Inagural Executive Director’s Breakfast
Addresses Challenges for Sacramento Youth
Local non-profit Stanford Home for Children (Stanford) hosted its inaugural Breakfast with the Executive Director to discuss the challenges facing youth in Sacramento County and changes on the horizon for the 111 year-old organization. Stanford has seen a 26 percent increase in youth served over 2009-11, with the agency serving more than 600 at-risk youth in the community. They achieve a higher success rate with their clients than other, similar organizations because of their unique focus on empowering youth and families to solve the serious challenges that threaten their ability to stay together.
The population Stanford serves is comprised of young people who are at-risk of or have a history of contact with a mental health crisis center, hospital or emergency department, risk out of-home placement such as institutional care, incarceration, or need support to transition from such care to a family setting. At least 90 percent of children served are at or below the poverty level.
“Stanford Home for Children has been serving Sacramento area youth for more than 111 years, and over that time the needs of those unable to advocate, support or care for themselves continue to change and increase,” said Keith Deiderich, Executive Director. “Our highly trained staff use evidence-based practices and national models of care to effect real and sustainable change. The focus here is on positive outcomes, not excuses. The goal is to connect youth with a permanent support system, whether that is a foster family or natural family, instead of an institution.”
From 2009 – 2011:
- 56 percent of foster youth become part of a permanent family compared to 23 percent in residential care.
- 94 percent of youth maintained or moved to a lower level of placement from intake to discharge in TBS.
- 76 percent of the youth in JJCP programs successfully complete probation and are less likely to reoffend compared to the California average of 65 percent.
- 77 percent of children in the highly successful HFWS transition to a permanent home.
- 93 percent of youth using FIT no longer require or are at-risk of requiring crisis mental health services.
Stanford provides intensive, individualized programs that are proven effective for young people and families in difficult circumstances. In addition to its successful intensive treatment foster care program, Stanford’s approach involves the whole family when working with young clients in programs such as, Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS), Juvenile Justice and Crime Prevention (JJCP), High Fidelity Wraparound Services (HFWS) and Flexible Integrated Treatment (FIT). With a focus on measurable and sustainable results, Stanford seeks three key outcomes; improved safety, increased permanency, and greater accountability.
“Doing whatever it takes to support our clients is more challenging today, given budget cuts that have left the social safety net in tatters. That means we need to evolve to meet client’s needs,” continued Deiderich. “Part of our current evolution as an organization involves a name change. In an effort to better reflect the population we serve, services we provide, and positive outcomes we achieve, Stanford Home for Children will soon be renamed Stanford Youth Solutions in Spring of 2012. Our name may be changing but our mission of service and commitment to young people and their families in this community remains the same.”
Each year in Sacramento County, 16 percent of families are living in poverty, affecting 1 in 4 children. 6,500 youth are arrested, 3,200 are in foster care, 12,200 are using mental health services and 18,000 calls are made to report suspected child neglect or abuse. Stanford Home serves ages 1-24 with its median age group between 12 -17. Referrals are made from Child Protective Services, Department of Mental Health, Probation Department and schools.