11 Reasons to be a CASA

June 2, 2020 |

 1. Advocating is important to you. The children we serve are vulnerable and benefit from having someone in their corner with no other obligations or bias.   2. There are 22 foster children that are awaiting a CASA. Y.E.S. has been authorized to provide CASAs for these 22 foster children but we need you!   3. You will see the direct results of giving back to your community. CASAs see their assigned case through to the end- reunification, adoption or placement.   4. You enjoy spending time with children and adolescents. The CASA role is not all work- we have fun too! CASAs can take their kiddos on a hike, see a movie, utilize the Y.E.S. office space where we have games and crafts. We also provide outings and activities where CASAs and their kiddos can socialize. The children we serve deserve privacy and confidentiality therefore, any activity which would expose their identity is not allowed.   5. You have an extra 5-10 free hours per month. We ask our CASAs to dedicate 1-2 hours per week.   6. Meet new people with similar interests! Volunteering is a great way to get to know people in your community, make friends…

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Ted Talk: Life in a Trash Bag

May 26, 2020 |

Watch this video of Rob Scheer talk about his non- profit Comfort Cases which has a mission similar to our own Luggage of Love program. Youth Empowerment Siskiyou’s Luggage of Love program concentrates on serving foster youth right here in Siskiyou County.  Luggage of Love gives youth entering foster care a comfort bag. Our comfort bags contain things like a pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, toiletries, a flashlight… dignity. Hope. We don’t want our County’s most vulnerable children transporting their life in trash bags. Our Luggage of Love program is in need of a Coordinator. This is a volunteer position that, at minimum, would require less than 5 hours per month. The Coordinator would be responsible for corresponding with our partner agencies following MOUs in place, taking inventory and organizing Luggage of Love donations, making requests for supplemental purchases in order to meet the needs of comfort bag recipients, deliver bags to partner agencies when required and organize the annual Valentine’s Day Luggage of Love Donation Drive. If you are interested in volunteering with Luggage of Love in any capacity please reach out to us at info@YESiskiyou.org or call (530) 841-0844

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The End of Juvenile Imprisonment in California

May 26, 2020 |

“Today is the beginning of the end of juvenile imprisonment as we know it,” said Governor Newsom in a statement published Jan 22, 2019. “Juvenile justice should be about helping kids imagine and pursue new lives — not jumpstarting the revolving door of the criminal justice system. The system should be helping these kids unpack trauma and adverse experiences many have suffered. And like all youth in California, those in our juvenile justice system should have the chance to get an education and develop skills that will allow them to succeed in our economy.” The Governor proposed $2 million in his budget to provide matching funds for a California/AmeriCorps federal grant, which will support 40 half-time AmeriCorps members in organizations assisting youth released from the Division of Juvenile Justice. His budget also includes more than $100 million for screenings for adverse childhood experiences and early childhood trauma, and developmental screenings — early interventions that help keep kids out of the criminal justice system. Read more here.

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Aging Out of Foster Care During Covid-19

May 20, 2020 |

Click the link above to listen to the podcast! Can you imagine aging out of foster care during Covid-19? These young adults have to find somewhere to live and provide for themselves during an Pandemic. Some have no safety net or family. Listen to Rob and Dana of the Fostering Change Podcast talk with Whitney Gillliard of Gilliard & Co. talk about the issues foster youth are facing right now. Check out Gilliard & Co. and the Comfort Cases website to see the great work they are doing!

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Santa Clara County Foster Youth Receive Universal Basic Income

May 19, 2020 |

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has approved moving forward with a pilot program providing foster youth from the ages of 21-24 years old with a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 per month. This would be the first program of it’s kind in the United States. The pilot program is scheduled to run from June 2020 to May 2021. “Foster youth in our County face unique obstacles and challenges, with a disproportionate amount experiencing homelessness, poverty, and multiple chronic health conditions. These discrepancies have only been exacerbated by our current health pandemic,” said Supervisor Cortese who brought the pilot program to the Board of Supervisors last August. Read the Press Release.

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Video: One CASAs Experience

May 19, 2020 |

This short film by Left Turn Productions depicts both a foster child’s and CASA volunteer’s experience with the system. After watching, you will have a broader understanding of a CASAs role in the foster child’s case. Of course, all cases are different and all children are different.  We take into consideration a volunteer’s experience level and preference when assigning them to a case.

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Congregate Care

May 19, 2020 |

The L.A. Times published an OP-ED about several negative effects that closing group homes has led to. Click here to read the article. As states and counties endeavor to keep at risk children safe, they make course corrections based on past problems.  With each policy change new issues arise with the very systems developed to keep them safe. Our local partners are aware of the struggles addressed in this article and work hard to find the best options for the children in their charge while following state and federal mandates. When the pendulum swings, it swings very wide.  One extreme to the other. It’s typically a slow swing so wrongs take quite a while to be righted.  There is a need for more foster homes as well as congregate care.  Some children do not do well in a traditional family setting due to early attachment issues and/or “trauma-and stressor-related disorders” as the DSM-5 classifies it. Here at Y.E.S., the services we provide are supportive to foster youth. Such as giving a foster child a highly trained CASA. Children and adolescents who have a formal or informal “mentor-like” relationship with someone outside their home are less likely to have externalizing behavior…

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Camp Update

May 19, 2020 |

We are awaiting the release of guidelines from the CDC and the Caliornia Department of Public Health. While we want to do everything we can to offer some form of camp this summer we want to ensure the safety of our campers and staff. We will know more about our camp plans in mid June. Thank you for your continued support and patience!

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