Christine Stoner-Mertz has been named the new executive director of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, starting in January.
The California Alliance of Child and Family Services is a membership organization representing the 140 member organizations across the state that work in child welfare, juvenile justice, special education and behavioral health treatment, including residential treatment facilities and foster family agencies.
“After leading a member organization for many years, I felt that this was a great next step in having broader impact on policies that affect youth and families,” Stoner-Mertz said in an email to The Chronicle of Social Change. “I am excited about how the Alliance and its members can work with the Newsom administration, and our new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, to improve access to a full range of essential services and ensure a strong system of care for all of California’s most vulnerable children, youth and their families.”
Stoner-Mertz is replacing Carroll Schroeder, who is retiring in January after 18 years leading the organization. Since 2005, she has served as president and CEO of the Oakland-based Lincoln, which provides behavioral health, education and family strengthening services across Northern California.
During her time at Lincoln, Stoner-Mertz helped the organization transform itself from primarily a provider of residentially-based services to now offering community and school-based services for children and youth such as therapeutic behavioral services, early childhood mental health services and multi-dimensional family therapy, among others.
Stoner-Mertz received her social work degree from the University of Michigan and began her career in California in 1985 as a co-founder of Seneca Center, where she worked for 15 years.