Child abuse and neglect is a serious problem nationally, statewide and in our own community. In fact, San Diego County has the second highest rate of substantiated reports among all counties in California. The good news is that the State, County and concerned citizens of San Diego are actively addressing the challenge of child abuse. Since 1978, Casa de Amparo has helped children and families heal, grow and create bright futures that will ultimately affect their own families and the future of our communities.
Casa de Amparo reports progress on our goals via various means. We post our annual service delivery statistics on our website. We distribute an Annual Report and newsletters regularly. We mail and email updates to our donors regarding our accomplishments and needs throughout the year.
Casa de Amparo established an independent financial Audit Committee prior to the legal requirement to do so because of our dedication to good governance and transparency. Many members of the committee are from the community and independent of other Casa endeavors. We use Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) software to track client progress and the effectiveness of each program. The data collected via this system is reflected in the reports mentioned previously and in submissions to foundations and other funders.
Casa de Amparo stresses the importance of “SMART”* objectives. Measurability is key for not only our reporting requirements but also to guide us in improving and enhancing our programs and organizational structure overall. *Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Efforts to Outcomes
To measure qualitative/quantitative outcomes, we use Social Solutions Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) customized software for confidential and secure data collection. Through ETO we identify and track trends, monitor participant attendance, analyze survey results and monitor participant information throughout the organization. Outcomes and demographic reports are reviewed monthly by Program Managers and the Director of Programs.
Our Success is Recognized: CAMS (Child and Adolescent Measurement System)
Children’s Mental Health programs in San Diego County have been using CAMS as an outcome tool since 2005. In 2008, Casa de Amparo was identified as one of the top ten most successful programs in obtaining and entering CAMS scores at Intake and Discharge. Following is a summary of current ETO results by program.
Data from FY 2019-2020:
- 100% of program youth had access to physical and mental health care services.
- 2,395 counseling hours were provided to residents.
Each fiscal year young people in the New Directions transitional housing program receive assessments, case management, and planning to determine each of their individual strengths and needs. During the fiscal year 2019-2020, participants demonstrated the following:
- 100% of participants received access to physical and mental health care services.
- 92% of participants established a permanent relationship with a safe and supportive adult.
- 88% of participants independently accessed needed medical dental and mental health care.
- 85% of participants maintained stable housing payments within the first three months of the program.
- 100% of Parents or Caregivers reported a positive experience with the Family Visitation Program.
The Supervised Family Visitation Program is a court-ordered service for families working towards reunification. The County does not track the short-term success of reunification for families using contracted visitation programs. Casa de Amparo, however, has an internal tracking process in place that reports the destination of families exiting our program after their services stop. In FY 19-20, 24% of families started unsupervised visits or successfully reunified.
Child Abuse 101*
- Child abuse cuts across all socioeconomic groups, races, and religions.
- A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds in the U.S.
- Each day, four to five children die as a result of child abuse or neglect at home in the United States.
- Most children who die from child abuse, abandonment, or neglect are under the age of three.
- San Diego’s Child Abuse Hotline receives 20,000 substantiated calls each year.
- San Diego County has the second highest rate of substantiated reports among all counties in California.
- About 3,500 children live in foster care each year in San Diego County as a result of abuse or neglect.
- Without additional guidance, more than 40% of youth who leave the foster care system at age 18 will become homeless, incarcerated, or dependent on public assistance.
*Facts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (FY 2012-2013), San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (FY 2013-2014), Child Help (2015), and Home Start (2015).
CASA KIDS OUTCOMES
- 100% of program youth in Residential Treatment Services and New Directions received access to physical and mental health care services.
- 100% of Parents (or Caregivers) reported a positive experience with the Family Visitation Program.
- 98% of New Directions participants established a permanent relationship with a safe and supportive adult.
- 88% of program youth in the Residential Treatment Services program were able to cope when things went wrong.
PROGRAM RESULTS FY 2018-2019
- 2,395 counseling hours provided in Residential Treatment Services.
- 1,550 visits and transports provided in Family Visitation.
- 12,945 bed nights provided.
- 525 clients served.
- 395 clients served.
*Facts are from our Client Satisfaction Survey, Desired Results Developmental Profile, and Children’s Functional Assessment Rating Scale (FY 2019-2020).
Casa de Amparo’s strategic planning process has resulted in remarkable growth of name recognition, program addition and expansion, increased government contract and contribution revenue for both program delivery and capital construction.
In addition to program enhancements, extensive technology development, and heightened financial and volunteer diversity, strategic achievements have protected the organization from the fact that government funding has not kept pace with demands for accountability and use of technology or with the need to pay employees a living wage and cover the rising cost of health benefits. Diversified private fundraising success has enabled Casa to focus on keeping an acceptable cash reserve to help us weather state budget hiatuses and assure continuity of care within our programs.
Additionally, gaps between foundation grants for services can be bridged with other private funds. The ability to add anticipated new programs such as New Directions, which provides transitional housing and support to former youth in foster care, delivers critically needed service and also offsets reduced needs in other service areas (such as emergency shelter beds). Because of best-practice reserves, our organization has no debt, no need to spend donor’s contributions for lines of credit to cover cash flow.
To heal from the effects of child abuse and neglect requires intensive services because turning around years of negative experiences is a serious challenge for any child, young adult, or family. Intensive and frequent intervention and related costs for child abuse services have grown at a pace ahead of the number of clients served. However, the quality and diversity of services have increased dramatically, as has the overall number of clients served. Some Casa programs have come and gone as child welfare philosophy has evolved. With continued learning about what works in the treatment of child abuse & neglect, starts and stops regarding favored programs are expected to continue. Because of this, Casa’s flexibility as a partner, collaborator, and an organization that responds directly to the needs of abused and neglected children and their families will be valued.
Within the context of overall organizational goals, each program has its own unique objectives. Objectives and program activities are implemented within an educational framework, using every activity as a ‘teaching” or “exposure” opportunity, i.e. developing motor skills, learning interpersonal or coping skills, being exposed to diverse people, occupations, leisure activities, and arts and culture. In this way, we help children to know what their potential is and to heal, grow and create the future.
Casa de Amparo has clear and specific goals for both the organization and each individual program, all focused on our mission of supporting those affected by and at risk of child abuse and neglect through a range of programs and services that promote healing, growth and healthy relationships. Casa de Amparo is a results-driven organization with clear goals, objectives, strategies and action plans based on a detailed strategic plan.
- To break the cycle of family violence and to prevent behaviors that endanger children.
- To protect, nurture and help to heal children who are victims of abuse
- To equip children and parents with life skills and resources that may reduce the effects of abuse and neglect
- To support, educate and redirect the energy of participating family members toward the positive resolution of their problems.
- To implement programs/services that further the Casa de Amparo Mission.
- To deliver services in a culturally sensitive manner.
- To provide education that prevents child abuse.
- To collaborate with organizations whose activities further the Casa de Amparo mission.
- To research, prepare and expand the scope of our services, developing collaborative relationships and expanding into new geographic and programmatic areas.
- To cultivate an organizational culture dedicated to effective philanthropy that benefits and supports the Casa de Amparo Mission, placing increased emphasis on individual donors.
- To expand and enhance our resources by continuing to develop a strong and diverse Board of Directors that is knowledgeable and effective in governance, fundraising and public relations and maintaining a qualified and competent employee workforce, while emphasizing employee development and a strategic leadership/management structure.
- To enhance relations with policy/decision-makers/politicians and increase public awareness in our community about child abuse/neglect and Casa de Amparo’s mission.
*As of Board Management retreat, November 5, 2012.
Casa de Amparo has a highly developed system of Board governance, infrastructure and policy which guides new programs and donor development. It is the result of an extensive, multi-step strategic planning process that was initiated in May 2005.
In late 1996, a new Executive Director was hired to develop the organization to the next level of maturity and to complete a major capital project. Following several years devoted to the development of Board governance, infrastructure and policy, new programs and funding sources, and donor development, an extensive, multi-step strategic planning process was initiated in May 2005. The plan is updated annually. The process incorporates the planning of goals and objectives, the execution of programs and projects to reach those objectives, and measurement of how closely the results come to achieving the goals and objectives. It includes an analysis of the external/internal environment, potential competitors & collaborators, organizational capabilities, program & service gaps, goal identification, and a strategic action summary. In 2006, Casa de Amparo was recognized with the University of San Diego Kaleidoscope award for Governance Excellence. Since the initiation of Casa de Amparo’s Strategic Plan, the same elements are utilized continuously in organizational capacity-building and decision-making. Our strategic goals direct the dedication of human and financial resources as we pursue Casa de Amparo’s mission and vision.
In preparation for the Annual Board/Management Retreat, the strategic planning materials are reviewed and updated by key management staff. The San Diego County Director of Health & Human Services and the Director of Child Welfare Services are consulted for input one or more times per year to provide an update on County direction. Input from these activities is integrated into the updated Strategic Plan and into the retreat agenda. The Board of Directors reviews and approves the updated Strategic Plan and various elements receive focused attention via facilitated activities during the Annual Retreat. In-depth work plans are developed for the Board of Directors and management staff to pursue over the next year.
Staff performance goals are linked to organizational strategic goals and incorporated into annual employee evaluations, in particular those of management-level staff.