Kinship Center, A Member of Seneca Family of Agencies' CEO a Recipient of the 2017 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards



Kinship Center, A Member of Seneca Family of Agencies’ is proud to announce Seneca CEO, Ken Berrick, is a Recipient of the 2017 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards

OAKLAND, CA (February 9, 2017) – Seneca Family of Agencies’ Founder and CEO, Ken Berrick, is one of six statewide recipients of a 2017 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award presented today in Sacramento. Given for advancing innovative and effective solutions to address significant issues throughout the state, each recipient’s organization will receive $200,000 for a total of $1.2 million this year. State leaders and nearly 300 guests are joining The James Irvine Foundation today to recognize the six award winners.

“This year’s Leadership Award recipients are exceptional for their ingenuity and persistence in advancing new solutions for some of the most difficult challenges facing California,” said Don Howard, President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine Foundation. “With the Leadership Awards we want to shine a light on their vital work and expand the impact of each of the award recipients to benefit even more Californians.”

Seneca’s model of “Unconditional Education” recognizes that we can change the trajectory for all youth--including those confronting significant academic, behavioral and emotional needs--when we apply integrated whole-person, whole-school interventions that ensure kids’ needs are met when and where they need it most. “Kids aren’t failing the system, the system is failing kids,” he says. Seneca’s approach includes providing schools with training, individual coaching and integrated school teams that coordinate interventions and resources to flexibly keep struggling students in class and in school, helping both students and educators alike. Seneca’s services are supporting approximately 50 schools and have served more than 8,000 students this year in California and Washington State.

The Irvine Foundation has honored more than 75 Californians with a Leadership Award since the program began in 2006. Award recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee that reviews nominations based on several criteria, including the significance, effectiveness and innovation of the leader’s work.

Click here to watch a video that the James Irvine Foundation created about Unconditional Education and Seneca's trauma-informed approach. 


About Seneca Family of Agencies

Seneca Family of Agencies was founded in 1985 to provide unconditional care for children, youth and families who struggle with the most exceptional needs and circumstances. Seneca, in collaboration with its county partners in education, mental health, child welfare, and juvenile probation, has developed local systems of care that serve thousands of children and their families each year. The agency's over 1,200 staff members offer a wide array of services, including: community-based wraparound, intensive family-finding and engagement, foster family-based treatment, mobile crisis response, integrated mental health and special education programs, special needs adoption, and public and charter school-based mental health services. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Seneca operates in 17 California counties and three counties in Washington State.  Visit for more information.

About The James Irvine Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on expanding economic and political opportunity for families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.6 billion in grants to more than 3,600 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $2 billion in assets, the Foundation will make grants of $90 million in 2017. For more, visit:

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