Carroll Schroeder will step down from his longtime post as executive director of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services early next year, retiring after what will be 18 years with the organization.
The California Alliance of Child and Family Services is a membership organization representing more than 125 organizations that work in child welfare, juvenile justice, special education and behavioral health treatment, including residential treatment facilities and foster family agencies.
Schroeder, 69, started as a child protective services worker in Baltimore in the early 1970s before heading to graduate school in California. He spent nearly two decades working at the Davis-based child welfare agency FamiliesFirst (now known as Uplift Family Services) before leaving to head the Stanford Home for Children, a residential treatment facility.
As head of the Alliance, Schroeder played an active advocacy role in the state, including the current effort to reform the state’s child welfare system, known as the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR). Since Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and the California legislature passed CCR in 2015, the state has been implementing the reforms over the past three years.
With a new administration coming in 2019, Schroeder said it was time to pass the baton.
“Somebody’s going to really have to roll up their sleeves and take on a whole new set of challenges, said Schroeder. “I thought, you know, at this point…it’s time for a younger person. I accomplished the stuff that I set out to do when I came to the Alliance. There’s still work to be done, but a lot of things that we took on are coming to fruition now.”
Looking back, Schroeder identified the Alliance’s work around congregate care reform as among his proudest moments.
“I would say everything we did around reforming residential care, from first the lawsuit that ensured there was enough money to do good residential care for the kids that need it to residentially based services reform, which really set the stage for the reform of residential care going forward in the state under CCR and nationally,” he said.
Schroeder will retire on January 16, a transition that he says has been in the works for the past three years. Executive search firm Morris and Berger is putting out a call for Schroeder’s successor, and the Alliance hopes to have its next leader in place by November.