Since 1999, Child Focus has been the sole nonprofit in Clark County devoted to the mission of preserving the sibling bonds of children separated within foster care. Through clinical case management, programming, events and activities, Child Focus provides opportunities for children in foster care to heal, grow, and maintain their sibling bonds during this difficult chapter in their lives.
- In southern Nevada, there are over 3,200 children living in the foster care system.
- Of those children, 45 percent are unable to be placed in foster care with their siblings.
- Once separated, the majority of these children are never reunited.
In a collaboration designed to expand the reach of services available to siblings in foster care, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children acquired Child Focus in March of 2012. By joining forces, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and Child Focus will create even greater opportunities to serve these children through expanded services, care, expertise and support.
All events and activities such as Camp To Belong, Gift of Giving and our Mother’s Day Tea event Moms Rock, as well as our monthly “Share and Discovery” programs, will continue and will reach even more brothers and sisters through this collaboration.
Since the founding of Child Focus by Gloria Bernal and Dr. Stephanie Holland, siblings in foster care in Southern Nevada have been better able to connect with each other and form lasting family bonds. We are proud to welcome this wonderful organization to the St. Jude’s Ranch family.
Programs offered by Child Focus
Share & Discovery:
The synthesis of Clinical Case Management, Academic Success, Sibling Preservation and Independent Living. Designed to educate youth in care in a manner that uniquely engages them as a sibling unit, incorporating clinical components to improve their mental health while enabling them to spend time together as a family.
An overwhelming number of children in foster care are at risk academically. Child Focus uses an individualized approach to improve the overall academic performance of separated siblings beginning in middle school. Youth receive mentoring as it relates to getting ready to graduate from college, reading and writing.
Many children living in foster care have difficulty obtaining basic independent living skills. Child Focus administers a specialized curriculum of self sufficiency training. Topics range from financial management, employment, resume writing and interview skills, college and career life, and self empowerment seminars.
While children living in foster care frequently get separated from their siblings, Child Focus works to preserve the sibling bond through regularly scheduled fun and educational events. The program also administers Camp To Belong Nevada, our pillar Sibling Preservation program, a week-long summer camp reuniting siblings for personal & emotional growth, confidence building activities and family bonding time. In 2012, Cyber Siblings was launched to provide a means to allow separated siblings create memories together using technology and cyber discussions.
Camp To Belong was founded in Las Vegas by Lynn Price, herself a former youth-in-care. She later moved to Colorado and the program went with her. Camp To Belong continued to serve youth in our local foster care system but with state lines and cost barriers, so few children from Clark County were able to participate. In 2005, Las Vegas residents Cristine Lindholm and Betsey Husted attended Price’s flagship camp session in Colorado as volunteer counselors. Collectively they decided it was time to bring the program back to Nevada. Their leadership efforts included a campsite search, the recruitment of volunteer camp counselors and a fundraising campaign.
Child Focus agreed to become the Camp To Belong Nevada member camp operator in 2008, which marked the third consecutive year of Camp To Belong Nevada. With the membership agreement, Lindholm built the local Sibling Preservation Steering Committee. Lindholm remains the Founder of Camp To Belong Nevada while advocating on behalf of all youth living in foster care in the State of Nevada in partnership with Casey Family Services.