Vital Merger Strengthens Vulnerable Families

Press Release, 04/13/2010

Two of Contra Costa County’s most respected nonprofit leaders, STAND! Against Domestic Violence and the Family Stress Center, both headquartered in Concord, announced today that they will join forces to better serve families and children in crisis. The merger will be effective July 1, 2010. Gloria Sandoval will be the CEO of the combined organization. Sandoval has been Executive Director of STAND! Against Domestic Violence since 1997 and has more than 30 years experience in nonprofit management. Under the agreement, the combined organization will operate using a version of the STAND! name (yet to be determined.)

According to Sandoval, “This merger reflects recognition by both organizations that the family violence issues at the heart of each of our missions are profoundly interrelated and could be more effectively addressed by joining together. The decision positions the new agency at the forefront of the family violence arena and transforms solutions to preventing and treating abuse in the home.”

“This merger integrates the passion, expertise and experience of both agencies that are in the business of helping vulnerable families for decades," said Cheryl Balogh, President of Family Stress Center. "The decision is driven by the needs of children and families to create an organization combining resources, expertise, and best practices. The new unified organization will bring greater hope for the children and families of Contra Costa County."

The goals of this merger are to provide more effective, robust and comprehensive services to families by maximizing the synergies between programs; to eliminate duplication of services; to provide more cost-effective programs for children and families; and to provide a stronger voice for the families of the County around issues of family violence.

"Now more than ever, agencies need to work together,” said Supervisor John Gioia, this year’s Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “We’re all thinking of more efficient ways of delivering services to the residents of our County. Nonprofit service providers must seek out new and innovative ways to manage resources to increase efficiencies and decrease costs while continuing to provide the highest quality of services."

"Combining the unique strengths and assets of both organizations gives us the opportunity to realize our vision of enhancing services to victims of violence and abuse and strengthens families.” said Linda Best, STAND! Board Chair.

Families in Contra Costa County who experience family violence will benefit by having a single organization offering help and hope, and from which they will receive stronger and more comprehensive programs and services. The merger integrates services to end domestic violence and child abuse and promotes healthy families as the best ways to prevent family violence and many forms of community violence from occurring in the future.

The daunting reality is that domestic violence and child abuse are on the rise. Severe stress continues to impact families in these turbulent economic times.

“As we move forward to build a lasting partnership with our clients and supporters, we are looking ahead to embrace the change that will refocus our shared core values and meet public expectations of redefining solutions to family violence,” added Sandoval.


About STAND! Against Domestic Violence
Founded in 1977, STAND! is one of the largest providers of services for people affected by domestic violence in Northern California and the only organization of its kind serving Contra Costa County. STAND! is a multi-faceted, nationally-renowned agency, addressing domestic violence with comprehensive intervention, prevention, and treatment programs. The call center responds to over 11,000 crisis calls annually. STAND!'s other services include emergency shelter, transportation, comprehensive legal advocacy, transitional housing, clinical therapy for children and adults, therapeutic child care, vocational services, education, outreach, and prevention and batterer treatment programs.

About the Family Stress Center
Founded in 1978, Family Stress Center is a community based organization serving Contra Costa County with counseling, educational programs, social services and in-home support to strengthen families and to treat and prevent child abuse and neglect. Each year over 7,000 children and their family members are served.