Don't Underestimate Your Impact - Join A Home Within/CASA Therapy Project

Volunteer Clinical Therapists Needed for California Youth in Foster Care
 

 

A Home Within and CASA of Contra Costa County Therapy Project matches volunteer clinical therapists licensed in California with youth in foster care. This unique volunteer opportunity is open to California therapists (LMFT, LPCC, LCSW, and clinical psychologists) who will work pro bono via teletherapy with a youth in the foster care system. Don't underestimate your ability to enhance their lives. 

Many people can make a phone call and get expert counseling and support. Youth in the foster care system can wait over a year to get that same support. Most, if not all, suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Could you wait a year?

With your expertise, California youth ages 12 to 21 in the foster system can reach their goals at school, improve communication with their bio and foster families, and increase self-esteem. Help them tackle the issues they are facing.

They are ready. So are you.
 

Requirements

Applicants must have the following licensure: LPCC, LMFT, LCSW, or clinical psychologists with PsyD or PhD credentials licensed in the state of California.

Pre-licensed therapists are welcome to apply if they have their own clinical supervision.

Email therapyproject@ahomewithin.org for more information or apply via the link below.
 

Apply Now
 
 

CASA Therapy Project Overview

The Goal

Our overall goal is to develop a systemic solution addressing the shortage of mental health professionals available to work with youth in foster care.

  • CASA of Contra Costa County (CASA) is partnering with A Home Within (AHW) to identify, recruit, and support therapists who will work pro bono with a youth in foster care.
  • The project is open to youth in foster care from 12 to 21 years of age. Those who have a CASA volunteer as well as youth in foster care who haven’t been assigned a CASA are welcome in the program.
  • Our teletherapy approach gives youth the ability to remain with the same therapist no matter how often, or where, they move within the state of CA. It also eliminates the need for transportation to a therapist’s office

The Need

Recent studies show that rates of mental health diagnoses among youth in foster care are as high as 70%, and yet fewer than one out of four youth in foster care with a known mental health issue receive appropriate treatment. 

Youth in foster care can wait over a year before getting a diagnosis (2017 Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report).

The Partnership

CASA has, over the last 40 years, established itself as the leading agency providing individualized one-to-one support for youth in foster care. CASA volunteers currently support more than 200 youth in Contra Costa County.

AHW is a 25-year-old national nonprofit which recruits and supports licensed clinicians who agree to work with a youth in foster care for free weekly therapy. AHW has successful programs in both San Francisco and Alameda counties, and is expanding into Contra Costa, Los Angeles, and other counties within California. This program will allow AHW and CASA to provide services throughout the state.

Measuring Outcomes

Since 2001, the Foster Care Research Group at the University of San Francisco has measured treatment outcomes for the youth in foster care served by AHW. Findings show AHW’s model has contributed to the significant reduction of symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • AnxietyDepression
  • Peer Relationships Problems
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Dissociative States      

In order to conclusively prove the program has the desired impact, AHW has secured funding to perform an RCT to determine the therapy-related outcomes for foster youth who participate in therapy.

What the Therapists Say About the Program

Therapy Project is changing the narrative of loss, disrupted attachment and inconsistent care; that far too may youth in foster care experience. The new narrative it is creating is one of healing, connection and continuity of care. I am so honored to be part of this profoundly impactful program.   –Caitlin 

I love how the clients ideally commit to a year so there is time and a lack of pressure to achieve results or outcomes in therapy immediately. It has given time for me to just focus on building a relationship with my client, which in and of itself I think is therapeutic for her. It has been sweet to see how she has very, very slowly transitioned from being completely shut down to opening up and showing up consistently for the sessions…I do think it is hard to understand my client without more context about her community. Even though a huge piece of my work is centered around equity and social identities and privilege, due to my own privilege and different experience in life, I do sometimes feel ill equipped to fully support her.   –Christy

…for me has been this opportunity to serve youth at such a time of need in our world due to the isolation of the pandemic. I will be with them over this next year and possibly longer in the midst of so much change; the time commitment and consistency will help establish the stable base needed for effective treatment. I also appreciate the thoughtful matching that went into my assignment, I think we are a great fit!    –Jennifer

I love the versatility of providing remote therapy...it allows me to volunteer from my home base of Santa Clara County. Youth in foster care often have jammed and unpredictable schedules. Having the zoom account allows me to be flexible in my availability for when the unexpected meeting crops up in the client’s week.   –Rebecca

I love working with Therapy Project to help foster kids that would otherwise fall through the cracks of the system…the supervision group has been a godsend to help therapists provide the best care possible for the kids…Thank you for helping us make a difference for the kids in foster care. –Jessica


A Home Within and CASA of Contra Costa County were awarded a 3-year grant of $900,000 through the Community Reinvestment Grants Program administered by the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. 

The grant will support the expansion of our partnership to provide free, long-term therapy to youth in foster care throughout California.