Child Advocates of Placer County

Our mission is to be the bridge between the most vulnerable in our community and volunteers who want to make a difference.

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Address: 3715 Atherton Road, Suite 1
Rocklin, CA 95765
County or Parish: Placer County
Executive Director: Don Kleinfelder
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 530-887-1006
Child Advocates of Placer County received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status in March 2004, with the purpose of establishing a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for the Placer County Juvenile Court.

We serve our community through three volunteer-driven programs:
1. Placer CASA, which trains community volunteers to be Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) and assigns these CASAs to children in foster care. CASA volunteers are often called "the eyes and ears of the judge and the voice of the child" in juvenile dependency proceedings.
2. Placer Mentors, which trains community volunteers to become Mentors for at-risk youth (ages 8 to 18). The goal of Mentoring to build positive connections with the youth, which in turn will lead to other successes in their life. Some of our Mentors also work with parents involved with child protective services, helping them develop the life skills necessary to successfully and permanently reunify with their children. These volunteers are known as "Family Mentors."
3. Prosper Placer, which, in collaboration with local area churches, helps working families who are living below the poverty level find prosperity. The program requires a two-year commitment from the families and volunteer "Allies" who team up with the families.

Our goal for 2019 is to provide volunteer CASAs and Mentors to 500 foster children, probation youth, and at-risk youth, and Family Mentors and Prosper Placer Allies to 75 families.

The goals of the CASA and Mentor programs are to provide youth with positive adult contact, thereby reducing risk factors (e.g., early antisocial behavior, alienation, lack of commitment to school) by enhancing protective factors (e.g., healthy relationships and beliefs, opportunities for involvement, and social and material reinforcement for appropriate behavior). By meeting weekly with the youth, CASAs and Mentors develop unique bonds with the youth and gain great insight into the youth's life. This is then shared with the judge, attorneys and social workers. As our Juvenile Court Judge, the Hon. Francis Kearney, says, "CASA volunteers make a marked difference in the life of the most vulnerable children appearing in the Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency Courts. It is heroic work."
Our top needs are: - More CASA and Mentor Volunteers - We have 300 volunteers serving over 400 foster children and at-risk youth, but we always need more volunteers. - Office Volunteers - We are looking for people to help with basic administrative office duties. Due to confidentiality issues, a background check is required to volunteer in our office. - Event Volunteers - To help with our events, in particular our three fund raisers every year in March, June, and October. - Highly Qualified Board Members - we are looking to recruit community members who are able to bring significant expertise and/or funding to Child Advocates. Our top needs: 1. Volunteers - We need volunteers to become CASAs, Youth Mentors, and Family Mentors 2. Board Members - Board Members with strong community ties. 3. Funding: Program - To help us serve more foster, at-risk, and probation youth. 4. Funding: Unrestricted - To help us build overall capacity. 5. Funding: Other - We need funding to help cover the cost of extracurricular activities for our youth, who often do not have the resources to do the things that a typical youth would get to do. Activities include participation in sports, music, and the arts, summer camp, drivers training, and senior year activities.
"In 2017-18, we provided CASA volunteers to 309 foster children. This represented 95% of all foster children in our county (the remaining 5% were youth who were either on the run, did not want a CASA, or were placed too far out of county - and often out of state). Following that success, we are expanding into new ways to utilize the many wonderful volunteers who continue to contact us. Specifically:
- We now assign CASAs to youth involved in the delinquency/probation system. In 2017-18, we assigned CASA volunteers to 44 Delinquency/Probation youth. To our surprise, many of the youth requested that their CASA stay on as a mentor after the probation period ended.
- We are expanding our Placer Mentors program through collaborations with Placer County school counselors, who refer youth who are at risk of educational failure.
- We have a small group of volunteers who bring their therapy dogs to the Juvenile Detention Facility, residential treatment centers and group homes. Currently seven dogs rotate through these locations and are known as our K9s 4 Kids!
- In collaboration with our local churches, we launched Prosper Placer in late 2017. This program helps families living below the poverty level attain financial security. Currently 25 families are involved in our three cohorts.

I am very proud of all of this. And I'm proud of my wonderful staff and the many incredible people who volunteer as CASAs, Mentors, Ambassadors, Peer Case Supervisors, Office and Court "Angels", Friends of CASA and Board Members - about 400 people pulling together for the same cause - our youth. Please join us as we continue to build the "bridge between the most vulnerable in our community and caring volunteers who want to help." Become a volunteer or supporter. It will change your life."

Don Kleinfelder
Executive Director
Child Advocates of Placer County
-- Don Kleinfelder, Executive Director