Our Commitment to Racial Justice

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Seneca values the diverse ethnic, cultural identities and experiences of our employees and the communities we serve. We strive to offer our employees a workplace that is welcoming, inclusive of differing worldviews, cultures, and lived experiences. Through the work of our Employee Resources Groups, we honor and celebrate the diverse cultural identities and experiences of our staff. We are committed to amplifying their voices to inform our agency practices and our work with youth and families. Seneca is a gender affirming organization. We are participants in the All Children – All Families project of the Human Rights Campaign to improve the services we provide the LGBTQ+ youth and families in our foster care and adoptions programs in Southern California. We believe a diverse workforce within a culture of equity and inclusion increases creativity, innovation, problem solving, and teamwork with the youth and families and for us an organization.


Values in Practice: A Guide to Gender Pronouns

Black Lives Matter

All Black Lives Matter. We affirm that all Black Lives include queer and trans persons, those with visible and invisible disabilities, as well as undocumented persons. We understand that to affirm that Black Lives Matter means to address structural racism and the resulting violence that has impacted the lives of our employees, youth and families and the communities we serve. We understand that our Black employees must experience an inclusive workplace culture where their lived experience is valued and sought to inform practices and program services. We also understand that the youth and families we serve must experience our services as reflecting an understanding of their culture and history. We will ensure their voices and perspectives inform, shape and guide the services we offer. With our employees, the youth and families, and the communities we serve, we are committed to the lifelong work required to end systemic racism.

Advancing Racial Equity

We are committed to advancing racial equity as an organizational imperative. We are committed to offering our families services that are informed by an understanding of the social inequities and structural racism impacting their lives. We commit to disrupt the structures and systems that perpetuate racial inequities within our agency. We also commit to eliminate agency policies and practices that reinforce differential race-based outcomes for our staff and the families we serve.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Unconditional Care

Unconditional Care is an absolute commitment to maintaining our relationships with youth and families as they face social forces that adversely impact their lives. Their lived experience is often the result of inequitable social conditions that produce disparities in wealth and power. Those disparities may also reflect systematic discrimination and poverty that works to deny their access to resources, ultimately hindering their social, emotional, and economic well-being. We therefore assume responsibility to oppose those systems that preserve social exclusion and inequalities. We must also continually challenge our assumptions and expand our understanding of the social realities of those we serve in our pursuit of Unconditional Care.

In our efforts to affirm and validate the experiences of the youth and families we serve; we will aspire to mitigate the harmful impact of the social inequalities present in their lives. We will aim to offer access to exceptional mental health and educational services. We will advocate for the rights of youth and families of color against racial discrimination experienced within systems of care. We will work to address root causes of poverty that result in housing and food instability. We will support and ally with those who experience prejudice based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. We will also make every effort to aid those who are forced to migrate from their homes and live in constant fear of displacement. Finally, we will always stand with, empower and assist the most vulnerable and marginalized within our communities to confront the forces that block their full participation in society.


ROBIN DETTERMAN

Robin Detterman serves as Seneca’s Chief Program Officer of Educational Services where she provides leadership for the agency’s continuum of district and charter partnerships and five non-public schools, serving over 100 districts and schools in California and Washington State each year. Ms. Detterman started working at Seneca in 2005, and her experience asa special education teacher and administrator informs her current role. In this role, she supports Seneca’s education teams in the development and implementation of high quality, individualized services for students who need additional support at school while working to transform whole schools and school systems into places where all students are welcomed and can thrive. Ms. Detterman holds a MA degree in Special Education and is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Masters degree in Education Policy and Organizational Leadership. She is the co-author of Unconditional Education: Supporting Schools to Serve All Students (Oxford University Press, 2019).


NATHANIEL FOSTER

Nathaniel Foster is the Chief Advancement Officer of Seneca Family of Agencies. His focus is on development, fundraising, venture philanthropy, marketing and branding for the whole organization. Nathaniel came to Seneca with a clarity and depth of fundraising knowledge that has accelerated our overall efforts. Nathaniel graduated from the University of Denver with a BS in business and also has his Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. He has over a decade of experience in the non-profit development & management world, working with local, national, and international organizations. Previously Nathaniel was the Executive Director of Playworks, anonprofit that serves over 700,000 children every school day, concentrating on conflict resolution, leadership skills, emotional intelligence and increased physical activity for elementary schools throughout the country. Before that, he was the Chief Development & Marketing Officer at Lincoln, formerly Lincoln Child Center. He has spent his entire nonprofit career in development, fundraising, board development, venture philanthropy, and communications and is very excited to be working with an organization as wonderful as Seneca Family of Agencies. In addition, he was co-chair for the Oakland Quality Community Schools Committee, currently sits on two for-profit boards, and is a member of the San Francisco Chapter of the Private Asset Liaison Group


MICHAEL ALONSO

Michael Alonso is the Chief Information Officer for Seneca Family of Agencies. Since joining Seneca in 2003, he has provided leadership for all technology related operations throughout the organization. He is responsible for IT strategy and vision as well as oversight for the teams that create and maintain a robust information technology environment in addition to the teams that develop, deliver and support innovative applications specifically created for Seneca’s unique blend of services.Michael is passionate about designing and producing creatively unique solutions to increase efficiency and improve service delivery and is personally involved to a significant degree in Seneca’s application development process. In addition to internally-focused activities, Michael engages with organizations at the county, state and federal levels to represent the technology-related interests and perspective of both Seneca and the broader community of behavioral health providers. These organizations includecounties, other behavioral health providers, state advocacy groups and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONCHIT). Before coming to Seneca, Michael worked in the custom software industry, developing applications tailored for a wide variety of companies representing numerous industries such as healthcare, retail, technology, non-profit and more. During this time, he took an interest not just in the software development process, but also in the broader perspective of organization-wide information technology environments. Michael holds a B.S. in Computer Science from CSU Hayward (now CSU East Bay)

JANET BRIGGS

Janet Briggs, Chief Financial Officer of Seneca Family of Agencies, began her endeavor in finance by achieving her bachelors’ degree in Business Economics with an Accounting Emphasis from the University of California Santa Barbara. Janet began her career in Public Accounting working in various industries gaining extensive experience in accounting and business management and then specializing in providing audit and accounting services for various not for profit social service agencies as a CPA. Her in-depth understanding of accounting issues and regulations unique to not for profit agencies has distinguished Janet as a knowledgeable source and leader for this company. Since coming to Seneca in 2002, Janet has supervised and trained an ever-growing accounting staff on various accounting policies and procedures pertaining to Seneca programs. Not only does she review and monitor numerous county and state contracts, Janet also oversees all fiscal activity for over 150 programs in 20 different counties. Attending monthly fiscal program meetings, Janet is dedicated to effectively communicating with directors and managing the financial integrity of Seneca. In an effort to constantly improve practice and management skills, Janet regularly attends conferences and trainings specific to her role at Seneca. In addition to her successes here at Seneca Family of Agencies, Janet also is a mother to two wonderful boys.


KEN BERRICK

Ken Berrick is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emeritus of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing Unconditional Care to children and families through comprehensive mental health, education, juvenile justice, placement and permanency services. Since its founding in 1985, Seneca has developed innovative programs ranging from Wraparound and Intensive Treatment Foster Care, to integrated mental health services in schools, and a crisis continuum of care for youth and their families. Mr. Berrick is Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. He is also a Governor’s Appointee on the California Child Welfare Council, where he co-chairs the Behavioral Health Committee, tasked with developing best practice recommendations to guide policy and inform statewide efforts to effectively address the behavioral health needs of children involved in or at risk of involvement in the child welfare system. Mr. Berrick is a two-time former President of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services and serves on numerous policy planning groups in California at both the county and state-level. He is an elected member and Past-President of the Alameda County Board of Education, and Past-President of the California County Boards of Education. In 2014, he was recognized by California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth as Advocate of the Year. In 2017, he was a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, and in 2021, a recipient of the Jefferson Bronze Award. He is co-author of the books, Unconditional Care: Relationship-Based, Behavioral Intervention with Vulnerable Children and Families (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Unconditional Education (Oxford University Press, 2019).

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LETICIA GALYEAN

Leticia Galyean is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing Unconditional Care to youth and their families throughout California and Washington State. She received both her Bachelor’s degree and Masters of Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley.

Leticia began her career with Seneca in 2001 as a Wraparound counselor inspired by the passionate belief that the effects of childhood trauma should be patiently and persistently supported in the context of family and community. Throughout her tenure at Seneca, Leticia has served as Program Director; Regional Executive Director; Executive Director of Data, Evaluation, and Strategic Initiatives; and Chief Operating Officer.

She has developed, led, and evaluated numerous programs across the Bay Area and Central Coast, assisting youth and their families to meet their behavioral health, academic, and permanency goals. Leticia is a frequent presenter at national conferences on Seneca’s Unconditional Care treatment model and behavioral health interventions. As CEO, Leticia oversees all aspects of Seneca including 150+ programs, with 1,400+ employees, serving 18,000+ youth and their families, annually.

She has served as a member of several policy development groups in California at both the county and state-level. Leticia also serves as an active member of the California Alliance for Child & Family Services, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and is a Board member of SOAR for Youth. From the time she was a counselor through her entire tenure at Seneca, Leticia has led with the vision to strengthen the larger systems of care for our most vulnerable youth and their families.