Child Advocates of Nevada County
What is your mission statement?
To provide advocacy, education and prevention services to help our children grow up free from abuse and neglect.
What is your yearly budget (optional), and how many paid employees do you have?
We have 24 paid employees. Our annual budget increased this year to support a major expansion of our home visiting program, and we were able to hire 10 new staff members.
What is your nonprofit’s history?
We were formed in 1993 to operate the CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, program, which pairs trained volunteers with children in foster care. Starting in 1998, we added two child abuse prevention programs, Child Safety Puppeteers and Foothills Healthy Babies home visiting. In 2009, we added Welcome Baby, so new mothers in the hospital could get information and referrals to ease their adjustment to parenthood. In April of 2012, we received a federal grant to expand our home visiting program as part of a national effort to increase existing, best practice home visiting programs. This federal initiative recognizes home visiting as the most effective strategy to strengthen families and prevent abuse and neglect.
Who is your primary audience?
CASA volunteers serve children in Dependency Court and Foster Care who need the support of a caring, objective adult who will look after their needs and advocate for them during the court process.
Home visitors develop ongoing, intensive relationships with pregnant women and new mothers who would benefit from support and guidance through their children’s preschool years. Services are voluntary and are designed to build upon parents’ strengths. Enrolled mothers make use of child development and parenting guidance to develop a strong and nurturing relationship with their baby. This strong bond makes a lifelong impact on their child’s overall health, well-being and potential.
Our Child Safety Puppeteers are high school volunteers who teach and entertain preschoolers and elementary-aged students in their classrooms. They and other adults empower and equip children to recognize and talk about abuse and ask for help to end an abusive situation.
Welcome Baby visits new mothers in Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and supplies them with safety information and resources that help get them off to a healthy start.
List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history (up to three).
We are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary. During these past two decades, we are very proud to have sustained and continually improved our CASA program as well as added prevention and education services like Foothills Healthy Babies, Child Safety Puppeteers and Welcome Baby. Keeping up with best practices and new innovations is a daily goal.
We are also honored to have worked with other nonprofits through the Community Support Network collaborative to create seamless family support services.
We are proud of having expanded our Foothill Healthy Babies program in 2012, moving our offices and adding 10 new staff members in five months!
List the biggest challenges you face (up to three).
We are so busy keeping up with the needs of those we serve and continually improving program standards that we sometimes forget to keep the community informed of our needs and substantial accomplishments.
The advent of social media is creating new opportunities that are challenging to keep up with (or understand!) as well as manage.
Our programs are solid. We innovate but need to fund what we are designed to do. Creating new projects just because they are fundable can be a distraction to our mission. It is a challenge to develop ongoing, sustainable funding. We depend on continued support by donors who share our vision.
What is your No. 1 short-term goal for the next year?
Strengthening and creating sustainable donor partnerships and building upon our existing fundraisers to meet 100 percent of the need for CASAs in our community and to keep our puppeteer program strong.
What is your No. 1 long-term goal for the next three years?
Broadening our support within the community and updating our website and social media presence to help create and sustain this new support.
What are your major
fundraisers and dates?
See’s Candy Sales — just before Thanksgiving through Dec. 23 each year. See’s Easter Sales — two weeks prior to Easter each year. This spring, we will host an online auction, and we will host our 20th anniversary celebration party Nov. 15.
What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?
There are many ways to help, be it direct financial support or through volunteering in our office, See’s Store or as a CASA. We are looking for someone to help us with the development of our social media too. We invite anyone interested in us to call or come meet with us and personally learn more about donating, becoming a CASA volunteer, or See’s Candy or fundraising volunteer. We’re deeply grateful for the generous support we’ve received over the past 20 years from our fellow Nevada County residents who have a heart for the needs of children and our vital work on their behalf.
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