Voices for Children FY2018-2019 Impact Report

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MISSION Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).

FROM THE BOARD CHAIR AND PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, Central to our mission at Voices for Children is the belief that every child deserves a safe and permanent home. Children enter the foster care system because they have suffered unspeakable harm in the form of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. They share at least one common trait: the need for a dependable, attentive, and consistent adult presence in their lives. For many foster children, that person is their Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)— recruited, trained, assigned and supported by Voices for Children. A CASA is matched with one foster child or sibling set and advocates on their behalf in court, in schools, and in the community for the duration of their time in the foster care system. With that in mind, we are pleased to present our Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Impact Report. Through your generous support, Voices for Children served all 3,628 children in San Diego County’s foster care system. Our Riverside County program continues to expand, serving 412 children this past year. Our new Juvenile Justice program in San Diego County served more than 60 children last year, exceeding our goals and continuing to grow. More than 1,500 community members served as CASAs through Voices for Children, contributing more than 167,000 hours to improving the lives of our community’s foster children. Thanks to your support, our work changes lives through the power of authentic relationships, human connection, and effective advocacy. One of our signature programs at Voices for Children is the Real Word, a speakers panel made up of current and former foster youth. During their presentations, these resilient and determined youth share their personal stories about navigating life in the foster care system. The panelists say it best when they describe the influence of their CASAs: “There aren’t a lot of people who choose to stay in our lives, but my CASA did.” “My CASA saw me as a person – not just as a foster child.” “My CASA is my number one supporter – no matter what.” We are so grateful each day for our dedicated CASA volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the lives of our community’s foster children. On behalf of our Board of Directors, our staff, our many stakeholders, and the children we serve, thank you for your continued support. With gratitude,

Kelly Capen Douglas, Esq. President & CEO

Bill Sailer Chair, Board of Directors

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William B. Sailer, Esq., Chair AnneElise Goetz, Esq., Vice Chair Lise N. Wilson, Esq., Secretary Ted Tchang, Treasurer Jill Skrezyna, Past Chair Mary Benirschke Annette Bradbury Patty Cohen Nancy Banning Doyle Ann Parode Dynes, Esq. Gina Ellis Lisette Farrell P. Randolph Finch, Jr., Esq. Jennifer Greenfield The Hon. Susan D. Huguenor (Ret) Erbin Keith, Esq. Richard Kintz, Esq. George Lai Andrea Payne Moser Jennifer O’Connell Dick Pfister, CAIA® Katie Sullivan Haeyoung Kong Tang, Ph.D. Donald E. Willis* Dale E. Yahnke, CFA, CFP® David Bialis, Interim CEO

William B. Sailer, Esq., Chair AnneElise Goetz, Esq., Vice Chair Lise N. Wilson, Esq., Secretary George Lai, Treasurer Melise Balastrieri Mary Benirschke Ryan Blair Annette Bradbury Patty Cohen Nancy Banning Doyle Ann Parode Dynes, Esq. Gina Ellis Lisette Farrell P. Randolph Finch, Jr., Esq. The Hon. Susan D. Huguenor (Ret) Erbin Keith, Esq. Richard Kintz, Esq. Andrea Payne Moser Jennifer O’Connell Hollis R. Peterson, Esq. Nancy R. Pfeiffer Kristi Pfister Penny E. Robbins Lauree Sahba Katie Sullivan Ted Tchang Dale E. Yahnke, CFA, CFP® Kelly Capen Douglas, President & CEO

*February 22, 1944 - July 6, 2018


Speaking up for our community’s most vulnerable Children who have experienced abuse and neglect are among the most vulnerable members of our community. They also present us with some of the greatest opportunities to make a lasting impact — for their futures and for our society. At Voices for Children, we have seen time after time, case after case, the difference one caring adult can make in the life of a child. Voices for Children (VFC) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to speaking up on behalf of these children by providing them with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. With the support and training of the team at VFC, CASAs dedicate their time to amplifying a child’s voice and ensuring their needs are being met. Last year, Voices for Children staff and more than 1,500 CASAs together advocated on behalf of more than 3,000 children in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

The single most common factor for children and teens who develop the capacity to overcome serious hardship is having at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.” – HARVARD’S CENTER ON THE DEVELOPING CHILD

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Bringing children to life for the court It is difficult to imagine how a parent or guardian could harm an innocent child. Yet that is exactly why children have been removed from their homes and enter foster care. Every day, we hear stories of debilitating neglect and unimaginable abuse that no child should experience. Our hearts break. At the same time, we strengthen our resolve to ensure that these children have the opportunity to be safe, feel cared for, and go on to a successful future. While the big screen may have us believe that foster care is a time of hope and long-awaited respite, the reality is that it is often a complex and frightening experience for a child. Suddenly, their world includes a new home, often a new school and classmates, social workers, lawyers, and court hearings. It is during this time that they need the support of a caring adult more than ever. When an allegation of abuse or neglect is made, a judge determines whether that allegation is true and whether the court should step in to care for the youth. Once the court intervenes, a judge continues to oversee the child’s case and make decisions about their future. Judges in San Diego and Riverside Counties preside over 500 to 700 cases at any given point in time. With so many cases to manage, judges need other professionals and individuals to get involved in the life of the family and the child. Each family is provided with a social worker, and both the parents and children receive attorneys. Social workers, who carry anywhere from 25 to 35 families at a time, must prioritize immediate health and safety concerns for all of the children on their caseloads. Attorneys for the children are tasked with providing legal representation to as many as 200 clients at a time. In addition to these individuals, a child will be placed in a foster home with foster parents or a group home with staff; they may begin seeing a therapist and some will go to the doctor or the dentist for the first time ever. There is a myriad of caring, paid professionals who work in their respective areas to ensure a child’s well-being. Then, there is the CASA – the Court Appointed Special Advocate. Recruited, trained, and supported by Voices for Children, CASAs are volunteers – the only persons not paid to support children during their time in care. CASAs are appointed by judges to get involved in the lives of children, spend time with them, and report back to the court about what the children need. Unlike the high case loads other professionals face, a CASA is able to focus on just one child or sibling group at a time. By building a trusting relationship with that child, a CASA is able to help the judge understand not only their situation but also what they like to do, what their favorite subject is in school, or why they are struggling in a certain placement. This individualized advocacy helps judges make the most informed decisions for children’s futures.

The bottom line is they bring this child to life in a report that I otherwise wouldn’t have.” – THE HONORABLE GARY M. BUBIS, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

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REVENUES FY2017-2018


Gifts and Contributions



Special Events (less direct benefits)



Government Funding



Contributed Goods, Services, and Facilities



Net Realized/Unrealized Gain on Marketable Securities



Other Income



Total Revenue



EXPENSES FY2017-2018





Management and General





Total Expenses



Change in Net Assets



Net Assets at the Beginning of Year






Net Assets at Year End

FY2018-2019 REVENUES

• • • • • •


FY2018-2019 EXPENSES


29.1% 22.1%



• • •





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SUPPORT During FY2018-2019, Voices for Children received generous financial support totaling $6,336,041. But behind the financial success was a much more profound success. The funds raised allowed us to provide an advocate to 3,086 children across San Diego and Riverside Counties. In addition, in San Diego County, the case of every single child was continuously monitored and assessed by VFC staff to ensure each child received the support they needed. Gifts, Grants, & Contributions We are grateful to the many private foundations, individuals, corporations, and services groups who have entrusted us with their investments in the futures of our community’s children. These contributions will change the trajectory of thousands of lives. In addition, VFC is heartened by the continued growth in public support for the CASA program. Most notably, our CASA programs in both San Diego and Riverside Counties have received increased support each year since 2016 from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services through the U.S. Department of Justice, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). In total, our percentage of government funding rose from 17% in FY2017-2018 to 22.1% in FY2018-2019. The enclosed donor listings in this report (see San Diego and Riverside County supplements) represent the immense community support for the work of our CASAs on behalf of our children. Special Events A significant part of Voices for Children’s funding mix in San Diego County, our special events not only raise critical support, they also serve to introduce our CASA program to wider audiences. In FY2018-2019, events grossed a total of $ 1,842,206 towards our overall fundraising total. Valued Contributions Amongst our core values is that we “cherish children and put them first, always.” That belief leads us to steward our resources to most effectively serve children who desperately need a voice. We are proud of the efficient model we have built, through which 35 staff members managed the advocacy of more than 1,500 volunteers who in turn donated more than 167,000 hours of time. Using the value of volunteer time for California calculated by the Independent Sector, our CASAs’ contributions are valued at more than $2.17 million. Through both long-term, valued partnerships and newly forged collaborations, Voices for Children received significant in-kind contributions during FY2018-2019, including donated media, special activities for children, development opportunities for staff, and various professional services. In total, these donations, totaling $94,643, afforded us even more opportunities to serve as many children as possible with individualized advocacy.

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Current Assets



Property and Equipment





Other Assets

Total Assets






Current Liabilities



Net Assets – Without Donor Restrictions







Net Assets – With Donor Restrictions

Total Liabilities and Net Assets

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.” – LOUIS PASTEUR

Art Direction and Design by Studio M Design Printing by Neyenesch Printers Photography by John Trice, with the exception of VFC photograph on the Riverside Report, page 2. Photo locations: San Diego Central Library, The New Children’s Museum, Spanish Village Art Center, and The San Diego Museum of Art

Voices for Children adheres to the “Trauma-Informed Care Code of Conduct� developed by The San Diego Foundation, Clinton Foundation, and the County of San Diego with input from San Diego foster youth.

www.speakupnow.org 858-569-2019 | San Diego County 951-472-9301 | Riverside County IRS tax I.D. #95-3786047

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