Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Growing Hope out of Hurt

aka Advocates for Children   |   Cartersville, GA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

EIN: 58-1505825


Our mission is to strengthen our community through education, advocacy, and prevention, empowering families to be free from child abuse. Our vision is that every family in our community is building a life where they are safe, thriving, and loved.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Mrs. Rachel Castillo

Main address

P.O. Box 446

Cartersville, GA 30120 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Victim aid

Child welfare

Youth services

Transitional living

Population served info

Children and youth

Young adults


Homeless people

Low-income people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Victims' Services (P62)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Advocates for Children was established in 1983 by local community leaders concerned with the lack of resources for abused children. Our organization has strategically expanded to serve Bartow and 10 neighboring counties in Georgia through programs that seek to restore the lives of children and families impacted by child maltreatment. Our mission is to strengthen our community through education, advocacy, and prevention, empowering families to be free from child abuse. Advocates for Children provides ongoing crisis intervention and supportive advocacy services to child abuse victims, homeless youth, non-offending caregivers, and family members. Three of our programs offer emergency services to children in foster care and youth experiencing homelessness: the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter, RISE Youth Independent Housing, and Safe Place. These residential programs provide a home for children, emergency shelter for homeless youth up to age 24, and rental assistance for young adults.

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?

Flowering Branch Children's Shelter

A residence for children and youth who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Flowering Branch ensures that our youth receive proper physical and mental health services, addiction counseling, group work that teaches and enhances self esteem, and independent living skill development. Additionally, we work with each child to set goals for their futures, improve academic achievement, and to foster an understanding of making appropriate life choices. Shelter programs include the Jacob’s Ladder Mentoring Program for adult volunteers and the VolunTeen Program where youth serve as peer mentors to our residents.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Highly trained volunteers, under the guidance of professional staff, serve as the eyes and the ears of the Juvenile Court, advising the judge as to what is in the best interest of the child.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Rainbows grief care groups are organized within each of our local public schools. Children who have suffered a loss through death, divorce, abandonment, or incarceration meet in small groups led by qualified adults. Rainbows facilitators navigate the children through the steps of grieving and help them to adopt ways to manage their feelings of pain.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Through our First Steps program new mothers receive a post-partum visit from a trained volunteer who provides a packet of information about how to care for her infant, community resources and a 24 hour “warm line” phone number to call if she feels overwhelmed. Volunteers routinely follow up for three months with the mothers and refer them to on-going help if needed.

Population(s) Served

• A Better Way Children’s Advocacy Center is a very special place where children come for a very complicated reason: there are allegations that a child has been sexually or severely physically abused. A Better Way is designed to allow a child to report what happened to them only one time, instead of multiple instances, in a home-like setting, reducing any additional trauma from the very system that is intended to protect them. A Better Way uses a comprehensive approach to investigating, prosecuting and treating child abuse and is recognized by its referral sources in the community as the primary responder to reported cases of sexual abuse, and severe physical abuse and neglect, of children.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Hope in Your Home is a home visitation program to reach children and families at risk of experiencing child maltreatment, but who have not yet had it occur and/or are not involved with DFCS child protective services. Confidential referrals to the program come from medical professionals, child care providers and others who are concerned about the risk for maltreatment among some children and families they serve. Trained program staff conduct comprehensive, family-centered home visits to (1) help caregivers build nurturing parenting skills and behaviors, (2) improve the quality of the child’s home environment, and (3) link family members to social, prevention and treatment services as needed.

Population(s) Served

Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates young people about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own. Advocates for Children operates 65 Safe Place sites (62 stationary and 3 mobile). These sites create a network of Safe Place locations — schools, fire stations, libraries, grocery and convenience stores, public transit, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings – that display the yellow and black diamond-shaped Safe Place sign. These locations extend the doors of Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter throughout the community. Youth can easily access immediate help wherever they are.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

RISE serves youth living in homelessness in six of the
eleven counties that Advocates for Children serves
across northwest Georgia. Our program helps youth
between the ages of 18 to 24 years old obtain and
maintain housing, become self-sufficient, and grow into
independent and successful adults. We use both case
management and medium-term assistance to guide
youth through their transition into permanent housing.
By identifying the appropriate housing option and the
supportive services needed for the youth served, our
RISE program ensures that housing is retained, and
homelessness prevented in the long-term.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Homeless people

Where we work


Established Affiliate Award of Excellence 2011

Georgia CASA

Affiliations & memberships

National CASA 2016

National Safe Place 2016

Prevent Child Abuse America - Member 2016

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2016

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 who received forensic interviews

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

Children and youth

Related Program

A Better Way Children's Advocacy Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of adults served

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

Caregivers, Families, Parents, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of active CASA volunteers

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


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.

Advocates for Children was formed in 1983 by local leaders concerned by the lack of resources for abused and neglected children. Our mission is to strengthen our community through education, advocacy, and prevention, empowering families to be free from child abuse. We provide direct care to children who are victims of abuse and neglect, and offer programming that focuses on the prevention of child abuse and on crucial elements of family wellness. There are no other organizations duplicating our services in Bartow County.

Our most recent strategic plan, adopted in 2020, defines strategic goals, objectives, and initiatives for our organization's focus over four years:

Goal 1: Programs break the cycle of abuse through education.
Goal 2: A new home for programs across the organization.
Goal 3: Diversified revenue to support Advocates for Children.
Goal 4: Inspired, staff, board, and volunteers.

The action initiatives and their specific goals are accompanied by details including timelines, costs, status of completion, and accountable persons. The plan will guide the organization through 2023 and is reviewed and updated quarterly.

1. Our first goal focuses on programs that prevent the cycle of abuse through education and training. We want to guarantee that our families have the support they need through increased education for caregivers as well as education and support for youth. To this end, we will increase the number of participants in parenting programs, focus on prevention services across the agency, and become trauma-informed across all programs.

2. After 37 years, our organization has outgrown the facilities that it currently operates from. Our second goal seeks to secure the physical space needed to support Advocates' programmatic needs. We will achieve this endeavor through a fully funded capital campaign based on the goal outlined in the feasibility study.

3. As our organization expands its geographic area of service, we want to ensure that we develop relationships with potential stakeholders in the new communities we serve. Our third strategic goal focuses on identifying and securing multiple revenue streams to support our organization's growth. Strategies to accomplish this goal include building relationships with new and current donors and identifying new donors in the counties that we serve.

4. Advocates for Children has the support available to build and retain the staff, board, leadership, and volunteers needed to support organizational growth. Our last strategic goal seeks to cultivate inspired staff, board, and volunteers. We will focus on creating a cohesive agency-wide culture for our organization, and developing a communication plan to engage the community in volunteer opportunities and needs.

For over 37 years, Advocates has employed evidence-based models and operated programs that are widely recognized as best practices. We have a long history of positive, collaborative relationships with state and social service agencies, and are highly regarded for being good financial stewards. We have extensive experience managing grants, most notably state and federal grants that require monthly reporting and detailed record-keeping, such as ACF Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY), Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF), Victims of Crime Act Assistance (VOCA), and Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV).

Our program directors are highly trained, qualified professionals who hire and manage very capable staff members. Members of Advocates staff at every level have well-defined responsibilities. Everyone is responsible for operations, which is essential for maintaining each of our three physical locations, but program directors have the freedom to manage their programs without focusing on raising funds to support their efforts. We require exceptional record-keeping and donor and volunteer management from all of our staff, and encourage the pursuit of continuing education to continually enhance our mission.

Advocates boasts an engaged Board of Trustees with many active committees and a diverse representation of experiences and expertise.

The number of children we serve annually steadily increases each year, matched by a desire of our referral agencies and collaborative partners to see us offering more resources that are relieving to their programs. Though capable of the task, there will be challenges associated with this organizational growth, and new sources of funding will be vital for an expanding budget.

In 2020, we achieved national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA), demonstrating best-practice standards in the field of human services. The Board of Trustees continues to drive progress toward our long-term goals, focusing on a future vision for programming and the need for capital that would arise.

In 2021, we launched a capital campaign to raise $4.6 million for program expansion, capacity building and infrastructure. In October 22, with 80% of our fundraising goal met, we held a ground-breaking ceremony and began construction to establish a new central location for prevention and advocacy programs and services.

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.
  • 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

  • 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, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 24.97 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $155,812 $117,922 $268,821 $1,962,340 $115,282
As % of expenses 7.9% 5.9% 12.5% 73.2% 3.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $124,923 $85,369 $237,209 $1,923,277 $73,171
As % of expenses 6.2% 4.2% 10.9% 70.7% 2.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,239,917 $2,061,165 $2,387,226 $4,780,231 $4,076,766
Total revenue, % change over prior year 5.9% -8.0% 15.8% 100.2% -14.7%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 0.2% 0.3%
Government grants 62.8% 70.0% 74.2% 41.1% 53.9%
All other grants and contributions 34.9% 29.2% 24.5% 58.4% 38.5%
Other revenue 1.7% 0.1% 0.6% 0.3% 7.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,973,726 $1,992,572 $2,150,357 $2,680,371 $3,334,077
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.1% 1.0% 7.9% 24.6% 24.4%
Personnel 76.2% 77.2% 68.2% 62.7% 56.4%
Professional fees 2.0% 3.5% 5.1% 6.0% 5.6%
Occupancy 2.8% 2.5% 4.0% 4.2% 22.5%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 1.2%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 19.0% 16.9% 22.8% 26.5% 14.3%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,004,615 $2,025,125 $2,181,969 $2,719,434 $3,376,188
One month of savings $164,477 $166,048 $179,196 $223,364 $277,840
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $56,847
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $40,946 $2,625,528 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $2,169,092 $2,191,173 $2,402,111 $5,568,326 $3,710,875

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 4.8 5.1 6.3 6.8 9.4
Months of cash and investments 4.8 5.1 6.3 6.8 9.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.4 6.1 6.9 6.9 9.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $782,254 $848,102 $1,134,921 $1,508,388 $2,600,773
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $156,203 $214,772 $137,785 $282,770 $631,540
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $572,769 $562,755 $602,688 $3,226,904 $2,165,324
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 44.3% 50.9% 52.6% 11.0% 12.6%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 5.2% 4.2% 4.0% 23.1% 20.2%
Unrestricted net assets $1,203,225 $1,288,594 $1,525,803 $3,449,080 $3,522,251
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $158,381 $599,033
Total net assets $1,203,225 $1,288,594 $1,525,803 $3,607,461 $4,121,284

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President & CEO

Mrs. Rachel Castillo

Rachel Castillo joined our team in 2018 after previously serving as the Vice President of Program Services at MUST Ministries where she provided oversight to their Housing and Service Center programming. Prior to MUST, she served as the Director of Operations at Lutheran Services of Georgia, Inc., where she oversaw the development of housing services including Housing Opportunities for People with HIV/Aids (HOPWA). She has a Master of Management in Non-Profit and Public Administration from Cambridge College and over 20 years of experience in social services. Rachel has a passion for resolving issues surrounding homelessness and affordable housing. She was recognized by the State Housing Trust Fund for the work she and her team did with Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing and has also been a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Spirit Award for her work in the inner-city Boston.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Advocates for Bartow's Children, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Jud McGivaren


Term: 2021 - 2022

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Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/10/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/16/2023

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
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 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.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser