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Family Advocates: Safe kids. Strong Families. Brave Volunteers

ADVANCING ADVOCACYNOVEMBER 2020

Welcome What are you thankful for? At Family Advocates we are thankful for so many things. We are thankful for our hardworking staff and board members. We are thankful for all of the hours and expertise our volunteers give us. We are thankful for all of our loyal sponsors and donors. Embedded in all of this, we are thankful to be a part of such a caring and compassionate community.  As Thanksgiving approaches we urge you to take some time to reflect on what you are thankful for. With all that craziness that is going on in the world, it is important to take a step back and realize there is so much to be thankful for. Follow along on our social media this month for a glimpse into the things and people our staff members are thankful for! 

Operation Santa This year is set to be Family Advocates' fourth year participating in Operation Santa, and despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, our constituents can rest assured that Operation Santa is a go!  Operation Santa first took place in the Treasure Valley in 2017 and has been a staple in the community since then. Traditionally, operation Santa has been a partnership between Family Advocates, Easter-Seals Goodwill, and local law enforcement. Although the event has evolved over the years the basis of it is this; children from Family Advocates programs  are given gift cards and the opportunity to shop, alongside a law enforcement officer, for gifts for themselves and their families at Goodwill. Operation Santa is truly magical for the children in Family Advocates programs.  This year, more than ever, holiday spirit is needed. In order to provide children with a safe experience, we will be doing things a little differently this year. Despite the joy of the in-person shopping experience, we do not have the capacity to safely facilitate an event of this size. Instead, community partners will be shopping for families and Family Advocates will be distributing the items via doorstep drop-offs. While many of the details are still in the works, one thing is certain, Operation Santa won't disappoint. Stay tuned for more details in our December Advancing Advocacy Newsletter.  If your company or organization is interested in sponsoring a family for this years Operation Santa, please get in touch with nick@familyadvocates.org for more details. 

Kathryn's Korner What do you say when thank you simply doesn’t feel like enough? The outpouring of generosity and support for our Welcome Home 2020 virtual event was truly overwhelming.  Almost 200 of you joined us that evening from your homes to hear about why we are involved in this work and how you can help us bridge the gap that exists in the need for volunteers, funding and resources. Without your concern for the underserved children in our community we cannot continue to grow our programs and reach more families.  Your generous donations that evening helped us reach over $130,000 that will be used to support our Family Strengthening and CASA programs. It is with tremendous and deep gratitude that I thank you today for believing in Family Advocates to carry out this critical and impactful work in our community. You can transform a child’s life and that evening you certainly did. With gratitude,Kathryn Seebold, Executive Director

Family Strengthening UpdateJosie Hurley, Family Strengthening Director Fall has brought in some new and exciting partners for Family Strengthening. The team began a new online group at the SBWCC (South Boise Women's Correctional Center) with six women who are expecting to rejoin the community in less than three months. We are honored to be able to give them some tips on how to rebuild the relationship with their children and be a support to them afterward. Secondly, Family Strengthening joined the Canyon County Juvenile Center and their probation team to serve a small group of adolescents and their parents in person! The CDC states that connectedness for adolescents and building strong bonds are key to improving mental health. Family Strengthening is excited to begin groups in person on a limited basis for this reason.

Our second online parenting group continues and we have had two guest speakers, Erica Switzer from Neighbor Works Boise and Victor Dominguez from Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Collision. They provided some incredibly useful information to parents attending the Family Strengthening Group.

We continue to do resource deliveries at this time for items such as baby supplies (i.e. pacifiers & bottles), warm PJs, and diapers. Families just need to call (208) 398-3155 to be added to our waitlist.

Resource deliveries pictured below.

CASA UpdateDarci Anderson, CASA Director

The CASA team has had another eventful month and has been hard at work serving the children in the Fourth Judicial District. For the first time ever, all of the CASA staff had the opportunity to attend the National CASA Conference in October. This is great for our team as it provides all of the staff with high levels of education and networking. The CASA team is excited to use the knowledge and skills they gained during this conference while working with children and GALs in the future.  The CASA team is in the final stages of another virtual Pre-Service GAL Training, and they will be graduating ten new Guardian ad Litem’s in November. While we are excited to bring on new GALs, we are also working to bring our current GALs a variety of continuing education opportunities. We have leveled up our continuing education offerings and are seeing a huge increase in GAL involvement! Overall, October was a great month. From a successful celebration of Pro Bono Attorney Appreciation Week, to achieving another month of serving all children appointed to us in the Fourth Judicial District, the CASA team continues to impress.   Upcoming Virtual Mission Tours:November 5th, 12:00 - 1:00 PMNovember 18th, 5:30 - 6:30 PMDecember 3rd, 12:00 - 1:00 PMDecember 16th, 5:30 - 6:30 PM Contact nick@familyadvocates.org to sign up.  Our Contact Information Family Advocates 3010 W State St Boise, ID 83703 208-345-3344 http://www.familyadvocates.org

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