Santa Clarita, CA - Child & Family Center and The Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley have announced their intention to join forces and merge into a single organization to better serve the needs of the growing Santa Clarita community. Both agencies share an equal passion about helping children, adults and families build a healthier life through mental health, behavioral and education services. The boards of both agencies voted approval of the merger in March of this year. The union is expected to be completed by 2018.
The Domestic Violence Center will become a new department of Child & Family Center known as the Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Program. While the domestic violence program will be under Child & Family Center’s umbrella of services, it will continue to operate at the Savia Community Center in Newhall, located at 23780 Newhall Avenue.
“Since the 1970s the Domestic Violence Center has provided life-saving services to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence. And in just the past five years, The Domestic Violence Center has grown three-fold, mirroring the growth of the Santa Clarita Valley. We’ve been successful in adding more services, but we need to keep the future in mind and make the best decision that will ensure our agency will be sustainable and continue on its growth path,” said Linda Davies, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center. Davies will head up the Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center.
The program will be a valuable addition to Child & Family Center’s array of behavioral health services. The two parties complement one another in mission and operations.
Many private grant-making foundations are encouraging non-profits with similar missions to consolidate, offering efficiency in granting funds while eliminating service overlap and allowing the opportunity to serve more people in need. A non-profit sustainability initiative offered by the California Community Foundation provided consultants that guided Child & Family Center and The Domestic Violence Center through the merger process, which involved a task force and many interviews with community members, board members, stakeholders and staff over the course of a year.
Child & Family Center provides behavioral health services to children, teens and adults. Many of the families are single parent homes. Often the children have suffered trauma, but by the time they are seen at Child & Family Center the trauma is further removed from the actual event. Providing domestic violence services earlier on will help the victims as they go through the healing process, thereby impacting their treatment and improving outcomes. Clients served at Child & Family Center will now have easier access to domestic violence prevention and education while those affected by domestic violence will have access to a full continuum of behavioral health services.
“Child & Family Center provides a strong infrastructure and a staff of professional clinicians while The Domestic Violence Center has comprehensive domestic violence programs in place and the expertise in providing emergency shelter, advocacy , legal support and education,” said Dr. Joan Aschoff, CEO Child & Family Center. “This opportunity allows our combined organizations to offer a greater continuum of care and services.”
Domestic Violence Center Board President Suzanne Duncombe said she is excited about the myriad of new opportunities this opens up to obtain funds, save costs and better serve our clients.
“We are excited about this union and adding the additional resource of domestic violence services to the many comprehensive programs offered at Child & Family Center. It will certainly further strengthen services for those in need in our community,” said Mike Berger, Child & Family Center Board President. “We are asking for the continued support of our stakeholders as we offer a stronger agency. Together we can do more and our donors’ support will go further than ever before.”