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Seneca Family of Agencies Overview

Oakland, CA
501 to 1000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
$50 to $100 million (USD) per year
Seneca Family of Agencies (formerly Seneca Center) was founded in 1985 by advocates who were determined to more effectively meet the needs of children in group homes and foster family care. Seneca established itself as an innovative leader in the provision of unconditional care ... Read more

Mission: Helping children and families through the most difficult times of their lives.

Glassdoor Awards

Best Places to Work: 2014 (#22)

Company Updates

  • Did you know that San Jose is home to approximately 120,000 undocumented individuals? Responding to the needs of this community, Seneca hosted an immigration panel in their San Jose office focused on supporting undocumented youth and families. This panel has led to a strong partnership with Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), a leading immigration legal services agency in San Jose, and provided valuable insight and information to our staff!

  • If you’ve been dreaming of pursuing your degree while also maintaining your career – we have some great news for you! Seneca is proud to announce our FOURTH fully embedded graduate program! All four of these programs allow staff to complete classes outside of work hours as well as earn their hourly wage while completing fieldwork simultaneously. The 3 Year Weekend Intensive MSW program at Sacramento State joins our 7 semester MSW@USC, 11 quarter MFT at JFKU, and 1 year special education credential with LMU program.

    Seneca Higher Education | Seneca

    Seneca Family of Agencies is a California nonprofit mental health agency with the bold and innovative mission to provide Unconditional Care to help children and families through the most difficult times of their lives.

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Seneca Family of Agencies – Why Work For Us?


About Us

Seneca Family of Agencies (formerly Seneca Center) was founded in 1985 by advocates who were determined to more effectively meet the needs of children in group homes and foster family care. Seneca established itself as an innovative leader in the provision of unconditional care through a comprehensive continuum of school, community-based and family-focused treatment services for children and families who have experienced high levels of trauma and are at risk for family disruption or institutional placement of the children.

In 2011, a strategic merger with Kinship Center formed Seneca Family of Agencies. In 2012, Canyon Acres Ranch was incorporated into the Orange County programs of Kinship Center, expanding the local base of mental health, wraparound, child placement, family finding and professional and parent training services in Southern California and the Central Coast.

Seneca expanded to Washington state in 2013 to support charter schools with a range of technical assistance and supports for schools and districts centered around a model of Unconditional Education. Seneca has since designed individualized models and services that meet students’ unique needs, and it continues to develop systems that support the success and wellbeing of all students.

The joining of these organizations creates one of the most comprehensive service systems for children in California and Washington.

Seneca Family of Agencies’ continuum of care now includes:


Seneca Family of Agencies has programs across the states of California and Washington. Our programs are located in the following counties.

S.F. Bay Area (View a map of our Bay Area programs.)

  • Alameda County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Marin County
  • San Francisco County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Solano County
  • Sonoma County

Central Coast (View a map of our Central Coast programs.)

  • Monterey County
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Santa Barbara County
  • San Benito
  • Santa Cruz

Southern California (View a map of our Southern California programs.)

  • Los Angeles County
  • Orange County
  • San Bernardino County
  • Riverside


  • King County
  • Pierce County
  • Spokane County

Seneca Family of Agencies helps children and families through the most difficult times of their lives.

In many cases, we are the last hope for young people who have come to see failure and discouragement as a way of life. Here at Seneca, we offer each child a simple but profound promise: You will be supported every step of the way, no matter what challenges you face.

By supporting each child and family in identifying and building upon their resources and strengths, we enable them to approach the future with renewed optimism and a stronger sense of the possibilities for creating a new and different story for their lives.



Unconditional Care | Helping children and families through the most difficult times of their lives.

Service Philosophy
Seneca Family of Agencies is a leading innovator in the field of education, community-based and family-focused treatment services for children and families. Seneca’s success with the most challenging children rests upon the agency’s commitment to five core service principles:

Unconditional Care
Once accepted into care, no child is ejected from Seneca due to challenging behaviors or service needs. Seneca tailors treatment and support services to address those behaviors and meet those needs, even as they change over time. (For more information on Unconditional Care and Seneca’s book, click here.)

Parent-Driven, Strength-Based Service Planning
At Seneca, we form partnerships with parents and focus on families’ strengths and competencies when planning and delivering services.

Individualized Care
To enable troubled children to succeed at home, at school and in the community, Seneca works with each child and family to design and provide an individualized package of services tailored to meet their unique needs and circumstances.

Cultural Competence
Seneca’s culturally and ethnically diverse team of professionals respect client strengths, talents and cultural heritage, working with each child and family in the context of their histories and experience.

Interagency Collaboration
Seneca staff work closely with county agencies, school districts, and other community-based providers to ensure that children and families receive the supportive services they need to achieve lasting success.

Seneca Institute for Advanced Practices

Seneca's Institute for Advanced Practice provides high-quality education and trainings to Seneca employees and other providers. Our trainings provide opportunities for professional development and growth in a variety of topics related to supporting children, youth and families. 

We welcome applicants from all different backgrounds and provide the training and support to help you succeed in your career at Seneca.

New Employee Orientation - Upon starting, every employee at Seneca goes through a paid basic training series that provides an orientation to the agency, the work we do and the population that we serve.

Clinical Training - Our clinical trainings provide in-depth information from experienced professionals, plus the opportunity to earn BBS CEUs in the process.

Specialty Training - Our specialty trainings provide insight into an array of topics such as permanency, resiliency, child trauma, evidence based practices and special education, plus group home administrator and foster care trainings.

Internships (Graduate Clinical Fieldwork)

We partner with local universities to provide clinical fieldwork placements for students in a variety of related programs.  We have fieldwork students working on degrees in Masters of Social Work (MSW), Master's of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD).  Our placements are limited in number and applications are open for only a few months each year. Please visit our website for more information about our clinical internships in the Bay Area or Orange County Area.

Exactly what does Seneca do? How far do our services reach?


Building permanent families through family finding, kinship care, foster care and adoption

  • 241 Finalized adoptions
  • 1017 Kinship caregiver families supported
  • 11760 Family finding searches
  • 806 children served in foster care


Establishing inclusive and supportive learning environments where every child can learn and succeed

  • 10,336 students who received whole-school interventions
  • 76 School partnerships
  • 1635 students served

Mental Health 

Helping each child to heal and thrive by ensuring access to community-based therapeutic services when and where they are needed most

  • 1968 youth and families received in-home mental health services
  • 1156 youth received clinic-based services
  • 1534 youth received crisis intervention and stabilization services


Creating innovative solutions for serving children and responsive strategies for developing professionals

  • 13202 hours of training offered at the Seneca Institute for Advanced Practice
  • 33702 Providers and employees trained, including providers at more than 300 partner organizations

*All statistics on this page were taken from the 2015-2016 Seneca annual report

Seneca Family of Agencies Reviews

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Seneca Family of Agencies CEO Ken Berrick
Ken Berrick
120 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Pathfinder- Counselor"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Support Counselor
    Current Employee - Support Counselor
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Seneca Family of Agencies full-time (More than a year)


    The staff, the kids, the families. It is such a community.. all working together to support one another and watch our clients thrive. I am part of one of the most dedicated, creative and inspiring group
    of staff that could I have ever hoped for. The training and learning is ongoing and the administrative team is approachable, knowledgeable and "one of us." The teachers constantly find ways to engage and inspire our clients. In one word: COMMUNITY

    Their developed pathways for further careers in unprecedented and I feel I am supported by supervisors to explore long term career goals in which Seneca encourages and supports (verbally and financially). This job has been life changing.


    We are a small school, so our impact could
    Always extend further than our walls. Would
    Love to explore ways to do that.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!

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Seneca Family of Agencies Photos

Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Executive Office
Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Santa Rosa Office
Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Petaluma Office
Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Petaluma Office
Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Petaluma Office
Seneca Family of Agencies photo of: Petaluma Office
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Seneca Family of Agencies Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (11)  

    Classroom Counselor Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Leandro, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Seneca Family of Agencies (San Leandro, CA) in September 2016.


    Applied online. Received a phone call to schedule an on site interview a week later. Interview was a group interview with six other people applying for either the same or a different position. Interview was pretty laid back and mostly situational. Didn't seem like there was too much pressure. Everyone gave similar answers to questions but put their own twist on it.

    Interview Questions

    • What would you do if it was your first day and one of the children calls you a bitch?   Answer Question
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Seneca Family of Agencies Awards & Accolades

  • Top Workplaces, Bay Area News Group, 2017
  • Top Workplaces, Bay Area News Group, 2016
  • Top Workplaces, The Orange County Register, 2016
  • Top Workplaces, Bay Area News Group, 2015
  • Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Award - Top 50 Medium Sized Companies, Glassdoor, 2014
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