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Meet the team:

Stephen Morales headshot



Stephen Morales, MSW

Director, Office of Foster Youth Support Services
Tel: (951) 827-6545

Stephen, he/him/his, holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Loma Linda University, specializing in clinical social work with a focus on supporting LGBTQ youth and individuals navigating the foster care system. With a robust career spanning over 15 years in the social service sector, Stephen has showcased his expertise through various impactful roles.

His professional journey includes significant positions such as director of housing for both current and former foster youth. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of multiple Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) drop-in centers across Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Furthermore, Stephen demonstrated leadership by overseeing a prevention and early intervention (PEI) program aimed at combatting the stigma surrounding mental health within educational settings, specifically high schools and college campuses.

His extensive experience extends to supporting runaway and homeless youth, as well as aiding survivors of human trafficking. Presently, Stephen is diligently working towards acquiring his LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Work), a testament to his ongoing commitment to professional growth and excellence.

Outside his professional commitments, Stephen actively contributes to the community by serving as the president of the board of directors for REACH LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and celebrating young LGBTQ+ people of color within the greater Los Angeles area. Additionally, he holds a board membership with Casa Ramona, Inc. in San Bernardino, further demonstrating his dedication to philanthropic endeavors.

In his professional pursuits, Stephen embodies core values of pride, passion, and unwavering empathy. His personal experience as a former foster youth has uniquely equipped him with an empathetic understanding of the multifaceted challenges encountered within the system. His vision is focused on advancing and enriching the initiatives within UCR's FYSS department, fostering a culture of excellence and celebrating diversity in all facets of his work.





Tuppett M. Yates, Ph.D.

Founder of Guardian Scholars and Chair of Psychology
Tel: (951) 827-4991

Dr. Yates received her undergraduate training in experimental psychology and neuroscience at Brown University. In 2005, she completed a joint doctoral degree in developmental psychopathology and clinical science at the Institute of Child Development of the University of Minnesota. In addition to her research with at-risk children and families, Dr. Yates spent nearly a decade in clinical practice with children, adults and families, including those in child protective services. Dr. Yates completed her clinical internship at the Cambridge Hospital of Harvard Medical School and a clinical, postdoctoral fellowship at the Stone Center of Wellesley College before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychology at UCR in 2006.

Dr. Yates’ research focuses on risk and resilience among adversity-exposed youth. Her research informs practice and policy to protect and enhance the resources and strengths in individuals, families and communities that enable children to succeed in the face of life’s many challenges. Dr. Yates founded Guardian Scholars in 2008. She is deeply committed to translating her research findings to enhance opportunities for foster youth and other vulnerable children.