

Untreated mental health issues can lead to long-term consequences

needs assessment

Over the last decade Well Baby Center has established itself as a reliable community resource. Since COVID-19, we have expanded our reach to become a virtual community center for all Los Angeles residents, now providing low as well as NO COST services to those in need.

“You have created a really wonderful place for parents.” — Ed Tronick, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, UMass Boston

expanding our mission: the marian place project

After more than a decade of service to low and middle-income families, we are expanding our mission to include helping the most vulnerable families living in our city. Well Baby Center and Venice Community Housing Corp. have partnered to create a world-class pilot project to provide permanent supportive housing, including onsite clinical and parenting services, all at no cost to the families living there. This child-friendly, community-based living arrangement will provide permanent housing and supportive services for approximately 20 resident women and children. Marian Place will be the model for other integrated, holistic affordable housing projects that will be replicated throughout Los Angeles. 

Having a passion both for conserving Los Angeles’ historic courtyard bungalows, and the repurposing of these iconic properties into healing living spaces, Well Baby Center’s founder and CEO, Dr. Deborah Groening-Rother, donated the Marian Place property to Venice Community Housing Corporation. Dr. Groening-Rother proposes that families who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, and other life challenges need a special environment to achieve recovery, resilience, and restoration.

Venice Community Housing will manage all aspects of the project, while Well Baby Center will provide all parenting and counseling services. Renovations for Marian Place and the Well Baby Center Annex will begin in 2021.

support our vision

“We have the ability to make our community a better place and knowing that we are in it together helps keep us all going.” — Dr. Robert J. Watkins IV, Surgeon, Father

In the next few years we envision shepherding more supportive, affordable housing communities with support from corporate and family foundation grants, as well individual donor contributions.

Due to the ever-increasing competition for public dollars, preventative services for families bear the brunt of financial cuts. As a society, we need to do much more to ensure that low income families with young children have a fair shot at a meaningful and healthy life.

By investing in Well Baby Center, you are putting your commitment to social responsibility into direct action. Your contribution will have an immediate and long-lasting impact on hundreds of families across the city.

You care deeply about promoting a more inclusive, healthy society and we have a proven track record of serving families toward this end. Together we can make history.

Our Financial Report is available upon request.