Family Advocacy & Support


Family & Youth Partnership

Family Partners and Youth Advocates offer their own personal experiences and advocacy skills as a valuable layer of support to the youth and families in all Stanford Sierra Youth & Families’ programs. Having similar experiences in their past, these important partners empower young people and their families to lead their own care teams to get their needs met. Family Partners are staff members who have personal experience in the child welfare, mental health or juvenile justice systems as a consumer and/or as a parent/caregiver.


Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

Stanford Sierra Youth & Families employs Youth Advocates (individuals with “lived experience”), who serve as peer mentors/advocates for the CSEC population. The core framework of the program blends child family teaming, mentoring, and positive youth development, as well as integrates a trauma informed, gender responsive approach in supporting youth (ages 10-18) who have been trafficked. Youth Advocates works with youth, engaging them and incorporating the evidenced model Seeking Safety to address the youth’s individual needs, while also building upon their strengths, skills, and positive connections to the community.


Empowerment Training Center

The Empowerment Training Center provides facilitated training sessions where participants can share experiences, build awareness, and brainstorm ways to increase positive connections and advocacy to help strengthen our communities.


Parent Partner Services

Stanford Sierra Youth & Families collaborates with Child Welfare to provide Parent Partner Services for families involved in the Child Welfare System. The program’s goals are to engage parents more fully in the child welfare case planning and services process; provide information to parents to help them navigate the child welfare system and understand their rights and responsibilities; and provide support, modeling, and linkages to assist families in meeting their safety, permanency, and well-being goals. The program helps empower youth and families and ensure they have voice and choice in service delivery.


Resilient Youth Speak Out (RYSO)
Activities for Youth to Learn Leadership Skills and Boost Resilience

RYSO seeks to increase exposure to positive social, relational, educational, and career routes among middle and high school youth, as well as teach important leadership skills, and build resilience. This is achieved through innovative activities, compelling speakers, field trips, and a comprehensive youth leadership curriculum.  


RYSO is open to all current and alumni Stanford Sierra Youth & Families served youth.


5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Every 4th Thursday of each month


Wonder Mentoring Program

Wonder is a mentoring program matching children living in foster care, one-to-one, with caring, consistent adults. The mentors are trained to listen, support, and guide each child through fun, age-appropriate experiences in music, the arts, sports, volunteer service, dining out, and nature. The children enrolled in the program are called “Explorers” and the adults who volunteer and serve as mentors are called “Guides.” Together, they participate in a journey of fun and exploration filled with Wonder Moments.