PLATINUM2022

ADVOKIDS

A Legal Resource for Foster Children and Their Advocates

Corte Madera, CA   |  www.advokids.org

Mission

Advokids is dedicated to protecting the right of every foster child in California to safety, security, and a permanent home.

Ruling year info

1993

Executive Director

Margaret Coyne

Deputy Director

Janet G Sherwood

Main address

5643 Paradise Dr Suite 12B

Corte Madera, CA 94925 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3157218

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Foster Care (P32)

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

Children coming into the foster care system have already been traumatized by abuse and/or neglect. The foster care system often compounds that trauma with children experiencing temporary placements, unnecessary moves, loss of familial and caregiving relationships, and unnecessary delays to permanency. Advokids teaches child welfare advocates how to navigate the child welfare and juvenile court systems to prevent and mitigate trauma and stress for children in foster care.

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?

Child Welfare Legal Help Line

The only free telephone help line providing legal information and support for anyone concerned about a child in foster care in California. Advokids provides callers with information and assistance with understanding and navigating the child welfare system and the juvenile court dependency system.

The Advokids Telephone Hotline offers legal assistance daily, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are closed for lunch daily from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. We are also closed on all major holidays.

The Advokids Telephone Hotline: 1.877.ADV4KID

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

A dedicated telephone hotline for child welfare attorneys to assist with identifying persuasive legal arguments and strategies for promoting the child’s best interests and improving outcomes for foster children.

Attorney Consultation Line: 415.924.0587

Population(s) Served
Families
Caregivers
Foster and adoptive children
Out-of-home youth

A comprehensive, interactive, and easy to navigate website for the general community and child welfare professionals, providing relevant and dynamic information about juvenile dependency law, the child welfare system, early childhood mental health, and ways to support and help Advokids improve the lives of children in foster care in California.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Caregivers
Families
Foster and adoptive children

Dynamic, cutting edge trainings for attorneys, social workers, mental health professionals, CASA volunteers, relatives and caregivers to improve the standards of representation in juvenile dependency court, increase the understanding of local rules, state regulations and state and federal laws governing child welfare cases, and encourage "child centered” legal advocacy.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Advokids has made some of its most popular trainings for child welfare attorneys and caregivers available online.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Caregivers

Advokids’ staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys provide assistance in preparing amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs in selected cases where our legal staff has identified a question of law that is critical to protecting the health, safety or well-being of foster children in California. Amicus briefs provide important safeguards for children under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and serve as powerful catalysts for systemic change.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Children Served By Advokids' Free Telephone Hotline

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Child Welfare Legal Help Line

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Decreases in children served in 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic shutdowns suspended many ongoing court proceedings and the availability of many child welfare services

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.

To educate every participant in the foster care system about:
1. The rights and needs of children in care,
2. How that participant can be an advocate for a foster child,
3. How that participant can encourage the child welfare system to make better decisions about the fates of children in foster care, including decisions about their safety, security, stability and need for timely permanency, and
4. The effects of those decisions on each child's long-term physical and emotional well-being.

To advocate for the system to actually serve the needs and best interests of foster children and to avoid decisions that inflict further, unnecessary trauma on already traumatized children.

Education:

1. Individuals: Free telephone hotline for anyone concerned about the well-being of a child in foster care. Attorney or social worker staff helps caller understand options available for accessing the juvenile court to make sure that the concern is heard by the judge and/or suggests strategies the caller can use to hold the system accountable for bad decisions that hurt children.

2. Participants in the Child Welfare System: Train foster child advocates, including caregivers, relatives, Court Appointed Special Advocates, social workers, mental health professionals, foster family agencies, and other interested persons, on what the law requires, the neuroscience that underlies and informs the needs of children in the system, especially infants and toddlers, and how these individuals can use that law to make the system work better for foster children. Train attorneys on basic juvenile dependency law, speciality areas of juvenile dependency law including the neuroscience of child development and trauma-informed practices, and duties and obligations of attorneys appointed to represent children in dependency proceedings.

Advocacy:

1. File or participate in the drafting and filing by other child welfare organizations, amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in cases where the issue before the appellate court is one that directly affects the rights or interests of abused and neglected children.
2. Collaborate with other child welfare organizations, state and county agencies, legislators, and child advocates to enact and enforce state and local policies that nurture and protect foster children.
3. Seek judicial solutions for entrenched county agency failures and refusals to comply with the law in ways that hurt children.

The demand for our services is increasing rapidly. Our staff is stretched to the limit. The professional staff includes two very experienced child welfare attorneys, a very experienced former county social worker, a part-time attorney, and occasional volunteer attorneys. This staff possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out the mission but will, at some point, be unable to meet the ever increasing demand for services. This will require addition funding in order for us to be able to hire and retain professionals with the requisite knowledge and training.

In the last 10 years:
1. Grown from a part-time, all volunteer staff to a full-fledged service organization.
2. Consulted with over 3500 individuals about their concerns for a foster child.
3. Conducted over 100 trainings on various aspects of child welfare law, child development, and infant mental health.
4. Presented at statewide and national conferences sponsored by other organizations including the National Association of Counsel for Children, the California State Foster Parent Association, and a the North American Counsel on Adoptable Children.

In the past three years. we have filed or joined amicus briefs in eight different cases involving important child welfare issues in both state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

There are over 60,000 children in California's foster care system--a system that is underfunded, understaffed, and often loses sight of what is in the best interests of the child. We are not done so long as there are children in foster care whose needs are not being met and whose interests are not being protected.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children and youth in the foster care system. We collect feedback from the various adults who contact us with a concern about the welfare of that child.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

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

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    redesigned educational/informational website to make it more accessible

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Identified needs of people we serve that are not being met in the child welfare system and adjusted programs to better document those needs and develop data upon which to base actions designed to inform stakeholders of these problems, encourage stakeholders to alter their behavior to address unmet needs, and help develop solutions to roadblocks to resolving these systemic problems

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

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • 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

ADVOKIDS
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ADVOKIDS

Board of directors
as of 09/14/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Daniel McKenzie

US Bank

Term: 2022 - 2023

Janet Sherwood

Advokids

Margaret Coyne

Advokids

Lauren Case

Duane Morris LLP

Dan McKenzie

U.S. Bank

Patricia Black

Law Offices of Patricia Black

Kolleen Greenwald

Foster Care Provider

Amanda Stewart

Keens Shay Keens

Tamuri Richardson

TLeanne Speaking Pros LLC

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 ? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/12/2022

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/12/2022

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
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.