Every two years CSCSW may present two honorary awards. One is for outstanding contributions to the field of social work, and the other is for extraordinary service to CSCSW. It is unusual that one individual could meet the criteria for both awards, but Chet Villalba has done just that.
Chet is a graduate of Smith College School for Social Work and a distinguished social work professional with forty-plus years of experience as a clinician, scholar, educator, and leader in the field of clinical social work. He was a founding member of CSCSW and served as a board member until the spring of 2018. He served as president of the Board of Directors of the California Institute for Social Work, now known as the Sanville Institute, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sanville. In addition, he served as part of the core faculty of Sanville. He also was a clinical assistant professor and faculty field advisor at Smith College School for Social Work.
Chet has been a leader in the field of social work in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he dedicated himself to serving children and families. He worked for two decades as the CEO of family Service Mid-Peninsula (now Family and Children Services of Silicon Valley). Over those twenty years, he expanded Family Service’s programs to include group therapy, counseling for older adults, crisis hotlines for parents and teens, and public education workshops, while maintaining a private practice.
Chet served as chairman of the board of directors of Acknowledge Alliance (formerly Cleo Eulau Center). At Acknowledge Alliance, he promoted the well-being and education of children by helping to promote, support, and provide validation for teachers and their good work. His work with the agency has helped to build more resilient and connected youth, educators, and school communities. In addition, he co-founded Adolescent Counseling Services in Palo Alto. ACS provides services to adolescents in the public schools in two counties.
For more than thirty years, Chet participated as a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation of Children and Family Services. He was an interim executive director of Family Service Centers of Clearwater, Florida and Josselyn Mental Health Center in Northfield, Illinois. From 1985-2013 he was an organizational consultant to social services, mental health agencies, and museums. His role included program planning and development, board training, fund development, and personnel issues. He also was a consultant to agencies seeking accreditation, staff training, and supervision.
In 2014, Smith College School for Social Work awarded Chet the very prestigious Day-Garrett Award for distinguished service to the school and the social work profession.
On November 10, Chet was presented with a plaque, which reads:
“CSCSW presents this award to Chet Villalba in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the field of social work and as a founder and board member of CSCSW.
With love and admiration, your friends at CSCSW.”