Oak Grove Center (OGC) is a nonprofit, residential, educational and treatment center for children throughout California with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems and special needs. Oak Grove Center operates multiple locations in Murrieta (Oak Grove Center), Oak Grove at the Ranch in Perris and Oak Grove in the Desert located in Bermuda Dunes.
Oak Grove Center’s mission is to rebuild the lives of at-risk children and their families through education, healing, restoring relationships, building character and instilling hope.
There are few nonprofit children’s services facilities in California that provide the depth and range of specialized services to at-risk children that Oak Grove Center has provided for decades. Increasingly, the alternative for children needing residential, 24-hour treatment is to send them to inadequate facilities outside of California. Healing organizations like Oak Grove Center are helping to reverse this trend, while meeting California’s higher standards for care.
Oak Grove Center is a one-of-a-kind organization that transforms the lives of children that face severe challenges.
Oak Grove Center accepts and embraces children from the entire state of California. The only criterion is that the staff believe they can help the child.
Oak Grove Center accepts referrals from school districts; county departments of mental health, children and family services and probation; and managed care health providers. Additionally, physicians, psychotherapists, educators, caseworkers, parents and community-based programs, agencies, or individuals can make referrals. Oak Grove Center intake staff will help determine eligibility for programs as well as funding sources.
Families may apply for any of the services (residential, partial hospitalization, nonpublic school day program, day treatment and extended day outpatient) by contacting Oak Grove Center via phone, email, fax or letter.
Year Founded: 1989
Number of Campuses: 3
Total Number of Full and Part Time Staff Members: 371
Total Number Served in 2020: 838
Total Number of Youth served since 1989 through 2020: 10,333
Over 1100 Youth Served in 2016
Oak Grove Center offers California’s at-risk children the widest spectrum of services: education, wraparound, sports and the arts, programs for autism and independent living, partial hospitalization, outpatient services, addiction recovery and relapse programs, and much more.
Oak Grove Center partners with referring agencies to create a customized plan of education and care for each child. Thanks to our wide array of service offerings, compassionate approach, and professional expertise, OGC provides the gold standard of care for California children with severe psychological, emotional and behavioral challenges.
Oak Grove Center’s Services include:
- Autism Program
- Arts Program
- Independent Living Program (THRIVE)
- Wraparound Program
- Sports Program
- Specialty Programs
- Special Education Nonpublic School
- Residential Treatment
- Day Programs (ages 5-22)
- Intensive Outpatient Programs
Oak Grove Center’s rural locations are ideal for children with severe emotional and behavioral challenges who are more likely to thrive in a healthy environment that encourages activity and minimizes distractions while also prioritizing safety.
Oak Grove Center’s Murrieta Campus offers residential treatment to children ages 8-18, years from throughout California. It is a Level 12 residential treatment facility that offers a 24-hour therapeutic program for up to 76 children who live on campus. Services include individual therapy, family therapy, psychiatric evaluation, nursing services and medication monitoring. An additional 90 children and youth with special needs are transported daily to our campus from throughout Riverside County, serving ages 5-22 are served. Located on a beautiful 10-acre campus in the heart of Murrieta, California, the campus encompasses three dormitories, a K-12 nonpublic school, cafeteria, pool, library, therapy and nursing facilities, as well as administrative offices, a baseball field, organic garden, and a state-of-the-art gymnasium complex that includes an autism sensory room, music and dance studio as well as a game room for the Oak Grove youth.
Oak Grove at the Ranch (OGR) is a California-certified, WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) accredited nonpublic school operating under the umbrella of the Oak Grove Center. Established in 2006, OGR is located in Perris and provides services to students ages 5-22 years who have histories of chronic and severe social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. The school is comprised of five self-contained special day classes serving students with emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and autism. Students are transported daily to and from school either by facility vehicles, their families or residential care program or by their home district.
Oak Grove in the Desert is our newest location in Bermuda Dunes. The location is now leasing space for our staff who provide Wraparound and THRIVE services to youth and families in the Desert area. This site operates under the umbrella of the Oak Grove Center. Oak Grove Center has been providing Wraparound Services to families referred from the Riverside Department of Social Services since 2010.
Oak Grove Center is the gold standard of facilities in California for at-risk children. We are licensed by the California Department of Social Services as a level-12 group home. We are also licensed by CDSS as a Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP). OGC has earned a unique combination of additional prized licenses and accreditations, including:
- Joint Commission (JCAH)
- California State Department of Education Non-Public School Certification
- Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC)
- California Alliance for Children & Families
- Licensed by the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division
The root of Oak Grove Center’s success is our people. Our team of staff and specialists know each child’s particular needs and ensure that the optimal combination of Oak Grove Center’s services is provided to help the child prepare for a healthy future.
Oak Grove Center’s leaders are experts in turning around the lives of children dealing with emotional and behavioral challenges. OGC’s experts have unique perspectives on providing this population with education, health and mental health support. Their experiences are vital resources for the children’s services field.
Tammy Wilson, LMFT, Chief Executive Officer
Tammy Wilson, LMFT, has served as the Chief Executive Officer at Oak Grove Center since 2005 and is responsible for leading all operations at the Center – including program development, supervising the management team, providing leadership to 377 staff members and overseeing the special needs youth the nonprofit serves. Tammy brings to Oak Grove Center over 30 years of experience leading both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Over the last several years, Tammy has led major initiatives including opening a new gym/multipurpose rooms, relocating and rehabilitating Oak Grove at the Ranch, adding and growing Wraparound and Autism Services and adding an Independent Living Program for foster youth throughout Riverside County. Under her leadership, Oak Grove Center has expanded from 190 employees to a staff of 377, while securing the requisite funding to grow the operating budget from $500,000 to over $18 million. Prior to joining Oak Grove Center, Tammy served as a Program Director at Southwood Hospital, Southwood Residential Treatment Center and Vista Hill Hospital, working on numerous teams in a wide variety of roles.
Misty Kerrigan, Director of Community Based Programs
Misty Kerrigan has been in the role of Director of Community Based Services at Oak Grove Center since 2012 and has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Independent Living Program (THRIVE) and ensuring compliance with current Wraparound Programs standards by developing, implementing and monitoring systems. Misty oversees specialty groups such as Anger Management, Commitment Group and Recovery, and she provides support and training for milieu interventions. Misty specializes in teaching staff a variety of ways to build relationships, avoid power struggles and how to de-escalate conflict situations. Misty is very skilled at personalizing individualized behavior plans for some of OGC’s most demanding clients.
Billie Gengler, LCSW, Clinical Director
Billie Gengler, LCSW, has been with Oak Grove Center since 1999 and has been licensed with the State of California, Board of Behavioral Sciences since 1988. Billie oversees and provides supervision to the clinical operations in all departments, residential, day treatment, and Wraparound services. Billie’s professional background includes extensive experience in a variety of fields, including child, adolescent and adult mental health, medical social work, managed care, neuro-rehabilitation and crisis intervention. Billie is passionate about building strengths not only in her clients, but also the clinical team, and has experience in resiliency-building and evidence-based practices.
Athene Banche, MA, Director of Education
Athene Banche, MA, is the Director of Education at Oak Grove Center. In this role, Athene oversees the school programs, Jack Weaver Nonpublic School and Oak Grove at The Ranch. Athene has been a leader in the education field for 20 years, working with a wide range of students with varying abilities – both children and adults – who require specialized instruction or intervention to benefit from their educational environment. Athene’s previous experience in education includes working as a training instructor of young adults identified with developmental disabilities, a special education teacher for grades 7-12, and a NPS education specialist/site administrator. Athene has been awarded Teacher of the Year twice and Employee of the Year once, the highest awards bestowed by Oak Grove Center. As a senior level director on the management team of Oak Grove Center, Athene participates in overall quality assurance and performance improvement activities at Oak Grove Center.
- For the past 22 years Oak Grove Center has provided treatment to approximately
4,200 students, as well as services for their families.
- 2008-2009 Nonprofit of the Year by the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce
- Oak Grove Center became one of the first 50 NASA Explorer Schools in May of 2005 and remains the only Special Education school in the country to be a NASA Explorer School. (There are now 300 Explorer Schools throughout the nation.)
- Oak Grove Center received the Nonprofit Charitable Organization of the Year Award for 2005 by the Temecula Chamber of Commerce.
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