The seed for the William Gladden Foundation (WGF) was planted in 1974, when William H. Gladden, Jr., Executive Director of the Pennsylvania George Junior Republic School for Boys, died in a plane crash. With no son to carry on his mission, William D. “Pappy” Gladden, Sr. asked Waln to continue the Gladden family tradition of helping troubled youth.

Upon completing his doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania, Waln left the Office of Youth Services and Corrections Education, Pennsylvania Departments of Welfare and Education, and took up residence at the National Center for Juvenile Justice. He then won a post-doctoral fellowship at the Sonia Schenkman Orthogenic School, the University of Chicago, to study psychoanalytic ego psychology and work with emotionally disturbed youth.

With the help of a professional editor, Waln completed his personal memoir, The Other Side of Delinquency, Rutgers University Press, 1983, and borrowed $5,000 to pursue Pappy’s mission by incorporating WGF as a nonprofit organization.

WGF began publishing books with What Parents Should Know about Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, William Gladden Foundation Press, 1983. Juvenile and family courts ordered 50,000+ copies to educate parents and train juvenile justice and child welfare professionals.

WGF received a grant from the Child Abuse Task Force of York County, Pennsylvania to write and publish a book titled The York County Child Abuse Handbook, William Gladden Foundation Press, 1985. The book was re-written for a national audience, re-titled About Child Abuse and Neglect, William Gladden Foundation Press, 1985, and marketed to child welfare professionals nationwide.

WGF received grants from the Dauphin County Juvenile Probation Department and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in 1986. These research grants funded the study of the adult outcomes of former court-adjudicated delinquents, to learn why some of them overcame their childhood problems while others did not. Waln and Richard L. Jenkins, M.D. researched nonfiction publishers and published their findings in The Abandonment of Delinquent Behavior: Promoting the Turnaround, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1988.

WGF received a letter from the IRS granting tax-exempt status as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization in 1986.

WGF relocated its headquarters to Tallahassee, Florida in 1990.

From the mid 1980s through 1990, the WGF Press published over 100 titles and pioneered the youth at-risk marketplace. Between 1991 and 1997, the WGF Press grew as a nonfiction book publisher by direct mail marketing over two million full-color catalogs to schools, courts, private and public agencies and organizations nationwide.

In 2000, Waln further honed his writing and editing skills as the Executive Editor of the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, a quarterly publication for educators and child welfare professionals.

In 2004, WGF developed a website to provide visitors free access to our library of over 200 copyrighted publications about youth and family issues.

Recent examples of the WGF Press as an independent book publisher, biography and memoir publisher include these titles:

  • Waln K. Brown and John R. Seita (2009) Growing Up in the Care of Strangers: The Experiences, Insights and Recommendations of Eleven Former Foster Kids. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown (2012) I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown (2012)  Mr. America: The Story of John Wayne. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown (2012) Bapu: The Story of Mahatma Gandhi. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown (2012) Uncle Walt: The Story of Walt Disney. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown and John R. Seita (2013) A Foster Care Manifesto: Defining the Alumni Movement. Tallahassee, FL: WGF Publishing.
  • Waln K. Brown (2014) Saving the Schizo Kid: Reflections on Divorce, Mental Health and Recovery. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.
  • Waln K. Brown and John R. Seita (2017) A Brief History of American Foster Care. Tallahassee, FL: William Gladden Foundation Press.

These books are available at


Phone: (850) 668-8574

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