Reuniting Families

Walden Family Services pic
Walden Family Services

Captain David Schnell of the U.S. Navy retired from active duty after serving his country for 27 years. Since retiring, he has taken on the role of general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes Program. Outside of work, Captain David Schnell serves on the board of Walden Family Services.

Founded in 1976, Walden Family Services is centered on the idea that children in foster care require the same support all children need in order to prosper. For these children to reach their full potential, they need help from a family and community.

Based in San Diego, California, Walden Family Services also has offices in the following counties: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. The charity supports youth and children in foster care as well as their families across Southern California.

One of its programs is family visiting. Visits between the birth families and the children increases the chances that the parents will develop the skills to raise their children and allow the children to return home to their family.

Those who qualify are birth families who are working to unite with their children. The program provides planned supervised visits wherein coaches are present to assist parents develop the needed skills to solidify family-child relationships. Parents can be part of the everyday life of the child including eating meals and helping with homework. Ultimately, this program helps shorten the time children stay in foster care.


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A U.S. Navy veteran with more than 26 years of experience as an officer in increasingly challenging roles, including the command of two naval warships, David Schnell has a vast background in executive leadership, management, and team building. David Schnell’s military service offered him the chance to develop a wide range of skills in business management, crisis management, financial planning, and problem solving. He served in multiple deployments to the Arabian Gulf, provided combat support to ongoing military operations in the Middle East, and led thousands of sailors from a variety of different professional backgrounds. During his naval career, David Schnell served as Commanding Officer on board the USS Peleliu, an amphibious aircraft carrier and flagship for an expeditionary strike group, and the USS Ford, a guided missile frigate in support of an aircraft carrier strike group. During both commands, he led a total of 1,250 sailors and oversaw the security of 1,800 Marines in combat and support operations. David Schnell also held several staff positions in Washington, DC, including Staff Officer to the Chief of Naval Operations Deep Blue Directorate, where he offered technical guidance and expertise on emerging warfare concepts, and Branch Chief to the Joint Staff in the War on Terrorism Directorate, where he worked on anti-proliferation issues concerning weapons of mass destruction as well as biological and chemical agents. Schnell retired honorably from the Navy as a Captain and currently works in San Diego as Executive Director of Christ Kitchen, an organization that provides thousands of meals to people who are homeless and families in need. David Schnell also serves on the board of Walden Family Services and is a counselor with Royal Family Kids Camp, two organizations that offer assistance, support, and developmental activities to foster children.

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