Stuart McCullough has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Youth Homes since 1991. During that time the agency has made significant strides in program development, clinical services, financial management and capital preservation. Youth Homes has developed many new strategic partnerships and negotiated multiple on-going contracts with Contra Costa County for the provision of specialized mental health services. Stuart has increased the operation budget of the agency at a measured pace, ensuring each new program component is fully integrated into the service continuum that includes intensive residential treatment, best practice mental health services, specialized foster homes, mobile support services, employment readiness, independent program evaluation system and a volunteer mentoring program. All program elements are designed to emphasize individual and family strengths and create safe and permanent living accommodations to children and adolescents who have been severely traumatized, abused and neglected.
Stuart was one of the founding members of Phoenix Programs, Inc. and served as their Executive Director for 11 years. He was appointed as the Director on Contra Costa County's Division of Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health and served in that capacity for 7 years. Stuart is the past Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Northern California Council for the Community, was formally on the Board of Directors of the California Alliance of Children and Family Services, past President of the Contra Costa County Mental Health Association, and is the President of the Board of Directors of the Martinez Community Foundation. He volunteers as a member of the Rhodia Citizens Advisory Panel. Stuart has a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University. He has been a resident of Contra Costa County for over 60 years.
What have I learned working with the kids?
I have learned that for a wounded child, overcoming fear, shame and depression is possible. I have looked into so many pairs of wary eyes when a child first joins us and they have taught me the human spirit is indomitable. When a child begins to trust the adults around them, they begin to relax, let their guard down and occasionally smile, showing a newfound warmth and curiosity. They allow themselves to be children again. It is transformative and heartwarming.
What have I learned at Youth Homes?
I believe the best word to describe the work of the employees and volunteers of Youth Homes is “transformative.” In my 23 years of employment here, I have seen so many young people grow and blossom into adults whose dreams have come true.
I have observed so many of our staff blossom as well. We emphasize and integrate our training program in every aspect of what we do. We have been able to promote from within so often because our staff learn and grow, often from each other. Fortunately for our young clients, so many of these remarkable people have opted to remain with Youth Homes for many years and have applied their ever improving skills to our work.
This dedication to learning and improving has created a therapeutic working environment where, “hope lives and grows.”