Jan/Feb 2020 Newsletter
New ED of APA Family Support Services Envisions Building Healthy Immigrant Families
by Reporter Han Li / San Francisco, January 4, 2020
After retiring from an administrative post at Stanford University, Rick Yuen returned to San Francisco Chinatown, where he grew up, to take over as the new executive director of the APA Family Support Services (APA).
The APA was founded in 1987. The founder, Dr. Don Wong, received a state government grant to help children and families in the Asian immigrant community grow up healthily.
APA is headquartered in Chinatown, but has offices throughout San Francisco and provides a comprehensive range of services. In addition to parenting education and family service consultation, it also includes domestic violence prevention and family counseling. The organization provides up to seven language translation services, including multiple Asian languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.
Some Asian immigrant families in the United States are not reflecting the “model minorities” impression, but on the contrary, they face many economic difficulties, and the parents may have fights, mental problems, depression, or domestic violence. Sometimes drugs are involved and the parents end up losing child-custody.
Yuen said that at this time, APA can serve as a bridge, hosting family meetings every week, allowing parents, children, and social workers to communicate and interact in a comfortable environment. “These meetings are often filled with laughter and tears.”
Asian residents are increasingly moving into communities southeast of San Francisco, such as Visitacion Valley and Bayview. Yuen hopes to expand services to these communities during his tenure. “I envision APA growing to meet emerging (family support) needs in the Bay Area.”
According to figures provided by the agency, in the fiscal year from July 2018 to June 2019, a total of more than 8,000 people participated in the services programs, including 679 newly registered children clients. The organization can be contacted by the number: 415-617-0061.
Yuen has been active in the San Francisco community for many years and also has close connections with some local big names. He was classmates with former SFPD chief Heather Fong for eight years during early school time; he also had a marriage with former city Supervisor Mabel Teng for more than 20 years and divorced in 2005; while working at Stanford University, he was the mentor of former city Supervisor Jane Kim and hired Kim as a student worker for years. Yuen said he happily remarried five years ago.
Rick Yuen has been hired as the new Executive Director of APA Family Support Services. (Han Li / Photography)
APA Family Support Services