CALM began in 1970 in response to the death of an infant at the hands of his father. Claire Miles, a local nurse, and wife of the attending emergency room physician, understood that the stressed young father didn’t want to hurt his child. He simply didn’t know where to turn. Claire took action. She added a second phone in her home and took out an ad in the paper: “Stressed parents call this number.” She received 40 phone calls in the first month.
As a working mother with young children, this tragic story resonates deeply with me. My twin daughters bring me tremendous joy. But, like every parent, I have had moments of exasperation, especially when I have tried everything and simply don’t know what else to do. I connect with the history of CALM, in part, because I deeply understand the stress new parents face. I am profoundly aware that without a reliable income, access to community resources, and a strong support network, any one of us could be at risk of becoming that young father.
Over the last 46 years, CALM has grown into a countywide non-profit agency whose sole mission is to prevent and eliminate the devastating effects of child abuse. We have grown from the one phone in Claire’s kitchen to a professional staff with more than 100 employees. With offices in Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria, CALM serves thousands of children and their families each year with therapeutic treatment, intensive in-home support, parenting support, and education in the schools.
As I assume leadership at CALM, I am inspired by the tremendous scope of the work we do. I am proud of our clinical excellence, our focus on research and evaluation, and our absolute commitment to cultural proficiency. CALM is poised to expand and strengthen our services to meet the needs of all children in Santa Barbara County who are at risk for or have suffered the trauma of abuse or violence.
CALM’s mission is clear: to prevent childhood trauma, heal children and families, build resilient communities throughout Santa Barbara County. With the support of an incredible team of board and staff, I am committed to further developing the organization’s skills, resources and capacity to fulfill our mission. I am honored to be appointed as CALM’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Chief Executive Officer
Deborah Holmes, LCSW
Chief Program Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Adolfo Garcia, LMFT
Director of Prevention and Treatment, North County
Director of Human Resources
Director of Development