Hannah is the namesake of our organization and the continued inspiration for our work. She reminds all of us, every day, of the importance of a safe and secure routine for the children of divorce and separation. And she inspires us to protect children from the trauma she suffered.

Hannah was two years and four months old when her father abducted her. She was gone for almost exactly four years. During that time Hannah’s mother and two sisters struggled with fear, depression and despair. They tried to cope with the alternating hope that Hannah would be found and the grief that she was lost to them forever.

Hannah had to go through dramatic changes when she was abducted, on the run with her father for four years, and again when she was finally found. Everything about her life kept changing, with no warning, and she had no say in it and no control over it.

Upon her return to her mother's home, Hannah showed a remarkable resilience as she struggled to accept and understand what was happening, and what had happened, to her. And she did so with the loving support of her mother and sisters, as well as a supportive relationship with a psychologist who worked with Hannah as she worked to adjust to her new life.

Our organization started out with the idea that we would train professionals in a wide variety of fields to understand the impact of substance abuse. We planned to have a family program where the knowledge and skills could be practiced. Much to our surprise, san diego needed something that looked a little different.

we created a diverse advisory council in 1988 that worked with us for the first 5 years to figure out how to apply our mission in ways that would truly benefit our community. the result? we continued to train professionals from many fields, but the emphasis of our training and education work shifted more directly to families suffering from the combined challenges of family breakup, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, and emotional challenges; and to the professionals working to help these families.

            

Susan griffin, executive director, co-founder.

Susan griffin, executive director, co-founder.

With over 39 years of human services experience, and degrees in child development, music, psychology, behavioral science and couples/family therapy, Susan Griffin also has specialized training in parenting/co-parenting; child development; divorce and family dynamics; substance abuse; anger management; and music/art work with children.

Susan Griffin co-authored a book with her son's father,Co-parenting For The Sake of The Kids, a booklet for teachers, employee assistance professionals, and family law attorneys. She is also author of a series of articles called "The ABC's of Parenting." Her books include: Parents are Forever; Turtles Travel Too; andThe Healing Circle of Stones: A Positive Force for Transformation of Self and Community; and Good Order and Discipline.

In addition to over 30 years of work as a teacher, consultant, advocate and activist in the human services field, she is a parent, step-parent, licensed ham radio operator, amateur herpetologist, horsewoman, songwriter, musician, artist, poet and short story writer.

She has been honored to receive the San Diego Channel 10 Leadership Award; San Diego Kiwanian of the Year Award; and the prestigious Barbara Christenson Award from the St Germaine Childrens Charity.

 

ORGANIZATION MILESTONES

1988 - Founded as Griffin & Wong Institute for Education & Training
1993 – Nonprofit incorporation to reduce substance abuse and its related problems through training and education - focus on professionals in substance abuse, mental health, legal, employee assistance, education, medicine, dental, family court
1996 – Began offering training to Professional Providers of Supervised Visitation in San Diego County  with emphasis on our substance abuse expertise
1998 – Access to Visitation Grant - Family Court Focus for Nonprofit Mission of reducing substance use and its related problems in our community
2003 –  California Endowment Grant
2004 – 1st Las Patronas Foundation Grant
2007 – 2nd Las Patronas Foundation Grant
2010 – 3rd Las Patronas Foundation Grant
2011 - Achieved San Diego Foundation Valued Partner Status
2012 – Weingart Foundation Grant
2013 - 4th Las Patronas Foundation Grant
          - New Location in Kearny Mesa
2014 - Recipient of the Barbara Christensen Heart of San Diego Award from St. Germaine Children's Charity
          - 1st St. Grermaine Grant
2015 - National Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys Grant Award
2016 - Thursday Club Grant
         - Achieved Guidestar Gold Status
         -  2nd St. Germaine Grant
2016 – Achieved Guide Star Gold Status
2017 - 5th Las Patronas Foundation Grant
2017 – Achieved Guide Star Platinum Status

 

COOPERATIVE COPARENTING

  • Children need both parents so love ALL of who your child is, not just the part you contributed
  • Say yes to requests from your child or coparent whenever you can
  • Always take the high road with your coparent
  • Respect the other parent at all times in your interactions with children and with coparent
  • Assume good intentions and best efforts on the part of your coparent
  • Give your coparent the benefit of the doubt