The Beginning

An organizing committee was formed, and Family Service Agency of San Mateo County was incorporated in 1950 to strengthen and maintain the families of San Mateo County. The organization opened for business on September 25th, 1950, in a three-room office at 1117 South B Street in San Mateo with a staff of a full-time Executive Director and a part-time counselor. The organizing committee became the first Board of Directors. Initial funding came from the local Community Chest and a private donation.


Ten women led by Auxiliary President Mrs. John Finney formed the first auxiliary in 1961. The auxiliary’s silent auction held in May 1961 was the first of hundreds of benefit events planned by the organization’s supporters throughout the county.

Child Care

In September 1973 Family Service launched an innovative network of neighborhood family day care homes in Redwood City with funding as a demonstration project by the State Department of Education. Low-income mothers were trained in nursery school techniques and hired by the organization to be caregivers. Their homes were modified to meet licensing requirements. The network cared for children of low-income mothers who were either employed or in work training programs. Children stayed in their own neighborhoods and in environments that reflected their cultural heritage. Fees were calculated on a sliding scale based on ability to pay.

Senior Employment

Services to seniors were added to agency programs in May 1984, after Family Service was asked to take on management of San Mateo County’s Senior Community Employment Program. Funded by federal and state funds administered through the local Area Agency on Aging, this program provides training and subsidized job placements in government agencies and community organizations for needy seniors. Acculturation workshops for new immigrants, bilingual services, supervision, and follow up are included.

75 years


For 75 years (2025), Peninsula Family Service (PFS) has stood as a beacon of hope and a dedicated community partner for our vulnerable neighbors facing challenges. With expert-driven tools and support, PFS empowers our community members to reach their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives.

The Bay Area has evolved over many decades, and PFS has been there every step of the way – providing support, caring for our neighbors, and becoming a deeply trusted part of this community. Our more than 39 programs, sites, and services reach our neighbors in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. PFS staff have expertise in early learning, financial empowerment, older adult services, transportation, employment, mental health, and more. We are lifting up our participants at every stage of life, from pregnant mothers and their babies to adults over 100 years young.