Christine Stoner-Mertz, LCSW
Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO, leads the California Alliance of Child and Family Services and its Catalyst Center and with the Board of Directors, drives the mission and vision for the organization. A licensed clinical social worker, Chris came to the Alliance in 2019 after being President and CEO of Lincoln Families in Oakland, a California Alliance member agency delivering behavioral health and family strengthening services in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 2005, she led the organization through a transformational period, moving from a residentially-based services focus to designing an array of culturally responsive community and school-based services for children and youth ages 0-21. Her deep commitment to equity is reflected in the transformation of services at Lincoln.
Chris received her MSW from the University of Michigan and began her career in California in 1985, as co-founder of Seneca Center, now the Seneca Family of Agencies, where she was instrumental in the development of programs and oversight of operations for 15 years.
She also founded inFocus Consulting and Development, LLC, providing consultation to over 50 private behavioral healthcare providers as well as the California State Department of Mental Health, various county departments of mental health and social services, and to school districts. As a sought-after expert on MediCal EPSDT program design and implementation, Chris developed the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services Manual.
She has served on the board of directors of the California Alliance, the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, the National Council of Mental Wellbeing, and has been the recipient of numerous service and leadership awards during her career, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service.