Providing an opportunity for every person
to help children heal, learn and thrive.

Foster Youth Need Services
Foster Youth Need Services

Help Provide Uninterrupted Services to Children in Foster Care

Foster Youth Need Services

Everyone has been affected by the terrible COVID-19 pandemic—from the loss of a loved one, to the loss of a business or job, as well as many struggling with sickness, anxiety or depression—it has indeed been a difficult year for all. Children in foster care, mental health programs, and residential facilities have not been immune to the challenges that arose during these difficult times, and I’d like to thank you for your thought and concern for the children we serve.

After a treacherous year of hardship, the programs that provide care for these children are struggling to maintain uninterrupted services, which are vital to vulnerable youth. Expenses skyrocketed as direct services required additional staff and increased hours to meet the needs of the situation. COVID quarantine wards were established at congregate residential facilities with separate, dedicated staff to treat infected youth and mitigate the spread of the virus. School closures and facility lock-downs caused the need for additional cafeteria workers and food supply. Technology including laptops, web cams, and headsets became a necessity for social workers and therapists to continue services remotely. Due to new protocols, direct care staff required face masks, gloves, medical gowns, plexiglass dividers, sanitizing supplies, and much more to safely continue their work as essential workers. However, PPE supplies were scarce and expensive. The costs incurred through the pandemic has been tremendous and the effects continue.

Please consider a donation to the Children’s Foundation of America to support direct care services to children who greatly need consistent foster care, mental health, and residential services. These children deserve the highest quality of uninterrupted care. Because of the financial toll of the pandemic, these services are now in danger of being affected. A donation of any amount makes big a difference.

Thank you for continuing to keep these children in your thoughts and for providing the support they greatly need,

Jenelle Phillips
Director of Development

Donate Now

 

Child Abuse Prevention

Long-Term Effects of Abuse on Children

Child Abuse Prevention

Every ten seconds a report is made on child abuse. To build awareness of this issue, Child Abuse Prevention Month was created in April of 1979 by Child Help founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson and joined by legendary actress Sophia Loren. The Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) takes this issue very seriously and in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, CFA would like to call attention to the dreadful long-term effects of abuse on children and bring light to the efforts we make to support these children.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four common types of abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglectWhen a child experiences traumatic events due to any of the four common types of abuse, they are referred to as having adverse childhood experiences (ACE)ACEs have been linked to negative effects in long-term health and wellbeing of a child. For example, ACEs can lead to a Toxic Stress Response which the Center for Youth Wellness reported to “disrupt the development of brain architecture and other organ systems, and increase the risk for stress-related disease and cognitive impairment, well into the adult years. If left unaddressed, toxic stress can affect growth, learning, behavior, immunity and even the way DNA is read and transcribed. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that if left untreated child abuse, neglect and other ACEs “increases the risks of injury, future violence victimization and perpetration, substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections, delayed brain development, lower educational attainment, and limited employment opportunities.” The weight of abuse is carried throughout a child’s life and when left untreated can continue to weigh on them and negatively effect their day to day lives.  

In a study done by Child Welfare, the following are possible signs that may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect: 

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance 
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention 
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes 
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen 
  • Lacks adult supervision 
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn 
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home 

CFA has supported thousands of children who have been victims to abuse and continues to provide support to programs that advocate for children’s issues and community-based organizations that assist trauma-endured children in healing, so they can develop into adults with a bright future. CFA supports these children through our yearly campaigns and monthly through our “Birthday-ina-Bag” campaign. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for every person to join us in helping children heal, learn, and thrive 

How You Can Help

Get Involved by volunteering! Contact bcalderon@trinityys.org or (909) 426-0773 ext. 236. 

Donate to our support children affected by abuse, neglect or abandonment here.

Become a Resource Parent by filling out an application with our partners at Trinity Youth Services.

Take the Pledge to #StopChildAbuse. Copy and paste the following text into your own social media with a photo of yourself raising your hand signaling to “STOP” child abuse.

I pledge to help #StopChildAbuse because every child deserves to be loved, cared for, and kept safe. I will engage in discussions with family and friends on the importance of child abuse prevention. I will support and advocate for policies and programs that promote healthy families. I will learn to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect. I will take any child’s claims of maltreatment seriously. I will report all suspected incidents to the appropriate county’s Child Protection Services.

For information on where to call or how to make a report, contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453).

Join me and the Children’s Foundation of America in taking the pledge to #StopChildAbuse. Copy and paste this text to post to your own social media with a photo lifting your hand to STOP child abuse.


Isabel Millward-Pena
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working with our team as an intern and, luckily for us, never left. Prior to her work at CFA, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017.

holiday heroes 2017

CFA Holiday Heroes Bring Joy and Support to 1,660 Children in Need

holiday heroes 2017

This year’s Children’s Foundation of America “Holiday Heroes” campaign brought a message of joy and hope to 1,660 children in need. Several groups and individuals came together to donate gifts and their time wrapping presents for donations at Montclair Place.

With the help of about 100 dedicated volunteers, the Children’s Foundation of America raised over $10,000 in donations to help children in need. Donations helped provide holiday activities for foster families, outings for residential youth to places like Knott’s Berry Farm and provided gifts for displaced children. Funds raised will continue to benefit programs throughout the year that serve youth in need, including college scholarships for foster youth.

Creating a Culture of Giving

The Children’s Foundation of America received a record number of toy donations, with thousands of gifts pouring in. Several businesses set out gift drive boxes to encourage their staff and clients to donate. This year’s “Holiday Heroes” business partners included:

Toshiba
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard
Image Source USA
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
West Coast Dermatology Billers
Mijac Alarm
JCM Engineering
NRI Distribution
Advantage Resourcing
Hillman Group
CG Realtors
Scripps College Intercollegiate Feminist Department
Claremont Craft Ales
Center for Spiritual Living
Farmers Insurance
Vinmar Capital Group
PERL Mortgage
Divco West
Plume Ridge Bottle Shop
Heirloom Claremont

Community Impact

Beyond our gift drive box partners, the Foundation received an overwhelming, positive response from members of the community, including the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. Through these various partnerships, the Foundation was able to provide multiple gifts to approximately 1,660 children in need by expanding the number of organizations supported. The Foundation team selected organizations which serve youth in poverty, foster care, residential programs and shelters. The Children’s Foundation of America provided holiday support to each of the following organizations this year:

Trinity Youth Services
Foothill Family Shelter
McKinley Children’s Center
Oak Grove Center
Inland Empire Residential Center
Greater Hope Foundation
Fields Comprehensive Youth Services
David and Margaret Youth & Family Services
Uncommon Good
ARK Homes Rancho Cucamonga
Ontario-Montclair School District Family & Collaborative Services

What a Gift Means to a Child

According to UNICEF, childhood poverty is defined as lacking certain items essential to healthy and normal development. The opportunity to celebrate special occasions such as Christmas is an important aspect of childhood that every child deserves to enjoy. The goal of the Children’s Foundation of America is to remind displaced children that they are indeed special and valued, as they learn to cope and heal from the trauma they have experienced.

To find out how you can help the Children’s Foundation of America and bring normalcy to a child in need, visit our Get Involved page.


Children's Foundation Kelly BaumannKelly BaumannAmeriCorps VIP Fellow
Kelly specializes in creating and optimizing digital content for the Children’s Foundation of America blog. She has ten years of experience as a marketer and has held a variety of positions including content writer, social media coordinator, public relations executive and content strategist. At Children’s Foundation of America, Kelly focuses on sharing stories and information to educate the public about the issues faced by children that Children’s Foundation of America serves.
Tel: (909)426-0773 | Email: kbaumann@trinityys.org

Summer Craft: CFA Rocks!

We’re kicking off a new campaign called CFA Rocks! Inspired by Kindness Rocks, CFA Rocks are small river stones with messages written on them to raise awareness about foster care and promote kindness. These tokens of kindness are placed in public places with hashtags that can be followed via social media. This fun and educational activity is great for all ages and personalities! You can have younger children in charge of painting pictures and the older participants in charge of writing the message on the back of the rock.

What You Will Need:

  • Smooth river rocks
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Assorted size paint brushes
  • Paper
  • 2 Cups
  • Water

Your Work Space:

The best work space for this project would be in a communal area of the home where there is a flat surface to work on. Be sure to have ample room to lay down paper before beginning to paint for easy clean up.

 Step 1:

Choose a color, and paint one side of the river rock.

Step 2: Design

Make the painting colorful and bright so that anyone coming across your rock can easily spot it. Lay the rock to dry before turning it over to paint the opposite side.

Step 3:

Once the first side of the rock is dry, paint the opposite side of the rock white and set aside to dry.

Step 4:

Write your message boldly using either paint or a sharpie in a contrasting color so that it is easy to read. Let the paint dry once more before handling.

Step 5:

Place your creations throughout a public recreational space such as a park. This is a great activity to share with friends, family and your community. Organize a rock hiding party with your inner circle and spread the word.

Make an announcement:

Once your rocks have been placed, make an announcement on social media using the hashtag “#cfarocks” and let the hunting begin! Once someone finds your rock they can take a photo and post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The fun doesn’t stop there! The person who finds a rock must also then replace the rock in a new location for someone new to find.

Where will your rocks travel to?


Rebecca UstrellCommunity Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
800-543-7730 | rustrell@trinityys.org

NRI Distribution Rallies Team for CFA Cards for Kids Program

Throughout the month of May, the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) provided various opportunities to help communities observe National Foster Care Month. As part of our community outreach, we were able to partner with the Fontana, CA branch of NRI Distribution for our “Cards for Kids Program.” This program allows our local partners to create beautiful handmade cards filled with words of encouragement, which are then given to local children in foster care.


From Left to Right: Angelica Lopez, HR Coordinator for NRI Distribution; Becky Ustrell, Community Outreach Coordinator for Children’s Foundation of America; Luz Garcia-Pennock, HR Manager for NRI Distribution

NRI Distribution specializes in North American based fulfillment of footwear, apparel and accessories. They also provide services including e-commerce fulfillment, single order pick and pack capabilities and even handle returns, warranty and repairs.

HR Coordinator of NRI Distribution, Angelica Lopez, said she discovered the Children’s Foundation of America during her research online. “We were looking to partner with a foundation who truly made a difference in the community. A charity who’s values aligned to ours,” she said. “CFA really caught our attention because of all the great events held that truly make a difference in our community.”

NRI believes in having corporate responsibility and giving back. As a company, they recognize their actions not only have an impact on their employees, customers and community, but also the planet. NRI aims to be ethically, environmentally and socially responsible.

“Helping the community is one of our values. We love to come together and help those who unfortunately go through major hardships in life and no one, especially young children, should go through hardships alone,” Angelica said.

The NRI employees felt a sense of deep satisfaction doing something for children in need. Angelica says her favorite part about partnering with the Children’s Foundation of America was “seeing the creativity come out from our employees and how genuine it all was to see them really want to make these children smile.”

Angelica continued that she and the NRI team are looking forward to “many, many more great events that will bring together our employees while making a difference!”

To become a business partner like NRI Distribution or to send in your own cards for kids, contact 1-800-KIDS-730 or email donations@trinityys.org.


Rebecca Ustrell, Community Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
800-543-7730rustrell@trinityys.org


Crafting Care

Blankets for Foster Kids

During Foster Care Awareness Month we made it a priority to do as much as we can to provide extra comfort to youth in foster care. With the help of our intern Sasha Chavez, we were able to gather 11 volunteers to participate in two-day blanket making event! The first day was hosted at Claremont Manor, a retirement community located less than a mile from our office, and the second day was located at CFA headquarters. This event allowed like-minded volunteers to interact with CFA staff and to learn more about the mission of the Foundation, as well as create something unique and comforting for the children in need.

After four hours of hard work, volunteers were able to complete 15 blankets which will be donated to children transitioning into foster care in Los Angeles County. What a great success!

(Pictured above: Elaine Rodriguez, Claremont Manor Resident)

Make Your Own Blanket

Check out our craft blog to learn how to make your own fringe blanket. If you would like to donate blankets to the Children’s Foundation of America, call 800-543-7730 or email rustrell@trinityys.org.

National Foster Care Month

National Foster Care Month is observed in the United States during the month of May every year. It began with President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Over 400,000 children each year in the US are not able to live with their families as the result of the trauma of abuse and neglect. 112,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted into a forever family.

What We Do

The Children’s Foundation of America identifies and accesses resources to support foster care, adoption, residential treatment, mental health and community-based programs of the highest quality, so that children in need or who have been the victims of trauma, abuse, neglect or abandonment may lead, healthy, productive lives.


Rebecca Ustrell, Community Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
800-543-7730rustrell@trinityys.org

Foster Care Month Blue Ribbon Pledge Board

Happy National Foster Care month! This month is all about raising awareness and supporting foster children and their families. Each year 400,000 children are unable to live with their families as a result of trauma onset by abuse, neglect and abandonment. The Children’s Foundation of America works tirelessly to help support those children and their families in every way we possibly can.

The blue ribbon is a symbol for National Foster Care Month. We decided to make a Blue Ribbon wall to serve as a visual reminder of why we do what we do and what we pledge to do on behalf of these children and families who need it most. Sharing these walls on social media can serve as a huge inspiration to foster families and their children. It is also a great way to engage your group whether it be at the office, at home or school.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Large Poster Sized Paper
  • Blue Construction Paper
  • Stapler
  • Scotch Tape
  • Assorted Markers

Step 1:

Cut strips of blue construction paper about 8 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Create a ribbon shape and secure the shape with a single staple in the center.

Step 2:

Get a large poster sized paper and write a message at the top for Foster Care Awareness Month. We chose to put the following: ” Foster Care Awareness Month Pledge Board”. Adding a call to action will encourage people to participate. Here’s what our call to action said: “How will you make the world a better place for children in foster care?”

Step 3:

Post your Pledge Board in a shared space. We posted our board on the door of the conference room which is in a common walk-way of the office. Share some facts about Foster Care Month with your group to encourage each person to make a pledge and post a blue ribbon onto the Pledge Board.

Step 4: Spread the Word!

Take photos of the Pledge Board throughout the month and share them on social media. Use hash tags such as #fostercaremonth, #fostercare, and #bethedifferencecfa to reach other individuals participating in Foster Care Month activities.


Rebecca Ustrell, Community Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
800-543-7730rustrell@trinityys.org


Pin the Tail on the Bunny Craft

Easter is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and we’ve got just the craft to keep your little ones entertained! This adorable project will provide a tactile activity that will not only keep your children busy, but will assist with motor and brain functions. Enjoy this project during springtime for years to come. Note: This project involves sharp objects and is intended for adults to create for their children to enjoy.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Large Green Felt Sheet
  • 1 Large White Felt Sheet
  • 1 Printed Rabbit Template
  • Assorted Felt Swatches
  • 1 Marker
  • Assorted Embroidery Thread
  • 1 Embroidery Needle
  • 1 Pin Cushion (for safe needle handling)
  • Fabric Pins
  • Fabric Scissors
  • 5 Adhesive Velcro Squares

Your Work Space:

Make sure to have ample space to spread out your craft supplies. For our Pin the Tail on the Bunny creation, we chose a green felt background to give the appearance of grass, but you can choose whichever colors are your favorite! Get creative, find fun patterns to use for your Easter eggs and cotton tails.

Step 1:

On an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper, print out an outline of a bunny or draw one of your own creation! Cut along the line and set the bunny aside. Using fabric pins, secure the bunny pattern onto a single sheet of white felt. Using the pattern as a template, cut along the outline of the bunny to create your fluffy fella. Detach the pins from the paper bunny, and set the felt bunny to the side. Next, use patterned sheets of felt to create Easter eggs. Cut these shapes out and set them to the side to be used on your final springtime scene.

Step 2:

This is a step that your child can help with. Using a marker, have your child draw fluffy bunny tails onto multicolored sheets of felt. Carefully cut out each tail, following the outline. Now, let’s make outr bunny tails sticky! Remove the adhesive backing, and place a square of Velcro (the rough side of the Velcro, not the fluffy side) onto the backside of each tail. Place bunny tails to the side along with your bunny and egg shapes.

Step 3:

It’s time to create the scene. Have your kiddos arrange the bunny and eggs onto the green felt sheet. Next, pin the pieces onto the fabric to secure your scene in place. Finally, choose your favorite color embroider string and sew the pieces into place.

Step 4 (Optional):

Finish off your creation by adding fun details. We decided to go with a small pink nose and little eye for our bunny. These details can easily be made by cutting out small pieces of felt and sewing them into place with a single stitch. Another alternative is kids can use their creativity by customizing the details with markers. Have fun with your design! You can add as many or as little details as you wish.

It’s Time to Play!

Now for the fun part: blindfold the kiddos, hand them a bunny tail, give them a spin and send them in the direction of the bunny scene to pin the tail on the bunny!

We brought this activity to Trinity Youth Services foster care office in West Covina and it was a huge hit! The kids took multiple turns, hopping back in line as often as they could and encouraged one another to get the bunny tail as close as possible. The children in Trinity’s care are truly a heart-warming inspiration!


Rebecca Ustrell, Community Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
800-543-7730rustrell@trinityys.org


 

Speaker Series

The Children’s Foundation of America will be supporting Trinity Youth Services at a speakers series hosted by Claremont Craft Ales. Trinity Chief Administrative Officer, Cher Ofstedahl, will talk about foster care on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Cher leads Trinity Youth Services’ business operations teams, which include human resources, payroll, accounting and development. We call our business offices “Mission Support,” because everything we do supports the programs and people that provide direct services to the children and youth in Trinity’s care. Cher has been with Trinity Youth Services for nearly two decades and prior to that, she worked in the music industry and as a professional actress. Among her many academic degrees and certificates, Cher holds a BA in organizational management from Ashford University and post-graduate certifications from Cornell University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is scheduled to complete her master’s degree in ethical leadership from Claremont Lincoln University in 2017. Cher is also a member of the first graduating cohort in a National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) nonprofit executive leadership program; a collaboration with Arizona State University, Indiana University and the Lilly School of Philanthropy. Cher has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and currently serves on the board of directors at the dA Center for the Arts, is on the membership committee for the California Alliance for Children and Families, and is chair of the Inland Empire Alliance for Children and Families. In her spare time, Cher performs stand-up comedy professionally.

HUB International Presents $80K to CFA at UCLA Game

HUB International insurance presented the Children’s Foundation of America $80,000 at a UCLA Men’s Basketball game to be used to support Trinity Youth Services’ programs.

At the beginning of the game, representatives from the Children’s Foundation of America were presented with the game ball and were featured on the jumbotron!

Bob DeValle, of HUB International, presented an oversized check to John Neiuber on behalf of the Foundation. Bruin’s cheerleaders celebrated with us as an announcer spoke of the importance of Trinity Youth Services’ programs for foster youth.

“Thanks to our host from HUB, Bob Devalle and for the check presentation at a spectacular evening at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion,” said Mr. Neiuber. “The Children’s Foundation of America uses donations like this one to support foster care, adoption, residential treatment, mental health and community-based programs so that children in need or who have been the victims of trauma, abuse, neglect or abandonment may lead, healthy, productive lives.”

In celebration of HUB International’s generosity, the 2017 Trinity Classic golf tournament will be presented in their honor. The golf tournament fundraiser, hosted by the Children’s Foundation of America, will take place on October 23, 2017. Stay up to date with our upcoming events by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

The UCLA game was not only a victory for the children supported by the Children’s Foundation of America, but also for our home team! The Bruins won 98 – 66. Go Bruins!

Get Involved

If your business would like to become a partner of the Children’s Foundation of America, contact Rebecca Ustrell at rustrell@trinityys.org or 1-800-543-7730.

 

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing & Promotions Specialist
Jenelle’s role is to maintain a distinctive look and voice through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer and arts and entertainment editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association. Jenelle is also very involved in her community. She owns an art gallery, organizes the local art walk, is on the executive board of the downtown district’s marketing group and is active in her church.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org