Why We Advocate for
Our Children

The Children's Advocacy Alliance (CAA) is a
community-based nonprofit that understands the importance of
mobilizing people, resources, and reason to create a better future for
our children.

We believe healthy families make healthy children

CAA believes that by providing the right services at the right time, vulnerable families can be supported, child abuse and neglect can be prevented, and the effects of trauma and harm can be reduced.

CAA advocates for a paradigm shift in public perception: from “save the child” to “save the family.” This approach emphasizes the critical need to provide help and services at the beginning of the cycle through preventive steps and measures, rather than at the end of the cycle, most often associated with children entering the foster care system.

Our work drives community, data,
education, and advocacy

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Concentric Convener

CAA will engage organizations, agencies, families, and stakeholders to address issues, barriers, challenges, and opportunities regarding support for children's well-being.

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Education & Outreach

CAA will lead public education and outreach campaigns on behalf of service providers advancing families' and children's wellbeing.

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Data Driver

CAA will be a data-driven policy advocacy group that will highlight issues and advance evidence based policies and practices in Nevada.

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Policy Advocate

CAA will serve as an independent voice to advocate on behalf of Nevada’s children and families, as well as those providing services on their behalf, regarding policy changes, resources, and crucial community support necessary to ensure safe, stable, and healthy families.

A diverse Nevada
is a better Nevada

The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization and in the work that we do in order to serve all residents in the State. Nevada is fundamentally diverse in its people, its workforce, its cultures, and its regions, and we are committed to ensuring that we support this diversity in all forms, including but not limited to economic circumstance, education, geographic location, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and gender identification, race, religion, and age.

Meet the Team

Dr. Tiffany Tyler-Garner

Executive Director

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Dr. Tiffany Tyler-Garner’s personal and professional achievements reveal a visionary leader committed to transforming the conditions that impact children and families. Currently serving as the executive director of Children’s Advocacy Alliance, a 23+ year child policy advocacy organization, Dr. Tyler’s professional journey includes serving as a member of the Nevada Governor’s cabinet, CEO of an affiliate of the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization and the COO of a White House-recognized workforce development nonprofit organization. Moreover, Dr. Tyler-Garner is a published researcher, psychologist, and veteran nonprofit leader specializing in human services, program development and evaluation, grants and project management, research, and grant writing. Dr. Tyler’s commendations include Humanitarian of the Year, Alumna of the Year, and Workforce Development Champion of the Year. Dr. Tyler holds a Doctorate in Educational Psychology for the University of Nevada- Las Vegas, a Master of Science in Counseling from California State University- Northridge, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Southern California.

DaShun Jackson

Director of Children's Safety and Welfare Policy

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As a foster care alumnus, DaShun has a true passion for improving the child welfare systems and being a voice for those whose voice is often silenced. DaShun has served on several local, state and national councils all focused on improving the lives of young people, changing the foster care system and empowering and encouraging youth and young adults to stand up and use their voice. DaShun is a co-creator of the Nevada’s Foster Care Bill of Rights which passed in 2011. DaShun has served as a policy intern with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), where he worked in Washington, D.C and was able to develop policy recommendations and work in former Senator Harry Reid’s Senate Diversity Initiative Office. DaShun has also served as an intern with FosterClub Inc. in Seaside, Or. where he was able to travel and work with policy and community leaders and young people from across the country on ways to improve the outcomes for youth in care. He currently sits on several boards locally and nationally. In 2019 DaShun was awarded the Youth Advocate of the Year Award by the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC). DaShun has earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from UNLV.

Anna Villatoro

Media Advocacy Manager

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Anna Villatoro spearheads communications at the Children's Advocacy Alliance, a nonpartisan independent children's policy advocacy organization dedicated to improving conditions for children in the areas of child welfare, economic well being, healthcare, and school readiness. As a strategist, Anna routinely leads efforts to amplify voices and raise awareness of the issues impacting all Nevada's children. Recently, Ms. Villatoro's efforts have included a strong focus on ensuring every Nevadan is counted in the census by highlighting the power in representation.

Jamelle Nance

Strong Start Prenatal-to-Three Director

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Jamelle Nance enthusiastically joins the Children’s Advocacy Alliance Nevada team to serve as the Director of Strong Start Initiatives. Jamelle brings vast experiences in the field of Human Services, Education, and Organizational Leadership. Her personal and professional experiences are centered around public service to empower, educate, and provide opportunities for families to thrive not just in her community, but across the nation. She has led similar initiatives in her home state of Maryland to provide equitable educational opportunities to those who need it most. Jamelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with a concentration in Child Advocacy Studies and a master’s degree in Administration of Human Services both from Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. Jamelle is passionate about providing access to essential resources and opportunities that strengthen families and level the playing field. She wholeheartedly believes that a strong start provides children and families with a solid foundation to build a strong and promising future.

Annette Dawson Owens

School Readiness Policy Director

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Annette Dawson Owens is a lifelong education advocate who believes in equity and access to an excellent education for all students. She has worked in both district and charter schools and has studied high performing schools and leaders across the country. She has seen first hand, quality outcomes that are possible with effective school design. Annette serves on many community and education advisory boards. Annette attended K-12 in the Clark County School District and went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Zoology, a Masters in Education from UNLV, and a Masters in Administration from Sierra Nevada College. She completed Georgetown's Executive Leadership through the Public Education Foundation and is grateful to be a current Jameson Fellow. In her free time she enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Annette looks forward to working together with the community and improving outcomes for all students and families in the great state of Nevada.

Dr. Tara C. Raines

Kids Count Initiatives Director

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Dr. Tara C. Raines is a licensed psychologist with a history of research promoting equity and access in the areas of education and mental health. She has spent the last decade implementing and supporting a number of grants to improve outcomes for youth at highest risk for mental health disorders. She has partnered with large school districts including Clark County School District to do this work. Tara has been active in the Las Vegas My Brother's Keeper Alliance and sits on the Board of Directors for Democracy Preparatory Academy. She believes in the value of using data to identify and implement supports for Nevada's most vulnerable youth.

Ben Douglas

Director of Finance and Operations

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Ben Douglas joined Children’s Advocacy Alliance the summer of 2020. With over a decade of experience with non-profits as a board member, serving as President and Treasurer, Mr. Douglas has finally been able to give back by assisting CAA as their Director of Finance and Operations. Ben comes with a great deal of experience from for-profit business serving as the executive in charge of finance, operations and administration. Mr. Douglas has spent the last 15 years facilitating accounting and management classes at the university. Ben loves helping students obtain their dreams by obtaining their bachelors and/or masters degree. Mr. Douglas graduated with his MBA in 2003 and then obtained his Masters of Science in Accountancy in 2010. Ben’s main joy is his family, including his wife of 25 years, three boys, one daughter-in-law and grandson. He is excited to continue fighting for the children of Nevada and beyond.

Kendall Lyons

Director of Health Policy

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Kendall Lyons has always been motivated by her personal mission of advocating for justice and equity in the systems that impact our daily lives. Before joining Children’s Advocacy Alliance, she worked in Cancer Control at the American Cancer Society, partnering with Nevada health systems on prevention, early-detection, and quality-of-life initiatives. She also managed volunteer-led, grant-funded programs that provided access to healthcare for Nevadans undergoing cancer treatment. Kendall holds her Master of Public Health, with dual certificates in Epidemiology and Health Management & Policy, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She has performed research on the policy impacts of school-based requirements on childhood vaccination compliance, as well as the impacts of culture on auditory cognition. Having previously worked as a child caregiver, Kendall experienced first-hand how important a systems approach to education and healthcare is to the development and well-being of children and families.

Jeanette Belz

Government Affairs

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Incorporated in 2000, JK Belz & Associates provides a thoughtful tailored approach to governmental affairs. They have strong relationships with both sides of the legislative “aisle” to maximize opportunities for their clients. In support of this commitment, they work diligently to develop and nurture relationships with members of the legislature, both during legislative sessions as well as during the interim between sessions. Several areas of their advocacy work cross over into children’s issues. Ensuring children have access to education and a path to a career they love; ensuring access to mental health care and behavioral health services; supporting healthy outcomes for moms and babies; researching and exposing gaps in children’s health through dedicated reports on child welfare; supporting literacy efforts; and ensuring children are safely riding in cars with seatbelts and car seats. In 2019, JK Belz & Associates was successful in amending a bill to include a report on the number of children placed out of state for behavioral health services. This report has helped inform legislators on the need for residential placement and an expanded network of care in our state.

Sydney Banks

Government Affairs

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Incorporated in 2000, JK Belz & Associates provides a thoughtful tailored approach to governmental affairs. They have strong relationships with both sides of the legislative “aisle” to maximize opportunities for their clients. In support of this commitment, they work diligently to develop and nurture relationships with members of the legislature, both during legislative sessions as well as during the interim between sessions. Several areas of their advocacy work cross over into children’s issues. Ensuring children have access to education and a path to a career they love; ensuring access to mental health care and behavioral health services; supporting healthy outcomes for moms and babies; researching and exposing gaps in children’s health through dedicated reports on child welfare; supporting literacy efforts; and ensuring children are safely riding in cars with seatbelts and car seats. In 2019, JK Belz & Associates was successful in amending a bill to include a report on the number of children placed out of state for behavioral health services. This report has helped inform legislators on the need for residential placement and an expanded network of care in our state.

Valerie Padovani Balen

Government Affairs

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Incorporated in 2000, JK Belz & Associates provides a thoughtful tailored approach to governmental affairs. They have strong relationships with both sides of the legislative “aisle” to maximize opportunities for their clients. In support of this commitment, they work diligently to develop and nurture relationships with members of the legislature, both during legislative sessions as well as during the interim between sessions. Several areas of their advocacy work cross over into children’s issues. Ensuring children have access to education and a path to a career they love; ensuring access to mental health care and behavioral health services; supporting healthy outcomes for moms and babies; researching and exposing gaps in children’s health through dedicated reports on child welfare; supporting literacy efforts; and ensuring children are safely riding in cars with seatbelts and car seats. In 2019, JK Belz & Associates was successful in amending a bill to include a report on the number of children placed out of state for behavioral health services. This report has helped inform legislators on the need for residential placement and an expanded network of care in our state.

Lea Cartwright Case

Government Affairs

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Incorporated in 2000, JK Belz & Associates provides a thoughtful tailored approach to governmental affairs. They have strong relationships with both sides of the legislative “aisle” to maximize opportunities for their clients. In support of this commitment, they work diligently to develop and nurture relationships with members of the legislature, both during legislative sessions as well as during the interim between sessions. Several areas of their advocacy work cross over into children’s issues. Ensuring children have access to education and a path to a career they love; ensuring access to mental health care and behavioral health services; supporting healthy outcomes for moms and babies; researching and exposing gaps in children’s health through dedicated reports on child welfare; supporting literacy efforts; and ensuring children are safely riding in cars with seatbelts and car seats. In 2019, JK Belz & Associates was successful in amending a bill to include a report on the number of children placed out of state for behavioral health services. This report has helped inform legislators on the need for residential placement and an expanded network of care in our state.

Autumn Robertson

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Autumn Robertson has a passion for supporting others with foster care histories. Having lived experience in care, she knows first hand the barriers that it creates. Autumn became involved in advocacy work while in highschool, as she wanted to bring awareness to the challenges that she and her peers were experiencing. Autumn previously worked with the Nevada System of Higher Education as a Peer and Community Educator for their Foster Youth Success Initiative. In this role, she supported her peers pursuing higher education, and created opportunities to highlight student voices. Autumn is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics with a minor in sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Our Board Members

The CAA is overseen by a diverse Board of Directors representing multiple
facets of the community who are dedicated to improving the lives of
children and families in Nevada.

Lynn Purdue

President / Chair

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Patricia Farley

Vice President / Vice Chair

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Fernando Serrano

Secretary / Treasurer

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Gard Jameson

Director

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Hilary Westrom

Director

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Dawn Gibbons

Director

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Justice Miriam Shearing

Director

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Virginia Valentine

Director

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Mary Bacon

Director

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Elaine Wenger-Roesener

Director

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Our Partners

In the news

Nevada NewsMakers 2019

December 5, 2019 By Nevada NewsMakers

Nevada Makes Progress Against Child Poverty

December 5, 2019 By Tricia Brooks

Children’s Advocacy Alliance selected as Nevada’s New KIDS COUNT Grantee

July 5, 2018 By Maggie Salas Crespo

Nevada Ranks Among Worst States for Children’s Well-Being

July 5, 2018 By Katherine Davis-Young

Our Financials

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we publicly provide our financial reports as a way to hold ourselves to the highest professional standards and to ensure that every dollar you donate is put to good use.

Contact us

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Las Vegas

5258 S. Eastern Ave #151
Las Vegas, NV 89119

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702.228.1869

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Reno

639 Isbell Rd #460
Reno, NV 89509

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775.440.1767