Tucked away in the Twin Oaks Valley area of San Marcos, Casa de Amparo is a non-profit organization recognized as a leader in treating and preventing child abuse and neglect in San Diego County and beyond. The organization has been in existence since 1978 – founded by a small group of local women who were concerned about domestic violence and the welfare of children. Today, Casa de Amparo serves over 1,000 Casa Kids, ages prenatal to 24, as well as 700 families through six integrated programs that promote healing, growth and healthy relationships.
The beautiful Casa Kids Campus here in San Marcos opened in 2012. It sits on 11.4 acres and the number of children they serve continues to grow each year. In fact, you can see the open spots on campus that will one day be home to new construction so Casa de Amparo can expand to meet the needs of more children.
With the holiday season upon us, it is the perfect time to shine a light on this amazing organization and ways you can help. Child abuse cuts across all socio-economic groups, races and religions. About 7,000 children live in foster care each year in San Diego County as a result of abuse, abandonment or neglect. Without additional guidance, more than 40% of young adults who leave the foster care system at age 18 will become homeless, incarcerated or dependent on public assistance.
Casa de Amparo is having a direct and lasting impact for children at risk through a variety of programs.
Residential Services: The Casa Kids Campus here in San Marcos is home to Casa Kids ages prenatal to 21. In a home-like environment, each Casa Kid receives comprehensive care tailored to their individual needs.
New Directions: Casa Kids, ages 18 to 24, who have emancipated from the foster care system can participate in this transitional housing program that gets them set up with the resources and skills needed to transfer from foster care to independent living.
Counseling Services: Counseling Services are offered to all Casa Kids and families. In addition, outpatient services are provided for children and families facing individual or family stressors and/or mental health issues.
Hayward Child Development Center: This center provides therapeutic childcare, preschool, and family support for Casa Kids ages 18 months to 5 years old. The program includes counseling, family enrichment and parent education classes, including specialized support for military children and families.
Family Visitation: An important service provided at Casa de Amparo is a neutral, supervised setting for family visits so Casa Kids who have been separated from their parents can spend time together. A special room is set aside where kids can play and be with their parent in a supervised setting. Private Pay Visitation Monitoring and Exchange is also offered to families during times of transition.
Young Parent Network: The Casa Kids Campus is the only group home in San Diego County serving pregnant and parenting foster youth. This program is designed to address the needs of struggling pregnant and parenting young adults ages 24 and younger.
WAYS TO GIVE
Monetary donations are always welcome and provide things like tutoring, counseling, shoes, medical attention and healthy leisure and cultural activities.
Casa welcomes in-kind donations of furniture, new clothing, toys, school supplies and more. In fact, call them to have their updated Wish List emailed to you each month.
How about donating your used vehicle? The Center for Car Donations will pick up your used motor home, boat, car or truck, providing Casa with a generous cash donation.
In addition, volunteer opportunities exist in a variety of capacities.
Please consider making a difference in the lives of the Casa Kids, and in the future of our community. To support Casa de Amparo with volunteer hours, financial donations or other support, please visit www.casadeamparo.org or call (760) 754-5500.
You can also follow them on social media channels:
CASA DE AMPARO’S 12TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY DRIVE: DECEMBER 10-18
Members of the community are invited to help make a happy home for all Casa Kids by contributing a gift to Casa de Amparo’s 12th Annual Holiday Drive. San Marcos gift-givers will receive the name, age, gender and a brief wish list for a Casa Kid. Groups are welcome to participate as well. Gifts should be unwrapped, include a note with the sponsored child’s name, and may be dropped off at Casa de Amparo’s holiday storefront located at 200 E. Barham Drive, Suite 103 in San Marcos. Contact Heather Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org for wish lists and more details.