“Our success today is due to the hard work of staff, volunteers and the generosity of this community who have helped countless families over the past 40 years.”
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Cope Family Center was founded in 1972 by a group of concerned parents after a child abuse related death. Linda Thomas led this group of dedicated volunteers, who envisioned all of Napa’s children growing up in safe, nurturing homes. Despite the changes in our community over the past 40 years, this vision is still significant and applicable today.

Cope Family Center’s mission is to empower families to create happy, healthy lives for their children through child abuse prevention, parent education and self-sufficiency services. Cope’s staff and volunteers have worked with tens of thousands of families since our inception, serving approximately 3,000 families, raising over 5,000 children each year. 

Our success today is due to the hard work of staff and volunteers who helped countless families over the past 40 years.  Please help us recount and document Cope’s history with your photos and stories as volunteers, staff, clients or partner agencies by sending an email to Michele Grupe.


    • 2011 Projected Budget:
      Income: $1,289,920
      Expenses: $1,288,451
    • In 2010, Cope was one of 40 agencies nationwide selected by the National Fatherhood Initiative to receive a capacity building grant to develop services for fathers in Napa County.
    • In 2011, Cope begins accreditation process for Healthy Families America Home Visitation Program, which will position the agency to leverage additional funds through Health Care Reform, as well as engage larger regional foundations to support Napa County child abuse prevention efforts.
    • Child abuse rate almost doubles since 2007, in line with the unemployment rate.


      • The Board of Directors purchased our family resource center in 2000.
      • In 2000, Ardis retired as the Executive Director after over 20 years of service. Nancy Waldek served as Interim Executive Director as the Board conducted a search. Joelle Gallagher began as the Executive Director in 2001, and continues in this role today.
      • One Family Network: founded 2002. Cope Family Center has been on the forefront of the statewide Family Resource Center (FRC) movement, and was instrumental in the formation of Family Resource Centers in Napa County, including American Canyon Family Center, Calistoga Family Center, and St. Helena Family Center.
      • In 2003, the Family Economic Success Program was founded with an investment from First 5Napa County to help parents become financially stable.
      • In 2004, Cope and CAPC host the first annual Blue Plate Special fundraiser. Over the next four years, the event raised over $750,000 for child abuse prevention efforts in Napa County.
      • In 2005, Cope’s leadership collaborates with Napa County family resource center’s to expand the Family Economic Success Program countywide. To date, the partners have helped over thousands of families’ access over $2 million in tax refunds, the majority of which has been reinvested in our community.
      • In 2006, under the leadership of the Child Abuse Prevention Council Steering Committee and a $25,000 investment from the Cope Board of Directors, The Courage Center opened its’ doors to provide a safe place for children to receive exams for sexual abuse. Click here to read more.
      • At the onset of the recession in 2008, the Board and staff invested in the development of our Volunteer Program. Returning to our roots has enabled us to extend our services into the community and engage an average of 3,400 volunteers hours annually, valued at $90,000. The program was developed and overseen by and AmeriCorps Member.
      • In 2009, Cope’s partners with Sustainable Napa County to reduce energy consumption and improve sustainable practices of both the organization and the families served by Cope.


      • 1981 Budget:
        Income: $16,738
        Expenses: $15,982
      • In 1980, C.O.P.E. had their first annual rummage sale, benefiting the community
      • In 1980, C.O.P.E coordinated with Head Start on a county wide workshop held at the Napa College entitled Reaching Out To Families.
      • In 1981, C.O.P.E. coordinates with N.E.W.S. to provide a 24-hour hotline coverage for the women’s shelter.
      • In 1980, C.O.P.E. began publication of it’s own newsletter quarterly called COPE Communique.


    • Child Abuse Prevention Service (C.A.P.S.) was founded in 1972 by Linda Thomas to raise awareness and prevent child abuse. The grass-roots volunteer operation operated out of Linda’s home. LINDA comments about why she started Cope, “I read an article in the local paper about a 2 year old baby girl that was murdered in Napa on Easter. I just got to thinking about that situation and thinking that there didn’t seem to be any resources at that time for parents who needed help or needed respite or needed someone to talk to or to hand their child off to for a while. There were no resources except law enforcement and you don’t call the police when you feel like you’re going to hurt your child.”
    • 1972 Budget:
      Income: $581
      Expenses: $440.95
    • Judy David wrote the training material to help recruit and train volunteers.
    • In 1974, the first Board of Directors was officiated to give credibility to the organization and to pursue government funding.
      • Judith Ann David
      • Dan Corsello
      • John Cunningham
      • Helen Dunlap
      • Ruth Hamilton
      • Sandie Harvego
      • C. Preston Schackelford
      • L. Kendall Nelson
      • Susan Sandler
      • Dorothy Searcy
    • The fall of 1975, Linda resigned and Bob Ryan was hired as director. Preston Shackelford became Board President. Judy Waggoner became the director in 1976, followed by Ardis Troedson in 1979. Ardis lead the organization as Director for over 20 years.
    • In 1975, Call Review was created in order to increase communication between the director, volunteers, board members, and supportive community agencies.
    • In 1978, the organization’s name was changed to C.O.P.E. (Child or Parent Emergency), submitted by volunteer Bobby Bird.
    • In 1978 the position of Volunteer Supervisor was created to offer more support to the volunteers.
    • In 1979, the first fashion show was held at Domaine Chandron, which became the organization’s annual event for the next 24 years.