Champion. Partner. Advocate.

The California Alliance: The collective voice for organizations that serve children, youth and families

For those dedicated to improving the lives of these at-risk populations, the California Alliance stands apart as the champion and leading voice for organizations that advocate for children, youth and families, and for advancing policy and services on their behalf.

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Manifesting a Thriving Workforce Webinar 12/09/22

The CA Alliance will be bringing together institutions of higher education and the public behavioral health field for a dialogue and presentations on promising solutions, partnerships, and what is possible to deal with our workforce crisis.

Join our webinar on December 9th as we explore new ideas and creative solutions to the workforce crisis. Through our guest speakers and panels, we will dive into topics such as: dismantling barriers currently plaguing the professional career pathways within behavioral health and how we can create pipelines to help first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students explore careers in the behavioral health workforce.



  • Caryn Rizell - Deputy Director, Healthcare Workforce
  • Development at Department of Health Care Access and Information
  • Linda M. Burton - Dean, UC Berkeley, School of Social Welfare
  • Sandra Sanchez - Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, California Community Colleges
  • Tony Thurmond  - State Superintendent of Public Education

Pipeline Program Panel:
Moderator - Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO, CA Alliance

  • Megan McQuaid - Affiliate with Chabot- Las Positas Community College District
  • Irene Ornelas, MSW, LCSW - Project Manager, Behavioral Health Workforce Pipeline. Affiliate with Chabot-Las Positas Community College District- Economic Development and Contract Education

  • Roger Swann - CASA Pacifica Student

  • Viviana Cardenas - CASA Pacifica Student
  • Daniel Nelson - Associate Vice President at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Professional Programs Panel:
Moderator: Deborah Son - Executive Director, NASW-CA

  • Nancy Facher - Director of Behavioral Health, La Clinica
  • Moises Baron, PhD - CEO, San Diego Center for Children
  • Erin Rosenblatt, PsyD, PSY21624, Chief of Training and Practice Development, WestCoast Children's Clinic
  • Beth Jenks, PhD - Senor Director of Training, Pacific Clinics
  • Ann Garland, PhD - Emerita Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD & Counseling & MFT at USD. Currently Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Mental Health and author of Pursuing a Career in Mental Health
  • Rachel Haine-Schlagel, PhD - Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Education / Professor, Department of Child and Family Development / San Diego State University 

Governor Signs Ramos Bill to Close Gap in Youth Psychiatric Services

SACRAMENTO—Gov. Gavin Newsom tonight signed a measure to create, license and regulate psychiatric crisis residential treatment for children and youth was sent to the governor in the early evening today. The measure is authored by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland).

Read the full statement by clicking here.


Children & Behavioral Health Advocates Respond to Veto of AB 552 

Sacramento – Sponsors of AB 552 joined Asm. Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) in responding to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of legislation that would address the alarming behavioral health crisis among children and youth by encouraging school districts, county behavioral health agencies, and community-based organizations to partner on providing on-school campus behavioral health services for students.  Read the full statement by clicking here.

Ramos ‘disappointed’ in veto of proposal to aid homeless LGBTQ youth and families

Sacramento—Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) expressed his regret over the veto, announced today, of AB 2663 which would have established a voluntary pilot Youth Acceptance Project to assist one of the most vulnerable groups of the homeless – LGBTQ+ youth – with needed services. Read the full statement here.

California Alliance Sees Missed Opportunities in State Budget

Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature announced their agreement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 State Budget. The Legislature will vote this week on the final budget agreement, which will then be sent to the Governor for signature. We continue to face immense challenges in public human services systems in California, in particular among communities of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and foster youth. These challenges will only continue unless we take bold action to address the ongoing crises.

Read the full statement HERE.

A Journey of Service: Superintendent of Public Instruction - Tony Thurmond

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond came from humble beginnings.  His father was a Vietnam Veteran who never returned from the war, and they did not reconnect until adulthood.  At the age of six, he and his siblings were orphaned after the death of his mother to cancer. Thurmond and one brother were sent across the country to be raised by a cousin who they had never met.  Throughout his youth, Thurmond’s family relied on public assistance programs to raise them out of poverty. The opportunities of public education coupled with the support of exceptional teachers, and other caring adults, propelled him to attend Temple University, where he became student body president. 

Read the full United Parents and CMHACY interview HERE.


Supporting California’s Children Through a Whole Child Approach A Field Guide for Creating Integrated, School-Based Systems of Care

This guide is a first step by a collaborative of California child-serving experts to further California’s current efforts toward one effective, integrated, comprehensive, school-based child-serving system. The authors sincerely thank California, and its leaders at the state and local levels, for beginning what we see as the way forward to collective ownership, collective solutions, and, most importantly, collective recovery for our children, families, and those who serve them. The last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have done nothing less than lay bare the needs of children and their families and expose the gaps in how various social sector agencies—education, mental health, health, social services, and early development and education—are working together to achieve a whole child system. The state and locally supported bodies of work incorporated herein are evidence of that amazing start.

Read the full guide HERE.

CA Alliance Responds to Texas Gender-Affirming Care Ban

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, following a non-binding opinion from the Texas Attorney General arguing that children were too young to consent to gender-affirming surgeries, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to the state's child welfare agency stating that medical care like puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries were considered child abuse, as they caused "mental or emotional injury." Due to this letter, the state agency will begin looking at cases of transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care as potential child abuse. 

Read Christine Stoner-Mertz, the CEO of The California Alliance of Child and Family Services, statement HERE.


2022-23 State Budget Proposal Summary - 1/10/22

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 State Budget on Monday, January 10th.  This kicks off the state budget process for the next six months. The Legislature will now convene budget hearings to review and provide oversight and amendments of the Governor’s proposed budget and expenditures by agencies and departments. The Governor releases a revision to the Budget in mid-May with updated revenues and projections for the upcoming year. The Legislature must pass a balanced budget by June 15th and the new budget takes effect on July 1 for the next fiscal year.

Following are summaries of areas of interest for CA Alliance members in the proposed 2022-23 State Budget. Click HERE to read.

In addition, we released a joint statement with our colleagues at CBHA. Read it HERE.


Keeping Youth Close to Home: Building a Comprehensive Continuum of Care for California’s Foster Youth

Released September 2021, the CA Alliance Report "Keeping Youth Close to Home: Building a Comprehensive Continuum of Care for California’s Youth", analyzes service gaps for children and youth in foster care and juvenile justice, and provides specific recommendations on programs and funding needed to begin to close the gaps

Read the full report by clicking HERE.

Meet Our Members


The California Alliance is also a proud member of the following organizations:



The Benefits of Membership

When an agency joins the Alliance, it joins a family of more than 160 outstanding organizations that serve California’s most vulnerable populations.

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California Provider Helpline

Our diverse, highly skilled Helpline team is dedicated to ensuring accessible and compassionate customer service, while providing responsive guidance and resources to foster care and youth residential service providers. Call or email us today!

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