It’s the final push for our Big Day of Giving event, Plant with Purpose! Check out the highlights from the past month, including a staff spotlight on Carmen Heltsley and a feature on our Green Committee!

May is National Foster Care Month

Relative and Kin Connections Keep Families Strong. Of the 407,000 children and youth in foster care across the country, 34 percent are placed with relatives or kin. Kinship care, in its various forms, is essential to meeting the needs of children involved in the child welfare system.

This year, National Foster Care Month focuses on how relative and kin connections keep families strong. When children cannot remain safely with their parents, we must prioritize placements with kin to maintain family connections and cultural traditions. Research shows – and we see this in our work every day – that placement with loving relatives can minimize the trauma of family separation.

CLC always strives to keep families together while keeping a child’s safety and well-being at the forefront. Last year, CLC sponsored SB 354 to remove obstacles preventing children from being placed with relatives. This year, we are co-sponsoring AB 1794, a bill to strengthen family connections for adopted children.

Please take time this month to raise awareness on how prioritizing kinship care can shift the foster care system to one that truly supports families!

Carmen Heltsley

Operations Coordinator

For over 30 years, CLC has been on a mission to improve the lives of the children and youth in the California foster care system…and we are lucky Carmen Heltsley has been a part of that mission for 22 of those years! Each child client who enters through CLC’s doors at a time of stress and uncertainty is greeted by Carmen with kindness, warmth, and a reassuring smile. She is a critical part of CLC’s work and we are thrilled for you to get to know her!  

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#SpreadGenerosity Challenge

The Spread Generosity Prize Challenge – a part of Sacramento’s Big Day of Giving – encourages kindhearted and creative folks, like you and your families, to show your ❤ for our community by decorating your front windows and/or porches to promote generosity. Support CLC this Big Day of Giving by decorating your front porch and sharing how you help your community thrive and grow!

Share your creations as a public post on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter by tagging @bigdayofgiving and using the hashtags #bdog2022 and #spreadgenerosity before Wednesday, May 4. A team of BDOG partners will select eight winners, each of whom will get to award $750 in prize dollars to the nonprofit of their choice on May 5! Check out some of our staff’s creations for inspiration.

ABA National Conference on Children & the Law: Access to Justice for Children and Families

CLC joined the ABA Center on Children and the Law for their 19th Annual Conference. The Center on Children and the Law National Conferences brought multidisciplinary professionals together to focus on their interconnected roles in improving outcomes for children and families. CLC staff were well represented on the agenda, as several team members presented throughout the conference on topics around relative care, racial equity, and pre-petition filing initiatives. On their well-received presentations, congratulations, Susan Abrams, Kaveh Landsverk, Ebony Porter, Brenda Robinson, Phyllis Stricklan, and Luciana Svidler!

CLC Spotlight: Green Committee

The Green Committee strives to make CLC and our community more sustainable. They collaborate across the organization to find and implement solutions to reduce waste and spread information that promotes a healthy and sustainable environment.

Fighting for the environment is just an extension of our work at CLC every day. We care about every element of child safety and wellbeing, and the environment is a significant part of that. We want better futures for all children, we are passionate about defending their rights, and those rights extend beyond the courtroom, out into their physical world.

In honor of Earth Month, the Green Committee hosted the Green Challenge – pushing CLC staff to see how we can incorporate as many green habits as possible into our lives. Check out the checklist created by the committee and see if you can add new green practices to your daily routine.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. CLC is excited to announce a new and innovative pilot project with Butterflly, a mental health and wellness app that delivers culturally responsive care for teens and adults experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. Our collaboration with Butterflly reflects CLC’s ongoing commitment to fostering mental health and wellness among our clients, families, and caregivers. CLC is honored to be Butterflly’s first community-based collaboration and is grateful that our clients will have innovative telehealth services and digital self-care tools at their fingertips.

“Butterflly is passionate about serving the mental health needs of underserved and BIPOC communities,” said Rodney Bell, Cofounder & COO of Butterflly. “Our all-in-one mobile health app focuses on individual and collective strength to help individuals reach their goals. We believe it is a great tool for CLC’s clients to build life-changing skills to reduce anxiety, be more resilient, and prioritize self-care.”

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This year’s theme is Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration. AAPI is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. The AAPI umbrella term includes cultures from the entire Asian continent — including East, Southeast, and South Asia — and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

The AAPI community is rich with diversity, made up of over 16.6 million people, from over 30 countries, with more than 100 different languages spoken between them — and this is in the United States alone. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it a hundred more times: AAPI Heritage Month is technically confined to one month, but that doesn’t mean celebrations and momentum around inclusivity should stop.

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