Child Advocates of Placer County
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Organization Details
It costs about $1,000 to provide a foster youth with a CASA, a struggling parent with a Family Mentor, or a Prosper Placer Family with supporting "Allies" for a year. Our goal is to have 1,000 people like you donate $30 and help us serve 30 more youth and families. Will you help us make our goal? If you want to donate to a specific program please place the program name in the "in honor of" box. Thank you so much!


The Be Bold Youth Program provides supportive adult mentors to youth who have had concerns regarding their involvement in unsafe situations/relationships related to sex trafficking, or being at risk. Our goal is that their assigned Be Bold Partner (assigned adult mentor) will become someone they can trust, learn with, and grow alongside. They will meet weekly with their Be Bold Partner for fun centered and life skill building activities. Outside of fun outings, some topics may include: finances, meal planning, education, job searching, and giving back to the community. Once a month they will also meet with the other young people in our program and their assigned Be Bold Partners. Our hope is that these individuals will become a strong support system for one another and gain a sense of community. We want to educate and empower youth to strengthen their unique skills sets, gain self-confidence, and have a solid understanding of their self-worth. Some of the topics we will be spending additional time discussing at our monthly peer meet ups will be healthy relationships, safe sex, what consent means, how to have body boundaries, harm reduction, and emotional/physical safety planning.
Program Successes
This is a new program as of July 2019 and to date we have 15 youth signed up in the program. Our overall success will be based on providing all youth involved in or at risk of being involved in sex trafficking activities (roughly 50) with a CASA volunteer by the end of 2020.

High level goals are to :
See young people make safer/healthier choices
See young people gain a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence
Receive GED/high school diploma
Participate in extra curricular activities such as getting a driver license and searching for a job

In a geographic area of prosperity, Prosper Placer strives to reach a part of the community that is underserved and often unseen: working families living in poverty. Utilizing asset-based approaches that value social capital and recognize the need for a multi-generational approach, Prosper Placer helps low income families address poverty at its holistic core - social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial - through education, goal setting, connection to opportunities, and advocating for needed services that are absent within the community. Prosper Placer utilizes volunteers and natural community supports to empower families living in poverty to move into the middle class. In our program, low-income families become the "Change Leaders" who learn about the causes and effects of poverty and develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals-a plan to move their family out of poverty.

Community mentors, called "Allies" learn and work alongside these Change Leaders over a two-year period, providing friendship, sharing knowledge and connections, and encouraging self-confidence and resiliency. In effect, the Change Leaders and Allies form an intentional community that focuses on helping families gain the knowledge, skills, and assistance they need to transform their lives.

Prosper Placer began as a partnership of five local churches (Pioneer United Methodist, St. Teresa Avila Catholic, St. Luke's Episcopal, Newcastle United Methodist, and First United Methodist of Loomis) that saw a need to serve the "working poor" in our community. Utilizing the secular-based NETworX USA curriculum, and following an established model developed in Carson City, NV, these churches launched a pilot program in April, 2017 with six families. When it became apparent that the pilot program was a success, the five churches reached out to Child Advocates of Placer County (CAPC) - which had a strong track record of working with volunteers - and CAPC became the 501(c)(3) umbrella for Prosper Placer.
Program Successes
This is a relatively new program of Child Advocates of Placer County. As such, success will be:
- The expansion of the program to 24 families in 4 cohorts at two different sites
- A mid-program Quality of Life assessment that shows movement of at least 1-2 levels (on a 1 to 5 scale) in 90% of the areas each family targeted for improvement,
- At the end of one year, 85% of families will have reached half their SMART goals and will be well on their way to meeting the remaining goals,
- After two years, more than 80% of our families will meet all of their SMART goals,
- After two years, 100% of the families will show an increase of 2 points in their Quality of Life scale scores, and
- After two years, 80-90% of the families will increase their income to 150% of the poverty level (as determined by the number of members within each family).

We will measure success through pre-and post-data (income level, health, education, housing, safety, transportation), self-reported changes on a Quality of Life scale, and by measured growth on the specific goals families have set. In our current pilot group, a majority of families have goals that include completing training programs, improving employment/earning, losing weight and managing stress, improving housing, and educational goals for participants' children.

The overall goal of Prosper Placer is to measurably reduce poverty at its holistic core. In the long term, this helps low-income families and makes our communities better for everyone. As Change Leaders learn and grow, they make better choices and improved their overall well-being. As Change Leaders and Allies become aware of community barriers that keep families in poverty, they become advocates for community change. In this way, we collaborate with a variety of other groups working to improve the social determinants of health and wellness.
Our Placer CASA trains community volunteers to be Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) and assigns these CASAs to children in foster care (ages 0-18). In 2016 we began expanding our CASA program to serve youth in Delinquency court, and this year we further expanded it to provide specially trained CASAs to youth involved in sex trafficking (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children - CSEC).

CASA volunteers are sworn Officers of the Court who are assigned to foster children (ages 0 to 18) through a court order. This order gives the CASA volunteer the authority to meet weekly with a foster youth and interview all parties to the action (parents, social workers, teachers, therapists, attorneys, etc.). The CASA's job is to 1) review the child's situation and needs, 2) identify resources and services for the child, 3) communicate the child's wishes, best interests and unmet needs to the court; and 4) ensure that court orders are carried out. As such, CASAs are often referred to as the "eyes and ears of the judge, and the voice of the child" in juvenile dependency proceedings. Our goal is to help place these children in permanent homes.

CASAs who serve youth in the juvenile delinquency / probation system strive to help the youth successfully complete their probation, change their behavior, and avoid re-entering the juvenile justice system.

Perhaps most importantly, CASAs become wonderful mentors for the youth they serve, and often build long-term relationships with their youth. Our youth deal with numerous "risk factors", which often include a lack of family involvement, poverty, exposure to violence, and mental illness. "Protective factors" are supports that buffer young people from risk factors. "Connectedness to adults outside the family" has been identified as a significant protective factor - and that is the role our CASAs fill.

Our ultimate goal is to break the cycle of child abuse, which is often intergenerational - many of the parents of our youth were abused or neglected themselves. By providing youth with caring adult mentors and role models, we hope to break this cycle and eliminate future child abuse/neglect.
Program Successes
- In 2018-19, 198 CASA volunteers advocated for 310 Placer County foster children and delinquency youth.
- During this time, we helped our Child Welfare Agency close 149 foster youth cases, 83% of them through reunification with their families, guardianship or adoption.
- We also closed twelve Delinquency cases, ten by successful completion of their probation requirements (the other two were transferred out of county)
- Fewer than 2% of all the children we have served through CASA re-entered the child welfare system after they were reunified/adopted. This is partly because our volunteers remain in contact with the youth - as a family friend - even after the case closes. In this way, our volunteers help their youth transition back into a normal life.
Placer Mentors assigns adult mentors to youth, ages 8 - 21, who are "at-risk" of entering the juvenile justice and/or child welfare systems, or are at risk of educational failure. Some of our Youth Mentors are CASA volunteers who, at the youth's request, are maintaining an informal relationship with the youth after the Dependency or Delinquency court case has closed. Our Mentors act as positive role models for the youth, helping them re-engage in school and their natural community support systems, and transition successfully into adulthood. Mentors are also able to request services for the youth, such as therapy, tutoring, and after-school care. Our Mentors also serve former foster youth, ages 18 - 21, who have aged-out of the system and have no significant family support. For these young adults, our Mentors help them locate housing, apply to college or trade schools, secure scholarships and other benefits, and find jobs.
Program Successes
- In 2019, we have mentored 47 at-risk youth and former foster youth, of which 28 are still active.
- During this time, we also closed 48 cases because the goals of the match were met.

Each youth works on unique goals, but the most common themes were:
- Improving educational outcomes/graduation: 26%
- Changing behavior and how they interact with others: 19%
- Resolving transportation / driver's license issues: 15%
- Securing employment (full or part time): 13%
- Enrolling in college/trade schools/military: 10%
- Budgeting and finance: 7%
- Housing: 4%
The Family Mentor program provides mentors to parents who have had children removed from their homes by the child welfare system because of abuse or neglect. Our goal is to help these parents learn the skills necessary to successfully rebuild their families. Our Family Mentors teach the parents basic life skills, such as housekeeping and cooking, financial planning, and age-appropriate parenting. We also assist them in overcoming obstacles related to housing, education, employment, health care, and transportation. The goal of the Family Mentor Program is to help these parents successfully and permanently rebuild their families and climb out of poverty.

Our overall goals for this project are:
- To help the parent achieve independence and get them to the point where they no longer need public assistance
- To help parents find enough stability so that they can successfully and permanently reunify with their children or be in a position where they are not in jeopardy of having their children detained by the child welfare system
Program Successes
- Of the 138 cases we have closed, 91% (126) closed successfully and the children never re-entered the child welfare system(all failures were due to parent relapsing into drug addiction).

- Of the eleven babies born to mothers in our program who were in substances abuse recovery programs, ten were born drug free.