Friends Of Alameda County Casa Inc

Every Child Needs a Champion

aka Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)   |   San Leandro, CA   |  https://www.casaofalamedacounty.org/

Mission

Every child needs someone in their corner. For children and youth facing the complex foster care system, a trusted mentor can make all the difference in the world. Since 1987, Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (ACCASA) has recruited, trained, and supported dedicated volunteers to be the constant in a foster child’s life—a person they can count on for compassion, guidance, advocacy, and information. The unique relationship expands the child’s world through enriching experiences and forges bonds that often last into successful adulthood.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Ms Ginni Ring

Main address

1000 San Leandro Blvd., Suite 300, 1st Floor

San Leandro, CA 94577 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3309728

NTEE code info

Child Abuse, Prevention of (I72)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

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

Currently, there are 1,000+ youth in Alameda County in the complex welfare system, and many feel alone as they face a constantly shifting world of temporary homes and intervening professionals. They typically come from low-income households and have often faced neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse. Youth of color are overrepresented in foster care: 44% Black, 35% Latinx, 13% White, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1.6% Other, and nearly 10% come from immigrant families whose first language is not English. Only 2/3 of foster youth attend the same school for a full school year, and each school move results in a loss of educational progress. As a result of these profound challenges, youth in foster care need help to overcome these poor outcomes: • 56% graduate high school (versus 85% California average) • 3% earn a college degree • 51% will be unemployed at age 22 • 33-50% of former foster youth experience homelessness by age 26 • 5% of rural and 21% of urban youth have computers

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?

Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the juvenile dependency and justice court system.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

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 clients served

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

Children and youth, Foster and adoptive children

Related Program

Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Fiscal year data (July 1 - June 30)

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Fiscal year data (July 1 - June 30)

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.

Despite the challenges, youth in foster care are resilient and can obtain college and career success and thrive in adulthood with adequate support and resources—as provided by Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (ACCASA) and our dedicated volunteers, who are engaged advocates and mentors for their youth.

The goals of ACCASA programming are (1) to ensure youth in foster care have the opportunities, services, and support they need to thrive and (2) to help them develop the various hard and soft skills necessary to become successful adults.

ACCASA uses specialized Youth Impact Surveys for CASAs serving young people ages 6–21 to track case progress from assignment, after one year, and at case closing. These surveys enhance our ability to measure transition-age and non-minor youth outcomes and document volunteer activities. We have a track record of successfully meeting these outcome targets:
• 84% of CASAs support their youth ages 6-17 with education or education support activities.
• 85% of foster youth ages 15-17 and older will obtain or make progress toward obtaining a high school diploma or GED.
• 70% of transition-age youth (TAY) ages 18–21 will develop goals or a plan for post-secondary education.
• 90% of TAY youth will have a plan for current or future employment.
• 95% of CASA volunteers will engage in conversations about health choices and behaviors with their youth ages 6-21.
• 93% of CASAs support their youth ages 6-21 with maintaining positive family connections.
• 70% of youth will engage in activities that support a personal and cultural identity.

Our CASA volunteers are truly the heart of what makes CASA such a meaningful and successful advocacy model, providing a consistent voice in court and a positive adult mentor for hundreds of foster youth. CASAs learn the personal stories of their youth, provide fun life-enriching experiences to help them grow, and advocate for them in a variety of situations. CASAs collaborate with child welfare and legal professionals to assist the youth in legal proceedings, family visitations, educational support, and medical and mental health needs. CASAs promote healthy choices and support independent living skills that lead to higher education, positive relationships, and purposeful lifestyles. Sometimes their most valuable role is being the most trusted person in a child’s uncertain life. Our volunteers often forge bonds that last into successful adulthood.

Each volunteer undergoes an extensive screening and training process, including over 50 hours of training—40 hours before being appointed to a young person and 12+ hours of post-placement training. Training covers child development, family dynamics, the child welfare system, the dependency court process, best interests-focused and child-centered advocacy, mandated reporting, cultural relevance and humility, a range of child development and impact issues (attachment and separation, child abuse, stressors, domestic violence, mental illness), organizing and documenting cases, writing court reports, confidentiality and relationship-building, education advocacy, rights-based advocacy, assessing resilience, managing transitions, and many other topics. CASAs spend a minimum of 10 hours per month meeting with the youth, researching and resourcing for the case, connecting with and informing the collaborative team, providing the court with adequate and up-to-date information, and complying with the CASA program standards of practice and rules of the court. 

CASAs support provide pathways to positive outcomes for youth in foster care:
• Self-Esteem Building: Valuing opinions, giving positive affirmations, supporting identity development, recognizing youth’s successes and strengths
• Trust & Relationship Building: Listening, developing consistency, modeling healthy coping skills, and celebrating milestones
• Education Support: Reading with youth, helping with schoolwork and digital literacy, playing learning games, attending school meetings, and setting goals
• Cultural & Community Events: Exploring festivals, culturally relevant experiences, historical landmarks, theater and arts, and volunteer opportunities
• Extra-Curricular Activities: Exploring the transformational power of sports and play at parks, beaches, and through extracurricular activities; visiting museums, the zoo, and restaurants; attending sporting events; and discovering hobbies
• Independent Living Skills: Finding a job and housing, strengthening family connections, completing high school and college, and developing financial literacy

ACCASA has the capacity and experience to serve the emotional and physical needs of the child and youth crime victim population using a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive approach. ACCASA’s dedicated, trained, and passionate professional staff have over 100 years of combined experience working with youth who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect. ACCASA’s staff team has diverse cultural competencies and experience supporting youth in group homes and psychiatric health facilities, people who are homeless, first-generation immigrants, low-income college students, youth with hearing impairment, and LGBTQ youth. They also have experience in nonprofit management, community outreach, professional training, and volunteer supervision.

Since 1987, ACCASA has provided comprehensive training and support for local volunteers to be engaged advocates, compassionate mentors, and trusted adults in a child’s uncertain life. ACCASA provides resources for our CASA volunteers to engage, support, and encourage their youths through local activities and programs, including a comprehensive local resource guide and monthly supplemental activities/remote programming ideas. These resources include comprehensive, age-appropriate activities and programs to support their youth’s needs and interests, including (but not limited to) local cultural and community activities, camps and extracurricular activities, K-12 and post-secondary education resources, college readiness programs, tutoring, school district liaisons, laptops/computers and affordable internet options, job training resources, transitional age youth resources, parenting and reproductive health resources, LGBTQ community resources, and juvenile justice resources.

ACCASA’s work improves outcomes for foster children in part because CASAs work closely with many public agencies and community organizations to train our volunteer CASAs and provide services/support for our youth. To respond to individual child/youth needs, we collaborate with and provide referrals to existing community service providers (with whom we have obtained operational agreements). Our program partners also help us ensure that volunteer CASAs have the training and resources they need to serve each young person. In addition, we work with attorneys and social workers regarding court hearings for foster youth before the Alameda County Presiding Juvenile Judge. Finally, we collaborate with community-based organizations to train CASAs to be Education Representatives for youth with disabilities and those who are involved with the justice system.

During FY21 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021), 244 CASA volunteers provided 12,000 hours of support and advocacy for 306 Alameda County youth in foster care. During that time, 43% of the youth assigned to advocates were African American, 33% were Latino, 10% were multi-racial, 8% were white, 4% were Asian, 1% were Middle Eastern, and 1% were of unknown race/ethnicity. Of those, 53% were female. The age breakdown of youth served was as follows: 6% were ages 0-5, 26% were 6-11, 51% were 12-17, and 17% were 18-20.

We are extremely grateful and proud of our CASAs and their hard work supporting youth. Despite the impact of COVID-19, our most recent survey of CASA volunteers in winter 2022 found that:
• 97% of CASAs supporting young people ages 6-17 and 95% of CASAs supporting Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs; young adults ages 18-20 who choose to remain in foster care) feel they are positively impacting their youth’s self-esteem.
• 81% of youth CASAs feel their youth has a positive view about their future, with 71% for NMD CASAs.
• 93% of youth can name positive adult role models, with 100% for NMDs.
• 84% of CASAs support their youth with education, with 81% for NMDs.
• 93% of CASAs support their youth with maintaining family connections, with 71% for NMDs.
• 38% of NMDs are employed and 29% are searching for work.
• 38% of NMDs have completed high school.
• 71% of NMDs have secure housing.

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?

    ACCASA serves Alameda County foster youth of all ages (up to their 21st birthday), with most of our young clients over the age of 12. Youth of color are overrepresented in foster care: 44% Black, 35% Latinx, 13% White, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1.6% Other, and nearly 10% come from immigrant families whose first language is not English.

  • 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 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, 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?

    Our youth impact survey has taught us how to better support our volunteers, provide more training and coaching to engage youth in activities that affect their well-being such as cultural events, outdoor activities, and fun learning opportunities.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    We have learned to listen better and adjust how we operate. For example, before we publish or make public statements about child welfare issues, we ask our partners how they feel when they read it and if it feels inclusive and collaborative.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), 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, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Friends Of Alameda County Casa 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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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

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

Friends Of Alameda County Casa Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/23/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lisa Barra

AAA

Term: 2020 -

Ryan De La Torre

Allstate Financial

Shwetha Gaddam

Intuit

Bruce Gekko

Allstate Insurance

Abdul Hanif

Instagram/Meta

Megan Landavazo

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Vickie Pilotti

Genentech (ret.)

Poonam Shah

StuHire

Jasleen Wadhwa

Morgan Stanley

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/18/2022

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/18/2022

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.