Autism Society of America - Kern Autism Network Inc

Improving the Lives of all Affected by Autism

aka Kern Autism Network-Autism Society Affiiate   |   BAKERSFIELD, CA   |  www.kernautism.org

Mission

The Autism Society of America-Kern Autism Network, Inc. is a grassroots non-profit organization of parents, grandparents, professionals, and other individuals that have an interest in Autism. Autism Society Affiliate-Kern Autism Network provides support groups, awareness, information and education/workshops to families, professionals and the public throughout Kern County. We work towards cooperation, coordination and the creation of services between individuals and agencies. We strive for advocacy, research, education and inclusion for individuals challenged with autism. Every donation dollar donated to the organization, stays local to help the autism community in Kern County. The organization does not have any paid staff.

Ruling year info

2019

Director/President

Ramona Puget

Main address

8200 STOCKDALE HWY., M-10 #171

BAKERSFIELD, CA 93311 USA

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Formerly known as

Autism Society of America-Kern Autism Network

EIN

82-4366327

NTEE code info

Autism (G84)

Autism (G84)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Autism Society of America -Kern Autism Network, Inc. continues to expand its community presence in Kern County. With so many other non-profits in the area, funding dollars are limited and specific for each cause. Autism is a neurological disability that continues to grow at an ever increasing rate with numbers now at 1-59. In Kern County alone, there is over 2,000+ cases with more each month adding to this number. The organization serves as stepping point for parents to seek the help they need to guide them through the journey of autism. We are that connection that allows us to provide hope and a promise to families, that we will always be here for them. We want our families to know that they are not alone and we will do all that we can to help improve the lives of those impacted with autism in Kern County.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Monthly Family Support Groups

Support group assisting the entire family unit bringing parents, caretakers, grandparents and teachers together to collaborate the needs of a loved one with autism spectrum disorders. Support groups offered consist of the following: Family Support Group and Siblings Support Group

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

Scholarships are awarded for attending the following: educational seminars, private swim lessons, equine therapy, yoga therapy, art camp and archery camps. Scholarships are done on a first come first served basis and need. Most we have been able to award annually are up to 100+.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

Workshops are done when there is a need for a specific topic to focus on Autism Awareness. Safety Training with Law Enforcement, Sexulity/Puberty, Adult Employment, Transitions, Behavioral, Bus Training, Communication or Legal IEP training. Speakers with credentials to address this area are brought in to present for a half day workshop.

Population(s) Served
Families
Adults

This workshop is an innovative and exciting workshop just for our kids! Research has been conducted on this approach and the findings were positive. LEGO therapy is impacting our children and youth with its beneficial social interaction using LEGOS! We have had numerous workshops and all of our LEGO Workshops have been HUGE SUCCESSES. Parental or caretaker participation is required. Supervision is provided by community high school volunteers that work 1-1 with the children on the spectrum. The high school students gain service hours and a new friend when they come together to work with children on the spectrum. THE GOAL IS TO HAVE FUN, work on social skills, eye contact and fine motor skills in a naturalistic environment. The workshop is for ages 2-18. Each LEGO Workshop is thematic-Star War's, Disney, Dinosaur, Super Hero, Pirates, and so much more. Children are allowed to wear costume to reflect the theme that is displayed. Lunch is also provided for the children and volunteers . Our numbers of attending vary but range from 100 + children and volunteers to match. A local church-Canyon Hills Assembly of God, has donated their gymnasium for us to use to house this huge workshop that is done only 4 times out of the school year, due to its costs to operate. All LEGO's have been purchased by our organization to reflect the themes mentioned.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Thanksgiving Dinner Meals disbursed to families and adults with autism, who may not have the means to enjoy Thanksgiving.
Christmas Autism Project is where 10-15 families are adopted during this season and given assistance to enjoy the holiday.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

During Christmas and Easter we work directly with a local mall to bring a sensory friendly environment to our families and children with autism.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Autism Society, the nation's leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.
Founded in 1965, the Autism Society is the leading source of trusted and reliable information about autism. Through its strong national network of affiliates, the Autism Society has spearheaded numerous pieces of state and local legislation, including the 2006 Combating Autism Act, the first federal autism-specific law. The Autism Society's website is one of the most visited websites on autism in the world and its quarterly journal, Autism Advocate, has a broad national readership. The strong affiliate presence in states and communities throughout the country serve thousands of families each year who are searching for help in their journey with autism.
The Autism Society's national office is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, with local affiliates in states such as California. Autism Society-Kern Autism Network is the affiliate for the Kern County Area. Each year, people with autism, families and professionals volunteer thousands of hours to help the Autism Society achieve its mission of improving the lives of all those affected by autism.

-Continued local support to families with referrals for services to doctors, agencies and more
-Workshops to address areas of concern to better serve and help families, educators and care takers
-Conference that provides autism experts worldwide
-Child centered activities to promote social interaction, fine & gross motor skills
-Monthly support groups to address the growing needs of families and individuals affected by autism
-Training for local First Responders for Emergency Teams in Kern County
-Community presentations to promote autism awareness to groups, schools, agencies etc.
-Community outreach and partners
-Scholarships for children to attend camps and parent scholarships to attend educational trainings FREE
-Provide food baskets during times of need e.g. Covid-19, loss of job, loss of a loved one
-Holiday Projects that help the families enjoy a holiday e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter through food, daily necessities, toys, clothing
-Therapy assistance

Our capability to provide the impact we need to make in our local community comes from the volunteers and networking agencies within our Kern County area. Many of those directly involved with our organization are volunteers who are willing to assist to bring forth the mission of helping those affected by autism. Local entities who select us as their sponsoring charity, donate to us, to help us, help others by giving back to the community. The organization functions solely on the generosity of donors and grants that help us to achieve our mission statement in Kern County.

Our goal was to have a resource center office, that allows families to have a place to come to for support. Currently, we were able to make that a reality with a grant we received from the Hussman Foundation and private donors. We still need to rely on renting meeting space to address our support groups, conferences and workshops. Our current website has been redesigned to address the growth of our organization with better support tools and an ability to reach more in the worldwide web domain. Without monthly flowing income, we rely heavily on donations, our volunteers and community support networks. Each year the needs of our autism community change and this past years impact with Covid-19 brought us to a different approach of providing food, hygiene products, paper products and safety PPE for families to have when sources were scarce.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Parents needed more educational seminars to help them address the needs of their children. We were able to move from a once a year conference to a school year platform of offering four a year to coincide with parents schedules to participate.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Grant applications,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Autism Society of America - Kern Autism Network Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Autism Society of America - Kern Autism Network Inc

Board of directors
as of 6/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ramona Puget

Autism Society of America-Kern Autism Network, Inc.

Term: 2003 -

Kaley Hawkins

High School Teacher

Grant Davenport

Autistic Adult/Student

Bernard Puget

Vice-President of Wonderful Orchards

Laura Montoya

Grade School Teacher

Bo Koenig

Attorney of Law

Nikki Lewis

Banking

Angie Gonzalez

Group Homes Coordinator

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/10/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.