This year, The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is celebrating 20 years of advocating for the children and families of Nevada. For the past 20 years we have worked to support children who have been abused and neglected, to ensure access to high quality learning programs and to improve the overall health and well-being of Nevada’s children. Our work is made possible because of our community partners and supporters. Thank you for helping us create positive change for Nevada’s children and families. We could not have made it 20 years without all of you. As we commemorate this milestone, we would like to share with you how we came to be and what we have done over the years since our inception.
History of Founding
During the Spring of 1997, the State of Nevada announced its intention to close the Southern Nevada’s Children’s Home in Boulder City. This program was the only group home in Southern Nevada where siblings could remain in contact with each other and it provided a stable, loving environment for many of Nevada’s abused children. News of this closure caused a stirring and outcry among concerned citizens, community leaders, and activists causing them to vow to become advocates for those that had no voice and sparking the creation of the
Children Advocacy Alliance (CAA).
CAA was founded in the fall of 1998 by a group of volunteers who were dedicated to putting the health and safety of children first. In the early years, CAA focused most of its energy on improving the lives of children living in foster care. The volunteer board at CAA wasted no time in taking actions to help promote the happiness, health and safety of the Children in Nevada.
Children’s Advocacy Alliance began making positive changes in the community right from the beginning. During our time as a board only organization, CAA was able to accomplish many great things for the children of Nevada. Some of these early accomplishments include:
- Raising $1.1 million to build the Children’s Advocacy Center at Child Haven;
- Advocating for the establishment of a Diligent Search Center at Family Court and facilitating the donation of computer equipment for the center, the center itself and three part-time workers;
- Assembling over 20 national, state and local foster care “key decision makers” and facilitating the Foster Care Millennial Initiative to focus on reforming the bifurcated child welfare system in Nevada;
- Help pass legislation during the 2001 Legislative Session to end the bifurcation of the child w
- elfare system in Nevada;
- Contributing significant financial and volunteer hours to facilitate excursions for children at Child Haven; and
- Hosting the Annual Foster Youth Graduation Gala
Additionally, in 2001, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance released the first Children’s Report Card which graded how Nevada is doing in supporting children and families. CAA has continued to release this report every 2 years to help guide policy makers and advocates on where Nevada’s children need their support.
The Reorganization of CAA
While CAA was helping to make positive changes in the state, the volunteers involved with the organization thought there was more that could be done to help ensure the happiness, health and safety of Nevada’s children. CAA began to look at ways it could more effectively create policy changes and improve the state for children and families. The board decided to reorganize CAA to a fully staff organization to broaden its focus and function as a state wide multi-issue organization. In 2012, Children’s Advocacy Alliance opened the doors to its first office with a new mission and focus.
CAA’s mission is to be the independent voice for Nevada’s children and families dedicated to achieving public policy wins in the areas of child safety, health and school readiness. CAA has continued to focus on improving the child welfare system, while also working towards improving early childhood education, juvenile justice system, health out-comes and many other systems that impact children.
In 2015, CAA opened a second office in Reno, NV and has been growing since then. Over the last year we have doubled in staff and are excited to announce that we will have a Policy Manger for each of our issue areas by fall of this year. Our founders vowed to become advocates for Nevada’s children 20 years ago and we have worked tirelessly to maintain that pledge by continuing to support children who have been abused and neglected, to ensure access to high quality learning programs and to improve the overall health and well-being of Nevada’s children.
If you would like to support our organization and the work that we do, please contact us via phone at 702-228-1869 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign-up here to our newsletters.