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Exceptional Children's Foundation Merger with Kayne Eras Center Creates One of State's Most Comprehensive Nonprofits Serving the Disabled
Date:9/10/2007

Expansion of Services Now Ranges From Birth Through Adulthood

CULVER CITY, Calif., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Exceptional Children's Foundation (ECF) announced today that it has merged with the Kayne Eras Center (KEC), creating one of California's largest and most unique nonprofit organizations serving children and adults with developmental, learning and emotional disabilities. As a result of the merger, ECF becomes the only organization of its kind in California able to provide a full continuum of services for disabled individuals, from birth through adulthood.

ECF has been serving newborns to 3-year-olds and adults in Los Angeles County for 62 years. KEC aids developmental, learning and emotionally challenged students in grades K-12, thus making this merger a natural combining of complementary services that annually serve more than 2,300 individuals and their families at 15 different sites throughout the county. Locations include Culver City, Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, Arleta, Reseda, Central Los Angeles, Lomita and San Pedro.

"By joining together we can provide a full spectrum of services to individuals with disabilities that begins at birth and continues throughout their lives," said ECF President and CEO Dr. Scott Bowling. "This seamless service continuum is critically important and will provide peace of mind for our clients and their families." Dr. Bowling has been named CEO and president of the newly merged organization.

In addition to providing the continuum of care for clients, Dr. Bowling says that the new organization will combine important "strategic and operational strengths" while achieving the "traditional economies of scale and scope that are realized through increased size and disciplined management." Through the merger ECF will double in size to $26 million in operating revenue and more than 400 employees.

"Joining forces with ECF presents a wonderfully unique opportunity to create a model organization that will set the standards of service delivery for a population that counts on us," said Suzanne Kayne, a generous supporter of KEC, former chair of the KEC board, and a new member of the ECF board. "We are delighted to be uniting with a like-minded organization that exemplifies the same values that we have at Kayne Eras," added Barbara Cull, KEC's founder.

KEC, founded in 1980, is well known in Southern California as a pioneer in the special education field with a professional, holistic approach to achieving individual success. In addition to a K-12 non-public school, the center provides a comprehensive array of services including individualized assessment and education; speech, occupational and educational therapy; behavior intervention; mental health counseling; job skills training; and much more. As a result of the merger, KEC will provide ECF's educational and therapeutic services.

"The highly regarded model that Kayne Eras uses remains unchanged and will continue to be the standard for educational, therapeutic and counseling excellence," said KEC's Interim CEO Ralph Walter, who will now serve on ECF's board of directors. "The combination of talent and resources that the merger offers will make the new organization stronger than the sum of the stand-alone operations."

While the two organizations have begun operating under ECF's management, the merger will be legally finalized once the standard regulatory approval process is complete. This is expected to be achieved by the end of the year.

About ECF

ECF is one of California's largest nonprofit organizations serving children and adults with developmental, learning and emotional disabilities. It is the only organization of its kind in California that provides a full continuum of such programs for developmentally disabled individuals, from birth through the senior years. Serving Los Angeles County for more than 60 years, ECF's highly regarded educational programs include Early Start for ages 3 and younger; the Kayne Eras Center, which provides K-12 education and therapeutic services; fine arts training; development activities; residential services; work training; and supported employment programs. For more information, visit http://www.ecf.net.


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SOURCE Exceptional Children's Foundation
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