Stanford Youth Solutions

Inspiring sustainable change for young people and their families and empowering them to solve serious challenges together.

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Address: 8912 Volunteer Lane
Sacramento, CA 95826
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Laura Heintz
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-344-0199
Established in 1900 through a generous bequest from Jane Lathrop Stanford, the widow of the late California governor Leland Stanford, Stanford Youth Solutions (formerly Stanford Home for Children) is a visionary organization with a rich history of leading the transformation of children's and family services in Sacramento. Stanford Youth Solutions has served as an orphanage, a residential home, a school, and operated multiple group homes - always focused on children to help them strengthen family connections. In 1995, Stanford Youth Solutions implemented nationally recognized, evidence-based models in every program offered and moved to serving children and youth in their own environments to promote the permanent and positive change needed. In 2006, Stanford Youth Solutions led the market by making the groundbreaking decision to close its group homes in order to address the significant cost of residential care programs and negative impact these environments had on the youth and the communities supporting them. Today, Stanford Youth Solutions empowers youth and families to solve serious challenges that threaten their ability to stay together. We provide intensive, individualized, and proven programs for young people and families in difficult circumstances.
Every two minutes in the United States a child is removed from their home by CPS, a traumatic and life altering experience for children who end up in the Foster Care System.

We know that every child needs a family. A family provides a compass from birth to death. It is the definition of home. But sadly in California today there are 62,000 children who have been removed from their families and their homes. And right here in the Sacramento region, there are over 4000 children waiting for a home! Children who have waited for over 45 days at the Children's Receiving Home, (a temporary refuge with only 98 beds were they wait for placement with a foster family) only to be placed in a Group Home, essentially institutional care and definitely not a family, or a home.

The team at Stanford Youth Solutions wraps a blanket of services around these children and their families. Our Community-based mental health and social services help children heal from trauma. Services such as family education, psychiatric support, Parent and child Interactive therapy, and an Intensive Treatment Foster Care program. At Stanford Youth Solutions our success is measured by the number of permanent family connections - currently, we reunite or connect a child with a permanent family placement 80% of the time. But we have reached a crisis point in the foster care system, there are not enough foster families to care for these traumatized children while our team does the important work of helping them to heal.

We believe if folks just like you knew about this crisis with kids that you would consider helping a child. But I'm guessing that most of you had no idea that children are being sent to a Group Homes as far away as Fresno, hundreds of miles away from everything that is familiar to them, all because there was not a foster family available here in the Sacramento region. This is a crisis taking place in every neighborhood in our community. We desperately need to increase the number of available homes for children. Especially considering that it costs $188,000 annually to care for a child in a Group Home and only $39,000 for Foster Care, if we could find 50 new Foster families we would save this region over $ 7 Million!
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Funding for a partnership with a PR/Marketing firm to spread the word about this crisis and to RECRUIT, train, and support 50 New Foster Families, making sure that children do not end up in a group home.
  2. Funding: Program - Funding specifically for Yolo County Parent Partner services that focus on outreach, parent engagement, support and advocacy.
  3. Funding: Program - Funding for our Lifeline Fund, a partnership with the community to help ensure success for Sacramento's most at-risk youth. If a need is identified, we link families to existing community resources and natural supports whenever possible to encourage independence and sustainability. Examples include food banks, shelters, hotlines, and community programs. When no other community resources are available, our staff use the Lifeline Fund to create a meaningful and long-term impact in youth and families' lives that tie into the client's overall treatment goals. As their treatment plans progress, we help create plans for self-sufficiency and reduce dependence on outside resources.
  4. Volunteers - • Back to School Backpack Drive (every summer) - Volunteers are needed to help stuff backpacks and sort school supplies to enable us to distribute over 800 fully stuffed backpacks to the youth we serve. • Families Are Us Holiday Store (every holiday season) - Volunteers are needed to help staff our one-of-a-kind Holiday Store - "Families are Us" where parents we serve are empowered to shop for their children's personal holiday gifts. It's a unique, temporary store that is stocked with donated new toys, clothes and other holiday items. This store is only possible with the assistance of volunteers to help us set up the store, restock the store, assist families shopping in the store, and provide childcare while parents shop. This past year, with the support of volunteers, we were able to spread holiday cheers to 224 families (representing 772 children). • Over the Edge (annual fundraiser) - Over the Edge is a unique fundraiser that sends participants rappelling down the side of a building. We are looking for volunteers to assist with several aspects of this exciting event, including: ropes volunteers, registration, check-in and more! • We often have special projects and unique volunteer opportunities throughout the year. We can offer specific team building experiences for your staff or group on a case by case basis.
  5. In-Kind Donations - FAMILIES ARE US HOLIDAY STORE Our goal is not only to bring holiday cheer to over 200 families but also to eliminate any financial or logistical barriers that often prevent at-risk families from having access to Holiday shopping. Our "Families are Us" Holiday Store will be open for over several days this December. Each family we serve will have the opportunity to shop and personally select from a vast array of items. We need community support to make this wonderful holiday experience possible. We are looking for toy donations, as well as for people to host their own toy drives at their work.
'Stanford Youth Solutions empowers young people and their families to solve serious challenges that impact their lives. More than two-thirds of youth in our care reconnect to a safe, permanent family - which means that they leave the child welfare system and grow up with a lifetime of love and support. Through our innovative, proven, national models of care, youth in the community learn life skills and overcome past trauma. Rather than being a negative force in their home or communities, they become productive. Rather than repeating the cycle of violence or neglect that they have experienced, they become stable, functioning adults.' Sincerely, Laura Heintz, Psy.D, (Stanford Youth Solutions CEO)