Seneca Family of Agencies


Underprepared Staff Are Doing the Most Difficult Work in Child Welfare

Direct care staff who work with youth are our most immediate front line of support for youth who require additional adult intervention in school-based and residential environments. However, through no fault of their own, these individuals are on average the most undertrained, undersupervised, underpaid and seemingly undervalued paid professionals our youth come in contact with.

Youth Role in Violence, Carjackings Overstated, the Sentencing Project Says


California Considers a “Bat-Signal” for Foster Youth in Distress

The woman used a thick extension cord on her foster children. Welts rose. Bruises formed. Fear became the norm inside the Watts neighborhood home in Los Angeles where LaToya Cooper and six other children were sent to live.


Break Down Your Data Barriers

In the helping professions, few words elicit as strong and varied a reaction as “data.” Having strong outcome data to support your organization’s claims is essential, and there is immense value in using high quality information to guide your decision-making. 


Ken Berrick, Seneca Family of Agencies, Earns James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

Yesterday Ken Berrick, founder and CEO of the Seneca Family of Agencies, received a 2017 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in Sacramento. The award annually recognizes six leaders advancing innovative and effective solutions in addressing significant statewide issues.


Unconditional Education Program Shows Promising Results

NOTE: This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect revisions to the initial findings made by Seneca Center.  Seneca Family of Agencies released the findings from an evaluation of its Unconditional Education model, implemented in a select group of Oakland schools with funding from a federal Department of Education grant.


Child Protection Needs a ‘Race to the Moon’ Mentality

In the practice of child welfare, we are called upon to model a set of core values.  Woven throughout Family Finding and my partnership with the Seneca Family of Agencies is an evolving philosophy of “unconditional care” that translates into, “Our plans may fail, but the family and child will not.”


    The Need to Align Values of Schools, Family Services Providers

    Opportunities abound for educators and nonprofit partners in California to align values between schools and community partners. With the adoption of the local control funding structure, California began to require each school district to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) responsible for ensuring the academic growth of students with disabilities and addresses the unique needs of students who live in poverty, students who are English language learners and students who are in foster care.

    Kevin Campbell


    U.S. Foster Care for Syrian Children: One Family’s Blessing, Another Family’s Loss 

    I am reminded from time to time about how responsive and compassionate the American people can be by reading stories like the one recently published by The Imprint about the opening of the American foster care system to Syrian children.


    With Mental Health, Calif. Child Welfare Systems Must Learn from the Best

    The California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, in collaboration with other statewide advocacy groups, recently released a report detailing the lack of service options for children and youth experiencing mental health crises across California.