Ken Berrick is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency with the mission to help children and families through the most difficult times of their lives.
In the mid 1980s, Ken was working at a local residential facility for youth whose severe emotional and behavioral challenges had resulted in removal from their homes. When this facility contemplated shutting its doors in 1985 in response to increasingly disruptive youth behaviors, he banded together with a small group of like-minded individuals to develop a new option. Rather than entertain the idea that these youth would experience yet another displacement that would keep them further isolated from their communities, the group founded Seneca as a small residential program into which the youth were welcomed regardless of the behaviors that had made their previous placement untenable.
From that day on, Seneca set out to develop services on the principle that youth do not themselves fail, but are instead failed by systems unable to address their specialized needs. Today, Seneca remains committed to the belief that all youth are capable of success when their unique needs and experiences are honored. The agency’s expanded continuum of care now includes education, mental health, foster/adoption, and juvenile justice services across 17 counties in California and Washington State. Specializing in serving the most vulnerable clients, Seneca has vast experience responding to a variety of needs including mental health challenges, substance abuse, relational challenges, and exposure to trauma such as abuse, loss, neglect, and the chronic stress associated with living in disadvantaged neighborhoods impacted by generational patterns of poverty and community and interpersonal violence. Seneca’s Southern California programs provide education, permanency/adoption, and mental health services throughout Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino Counties. Altogether, these services reach nearly 2,000 young people and their families each year.
For the last 35 years Seneca has been privileged to support thousands of children and families because of our dedicated community of supporters. If you would like to join the Seneca family, there are two upcoming opportunities for you, your company, or your family to get involved.
Join #TeamSeneca On Saturday, May 2nd at the OC Fairgrounds to run a 5K to Foster Unconditional Care. It’s a great family-friendly way to involved and grow awareness for the cause. Or perhaps your company is interested in a team-building activity that supports the local community? For more information go to https://ocmarathon.com/seneca/.
All IEC members are invited to attend Seneca’s Forever Families Gala on November 7th, 2020 at the Balboa Bay Resort. The Forever Families Gala is a celebration of Seneca’s success in creating permanent families. While the national average of adoptions remaining permanent is 75%, through Seneca’s Unconditional Care© model, 100% of adoptions in Southern California have remained permanent! For sponsorship opportunities or ticket information, please contact Carly Visbal at email@example.com.
For more information about Seneca, visit www.senecafoa.org.