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In need of funds for kids

Although they laid off four of their 11 employees Friday, officials at Child Advocates of Nevada County aren’t writing off two programs in jeopardy – Foothills Healthy Babies and Child Abuse Prevention in Nevada County Schools.

Although families who use Foothills Healthy Babies will immediately see fewer services, the schools program always goes on hiatus from June to September.

Child Advocates’ annual budget is just over $300,000. Fund-raising efforts this fiscal year, which ends June 30, fell short about $70,000, estimates Executive Director Jill Blake.



She says Child Advocates served almost 3,000 children the last 12 months.

“Today, Child Advocates finds itself with thriving programs, yet funding sources that have run dry,” said Pat Gregor, a member of the Child Advocates board. “Jill Blake and her staff are working furiously to replace funding




sources and are exploring all avenues to

maintain and nourish the CANC programs. Meanwhile, CANC is looking to the generosity of our community to help through this difficult time.”

Blake, on the job for six months, emphasizes that the group’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program is not in jeopardy because grants are already in place, and specific fund-raising has been successful.

She’s confident that the long-term answer for the two financially strapped programs will be found in grants later this summer and autumn.

“The short-term answer is the community helping out until we hear about grant funding,” Blake said.

Also hoping the community supports the organization is Judge Al Dover, presiding judge of Nevada County’s juvenile court.

“These programs are important, obviously geared toward assisting families and children to be safe and healthy,” Dover said. “There’s not much more that’s more important than that. The judges just contributed $500 to Child Advocates. We know they’re in some financial difficulties. We think so strongly of their programs.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, send checks payable to Child Advocates of Nevada County at 471 Sutton Way, Suite 210, Grass Valley 95945.

Child Advocates of Nevada County, founded nine years ago to prevent child abuse and neglect, operates these programs:

Child Abuse Prevention in Nevada County Schools

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Adult and teen volunteers teach personal safety and self-protection in puppet shows at area schools. This year, 2,805 county children saw the shows, compared to 1,300 two years ago.

Foothills Healthy Babies

When nurses and doctors believe the family of a newborn may be overburdened, they refer the parents to Child Advocates – but the decision to use the free training and consulting services is left to the parents. Fifty families are in the program this year, compared to 25 last year.

Court Appointed Special Advocates

When a judge determines that a child is in an abusive or negligent environment, a trained community volunteer – a Court Appointed Special Advocate – is appointed. The goal is safe, permanent homes for the children, and this commitment can continue for years in some cases.

This year, 55 children have received advocates.

Family Court Special Advocates

Trained volunteers help families in high-conflict divorce cases focus on the needs of the child. This year, 55 children have received advocates.


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