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Our Story


The Child & Family Center helps build a healthy Santa Clarita Valley by providing mental health, behavioral and education services to children, adults and families.


Child & Family Center is dedicated to helping children, families and adults reach their full potential for becoming caring and responsible adults. Established in 1976 as St. Stephen's Special School, the agency's founders saw a need to assist children with emotional, learning and behavioral problems, by helping their parents learn better ways to parent them. Evolving into the SCV Special Children's Center in 1985, counseling services are added for teenagers and their parents.

Now known as the Child & Family Center, the agency has grown into a provider of comprehensive prevention, early intervention, diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic services for children, teens, adults and families who live in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Our Board of Directors


Michael Berger
Morgan Stanley
Chair, Board of Directors
Cheri Fleming
Valencia Acura
Vice Chair Governance
Michael Lebecki
ReMax Realty
Vice Chair Fund Development
Ginger LeVang
Business Owner Salon 7
Marc Winger, EdD
Retired Superintendent Newhall School District


Fred Arnold
American Family Funding
Amanda Benson
Ask Amanda Consulting
Chris Blazey
Community Member
Susan Reynolds Buckley
W.S. Hart School District
Joyce Carson
Retired Educator
William Cooper
Castaic Lake Water Agency Board Member
Diana Cusumano
Community Member
Suzanne Duncombe
College Bound Strategies
Beverly Farrell-Smith
Community Member
Daniel Gunning
Attorney at Law
G.Marshall Hann
Attorney at Law
Charlotte Kleeman
Community Member
Ken Kreyenhagen
Community Member
Nick Lentini
Lentini Financial Advisors
Terry Martin
Martin Wealth Management
Laina McFerren
Wolf Creek Brewing Co.
Gloria Mercado-Fortine
Linda Pedersen
Community Member
Perry Smith
Signal SCV
Barbara Stearns-Cochran
Community Member
Diane Stewart
Educator College of the Canyons
Irene Thomas-Johnson
Silvia Weeks
Cornerstone Realty Advisors
Vanessa Wilk
City of Santa Clarita Arts Commission
David Wong, M.D.
Kaiser Permanente
Steve Zimmer
Newhall Land

Our Senior Leadership

Joan Aschoff, PsyD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Joan Aschoff is a licensed clinical psychologist and a passionate and results oriented behavioral health care executive who joined Child & Family Center in 2014 first as the Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and shortly thereafter was appointed President and CEO.

Joan began her career in community mental health, and later moved into positions in managed behavioral health and financial services. She held senior leadership roles at PacifiCare Behavioral Health, United Behavioral Health and Unum. Her experience has positioned her well to lead and understand the complex business, operational and clinical needs facing Child & Family Center. Joan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Fullerton and her Doctorate in Psychology from Indiana State University.

Cheryl Jones

V.P. Marketing and Community Outreach

Bert Paras

V.P. of Operations

Bert Paras oversees the Center's day-to-day operations including: business services, finance, IT, facilities and office support services. Bert joined the Child and Family Center in 2010 and has over 20 years of experience in community based programming. He has held senior level positions while administering government funded initiatives including the City/County jail in-reach, winter shelter and affordable housing development programs. Bert received EPA certified technician status with the US Army in Aberdeen, Maryland. He holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the American Military University. Bert also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a minor in Accounting from California State University, Northridge.

Kelly Morehouse-Smith, LMFT

Vice President Clinical Services
Kelly is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been with Child & Family Center since 2006.  She oversees all programs and services for the Center’s clients and families

Kelly has been providing mental and behavioral health services in Los Angeles County since 1999. She has extensive experience with the child welfare, juvenile justice and county mental health systems.  Her background in trauma-informed, intensive services instilled in her a passion for working with underserved populations to provide accessible, individualized and effective care.

Kelly has held a variety of progressive leadership positions in community-based mental health agencies, with a primary focus on government funded programs and services. She is involved in all aspects of the Center’s programming including grant writing, program design, implementation, oversight and monitoring.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Northridge and her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.

Linda Lawrence

Senior Director Human Resources

Our Partners

Child & Family Center is a member of

California Alliance

The Center collaborates with a variety of agencies including local school districts, local, county and state government representatives, various social service agencies, and law enforcement to provide the best possible care for our clients.

Our partners include:

California Children's Services (CCS)
Castaic Union School District
City of Santa Clarita
Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)
Grandparents As Parents, Inc.
Kaiser Permanente
L.A. County DCFS Post Adoptive Services
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
L.A. County Probation Dept.
L.A. County Sup. Kathryn Barger
Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Lutheran Social Services
Newhall School District
North L.A. County Regional Center
Old Orchard Elementary School
Santa Clarita Valley SELPA
Saugus Union School District
SELPA Early Start
Sulphur Springs School District
William S. Hart District

Annual Reports