News & Events

News

Stronger Together: Stanford Youth Solutions and Sierra Forever Families Merger
A commitment to permanency and the empowerment of youth and families

It is with great excitement that Sierra Forever Families (SFF) and Stanford Youth Solutions (SYS) announce the merging of the two organizations, effective July 1, 2019. SFF and SYS have complementary missions and operations and have an extensive history of collaborating to provide services and supports to youth and families.

News

Derby Day 2018

We were so grateful to have been a part of Derby Day 2018!

Derby Day was held May 5th, 2018 at Lucchetti Ranch in Wilton, CA. It was a daylong event that blended horse racing and supporting local children in need. The festivities included cuisine from hot local restaurants, Mint Julep Bar (of course!), wine and beer tasting, equestrian demonstrations, live music, barn tours, Weiner Dog Race, Derby Hat Contest, Bow Tie Contest, equestrian art, raffles, silent and live auctions and the high point of the day: the live televised running of the 144th Kentucky Derby!

Proceeds from Derby Day will support 7 local charities, including Stanford Youth Solutions!

A big thank you to everyone who made this event possible!

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For more info on this event click here

News

Our CEO selected for Sacramento Kings/Walmart Community Playmaker Award
Congrats, Laura!

Congratulations to our CEO, Laura Heintz, who was selected to receive the Sacramento Kings/Walmart Community Playmaker award at Friday’s game on court about 6:35-6:45. The Sacramento Kings partner with Walmart through the Walmart Community Playmaker program to recognize individuals that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to their community.

Kings Note: Laura was nominated to receive this award and be recognized for being the embodiment of leadership as the CEO at Stanford Youth Solutions. Under her oversight, Stanford Youth Solutions’ programs have been heralded for producing positive outcomes and the ability to connect youth to safe, permanent and stable families. Through her work and work of Stanford Youth Solutions, our community is ultimately stronger.

News

Grant awarded from Teichert Foundation!
Thank you Teichert Foundation for supporting our Resilience Leadership Academy!

We are extremely grateful to the Teichert Foundation for awarding a generous grant in support of our Resilience Leadership Academy. The Teichert Foundation’s grant will help provide leadership and life skill development opportunities for our young people who have faced challenges such as poverty, abuse, domestic violence, and/or trauma. Ultimately, the partnership will empower and equip these resilient youth with the support, skills, and resources needed to make the transition into a healthy and self-sufficient adulthood. Thank you, Teichert Foundation for investing in building brighter futures for our youth – the next generation of leaders in our community!

News

We have a new website!! Bringing Home Within Reach
Our new website redesign helps families in crisis

A huge thank you to Digital Deployment for our beautiful, newly designed website! “Home Within Reach”

Check out this article from Digital Deployment about the new website design:

“Stanford Youth Solutions is dedicated to helping families in crisis situations and empowering them to overcome obstacles. Specifically, the organization provides behavioral and mental health services for at-risk youth to help families stay together, or in some cases, help a youth find a new permanent home.

Their organization stands apart from its peers because of a highly professional, disciplined, and evidence-based approach, as well as its commitment to empowering staff with both technology and training. This was something we were able to experience first-hand when we attended their annual open house event. Seeing the staff speak passionately about each of their programs set the tone for this beautiful, impactful new website.

The work they do inspires us. So, when they recently reached out for a mobile-first, responsive redesign of their website, we couldn’t wait to make it happen!”

Read more here

Blog

Stronger Together: Stanford Youth Solutions and Sierra Forever Families Merger
October 9, 2019

Two women walking together

A commitment to permanency and the empowerment of youth and families.

It is with great excitement that Sierra Forever Families (SFF) and Stanford Youth Solutions (SYS) announce the merging of the two organizations, effective July 1, 2019. SFF and SYS have complementary missions and operations and have an extensive history of collaborating to provide services and supports to youth and families.

Blog

Adoption Myths
June 4, 2019

Father and child

Like most aspects of life related to family and children, adoption is an emotional topic. That might be why foster-care adoption is so ripe for myth-making. At Sierra Forever Families (SFF), would-be parents often approach us with ideas that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s clear up four common ones:

Blog

A gloriously sunny spring day picnic
May 23, 2019

Family together outside

A gloriously sunny spring day, scented with the unmistakable fragrance of cotton candy, set the stage for nearly 200 parents and children to enjoy a day of fun and companionship at Sierra Forever Families’ Family Appreciation Picnic on May 4 at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin.

Blog

California’s first-ever surgeon general prioritizes children’s health
April 30, 2019

Child holding stuffed toy

February/March of 2017, in a two-part series on how trauma affects children, this blog highlighted a 16-minute talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris that has been viewed on YouTube 1.8 million times.

Dr. Burke Harris, a pediatrician trained at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been hailed as a leading voice in transforming our understanding of how children’s traumatic experiences can trigger serious physical and mental illness.

Blog

3 Empowering Reasons to Foster/Adopt as a Single Parent
April 16, 2019

Child smiling at parent

There’s a myth out there that to adopt or care for a foster child, your family needs to resemble something out of an ancient sitcom: one mom in an apron, one dad in a business suit. This is, indeed, a myth. At Sierra Forever Families, we strongly encourage single parents to explore foster care and adoption. In fact, nearly a quarter of adoptions are by single parents.

Blog

You Never Outgrow the Need for a Family
March 13, 2019

Smiling teenager

There’s a tongue-in-cheek poster that’s a classic fixture on the wall at some adoption agencies. It lists the advantages of giving a permanent home to a teenager. Number one is “No diapers!” Another benefit: “No toilet training.”

Clearly, these comments are meant to bring a smile to the face of prospective parents. But they also have a serious intent: to shine a light on the critical need for families to adopt older children and provide them with life-changing unconditional love, safety and support.

Blog

Navigating the Bureaucracy of Adoption and Foster Care
March 8, 2019

Woman and child smiling together

Anyone who has ever waited for their number to be called at the DMV knows that bureaucracy can be crazy-making. Paperwork, meetings, complex chains of command, endless acronyms (CPS? EPSDT?), communication breakdowns—all of it can make impatience flare. When a child’s future is at stake, it can be even more frustrating.

Welcome to foster care and adopting through the foster care system!

Blog

Instant Family, Hollywood’s Portrayal of Life as a Foster/Adoptive Parent, Rings True
December 4, 2018

Promotional image for Instant Family

Luckily for Sierra Forever Families, there is a new tool in town that can help tell our story of love and compassion, second chances and the trials and tribulations of adoption. It’s a recently released movie showing at theaters near you called Instant Family. The delightful romp follows a family through the foster- to-adoption process with a clear message: all kids need and deserve parents who love them.

Blog

Trusting the Process: How To Stay Positive While Being Patient
November 13, 2018

Family

Every time you think about it, you get excited. A wonderful child, in need of a home, running into your arms, completing your long-held wish of having the family you’ve always wanted. Now you want to make that dream into reality and you have just begun doing research on the foster to adoption process. After a couple of web searches, you start second-guessing your excitement because you keep reading that the process is intense and can take a long time.

Don’t be discouraged. We are here to support you.

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The Attachment Journey: Building trust and connection takes time
October 23, 2018

Parent holding child's hand

Congratulations! You are beaming with joy because your home is ready to be filled with more laughter and love with the addition of a new child. You have made the decision to learn more about the foster to adoption process and becoming a resource parent for our children in care.   The thought of connecting with a new child is exciting but getting used to the time it takes to build that lasting bond can be a little bit challenging. Don’t worry. You have the starting foundation of love, and that sprinkled with patience and flexibility, make for a great resource parent. Our families learn there is so much you can do to help spark that healthy trust between you and your new child.

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After eight homes, the ninth one was the lucky charm!
August 23, 2018

Children playing soccer

Mark and Rebecca met and fell in love while working together as elementary school teachers. As they began to discuss marriage and a life together, Rebecca made it clear to Mark that even though she loved children, she did not see the necessity in having a child when so many children already exist who need loving families. Mark felt a strong urge to be a parent. Thanks to sympathetic adults and a resilient spirit, he had survived a chaotic, neglectful childhood. He wanted to pay it forward. After much discussion, they married with the eventual goal of providing a loving home to children through adoption.

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First Steps of Adoption
August 2, 2018

Siblings smiling together

You have been thinking about this for a while. You have a successful career, a great home, and are now ready to start a family or grow the one you have through adoption. You either know someone who has gone through the process or you have always wondered whether adoption is a right fit for your family. Don’t worry. You are not alone.

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The Honeymoon is Over
July 26, 2018

Father and son playing

Our son first came to live with us as a foster child in the Fall of 2015, at the age of six. In the Fall of 2016, we adopted him. As they say, the honeymoon is over. I couldn’t find the origin of that idiom but it refers to the easy time someone has after a new, and often exciting event occurs. A new job, getting married, bringing home a new child…

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Wonder Firsts: Priceless
July 12, 2018

Girl with dolphin

The definition of wonder is the feeling of awe, surprise, or admiration—to marvel. We here at the Wonder Program ask that our Guides (mentors) create the feeling of wonder for their Explorers (foster youth mentee) by exposing them to “firsts”. A first could be experiencing something like riding a bike, fishing, or a roller coaster for the first time.

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Serious Fun in Nevada County
July 5, 2018

Young person at the 49er Fun Parkk

Excuse our glow, but we’re basking in the success of an event, held recently on Tuesday, June 26, that brought together more than 200 members of Nevada County families formed through adoption. It was an epic gathering but, most importantly, it was a valuable reminder of how much success in foster/adoption depends on the pure pleasure of community connections.

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Good Enough
June 18, 2018

A mother and daughter sitting and smiling together

Deciding to adopt my children was easy for me.  I have mothered everything around me (plants, animals, other people…) since I was three years old.  I knew from a young age that my family would be formed by adoption.  I was thrilled when my husband and I were ready to begin the adoption adventure.

Blog

Does birth order make a difference in adoption?
June 1, 2018

Children playing

Adding to your family by way of foster/adoption offers some options that aren’t part of the equation when you’re growing your family by giving birth.

Foster/adoption lets you add a child to your family without regard for birth order. When a child doesn’t enter the family as the youngest child—as a new baby would–that is known as “disrupting” birth order.