All of our youth are at heightened risk of drug/alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and educational failure. The underlying causes of these behaviors are typically referred to as “Risk Factors” that include a lack of family involvement, poverty, exposure to violence, and mental illness. By contrast, “Protective Factors” are supports that buffer young people from the many risk factors they face. Several studies, including those conducted by The Centers for Disease Control, have identified two significant protective factors for at-risk youth: supportive interactions between youth and their parents, and connectedness to family or adults outside the family.
Since the youth we serve typically have diminished parental support, our CASA and Placer Mentor volunteers become significant protective factors, helping youth avoid poor life choices and seek positive outcomes. For many of our youth, our CASAs/Mentors are the most consistent, reliable and caring adult they know.
Our Program Goals:
- Find permanent homes (for foster youth this means reunification or adoption) or stable housing (for former foster youth),
- Avoid drug and/or alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and the juvenile justice system,
- Increase their educational successes, grade promotions and high school graduation rates,
- Discover new life options and employment opportunities that will help them see their own potential and develop into successful and contributing adults.