In an average year in Placer County, about 800 kids experience substantiated abuse or neglect, and over 200 of them are removed from their homes.
Child Advocates of Placer County received its non-profit status in 2004 with a mission to establish the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program for the Placer County Juvenile Dependency Court. We started slowly by serving fewer than 30 children in 2006. Then in 2007 we turned a corner, and by year’s end we had 49 trained volunteers serving 67 children. That growth trend continues today, and since 2017 we have been able to assign CASA volunteers to over 90% of the foster youth in Placer County. In 2019 CASA volunteers served 368 foster children and probation youth.
Our success with the CASA program led the Placer County Office of Education to award us a two-year grant to create our Youth Mentor Program in 2009, formerly the Adult-to-Youth Mentors (A2Y). Then in 2010, we received funding from Placer First 5 to enhance the program to include Family Mentors. We take volunteers and intentionally train them to serve at-risk parents. In 2016, we launched our K9’s 4 Kids Program to support youth in stressful environments.
All of the programs offered by Child Advocates of Placer County utilize volunteers to serve our community. Our volunteers help foster youth, at-risk youth, and parents build resiliency, self-confidence and self-sufficiency. We work together to attain academic goals, avoid the juvenile justice system, improve life skills, and identify support systems.
The ultimate result we want to see from our programs is an increase in community wellness. We strive for local youth who make better life choices, succeed in school, and become happy, stable and contributing adults. We want our parents to reunify with their children and rebuild their families. Additionally, we want our volunteers to come away with a sense of accomplishment, an increased connection to their community and a feeling of joy that comes from “giving back” in a meaningful way. The results are life-changing for everyone.