The mission of Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services is to end the cycle of child abuse by providing comprehensive care and compassion for abused and neglected children and young adults through life-enriching opportunities and strength-based, solution-focused programs and services.
Our vision is to nurture, empower and develop self-sufficient, well-educated, healthy young adults who become thriving, contributing members of our community.
Soaring Rancho Damacitas Newsletter
“Where Kids Soar” YouTube Video
Former foster youth still need help to attend college, enter workforce
by Press Enterprise on September 23, 2016
Rancho Damacitas not only provides field trips, but special activities on the 11-acre campus where they live.
REBECCA K. O’CONNOR / The Community Foundation
The Rancho Damacitas cottages in the Temecula area have been helping foster children since 1983 – but recent efforts will help emancipated foster youth while they attend school or enter the workforce.
“The state covers tuition, but you can’t go to college if you don’t have transportation, food and a place to live,” said Cal Winslow, CEO of Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services.
Rancho Damacitas hopes to raise $250,000 to build a five-bedroom, five-bath home for youth who have excelled while living at one of its six foster care facilities in the Temecula area. It will be the third such home the organization runs.
The organization, which recently received a Community Impact Grant from The Community Foundation, also runs six family-style cottages in the Temecula area that house 36 foster children ages 6-18.
Rancho Damacitas provides hope for those in need
by Valley News on September 10, 2016
Maria Valdovinos and her 3 sons, Vladimir, 5, Arturo, 4, and Jesus, 3, enjoy a lovely family day at the park. Courtesy photo of Valley News
Special to Valley News – Bianca Hollins
Advocating for the foster youth of Southern California is an initiative without end, yet comfortingly, the dedicated leadership and staff behind Rancho Damacitas Children and Family Services are tirelessly committed to the cause of this growing population. Over three decades, the nonprofit has operated multiple residential care sites to house foster youth, and the driving focus for 2016 is the expansion of its reach and services.
Partnering with Lennar Homes, new fundraising efforts will center on beginning construction of a new home for Project Independence. Currently operating out of two off-site apartments, the transitional program for teens 18 and older relies on live-in mentors to help with personal goals i.e. finding careers, pursuing higher education and purchasing a car or one’s own apartment moving towards full independence. Balancing the realities of adulthood, such as rent, bills, household chores and a social life, is an essential element of character building that mentors know their young housemates need to learn.
Nowhere can the vital impact of this awareness and sensitivity be better seen than in the story of Maria, a bright light in the Damacitas community for overcoming exceptional obstacles. Currently estranged from a mother who turned to prostitution and drug dealing to provide for her family, Maria spent her earliest years in search of stability. Social services intervened to relieve 10-year-old Maria of the unfortunate responsibility of shielding her younger siblings from drugs, their mother’s dangerous clientele, and any awareness of their family’s financial struggle.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
by The Valley Business Journal on September 5, 2016
by Steve Liapis
For many of our community’s foster youth, the Temecula/Murrieta area is the place they call “home.” Even when their story begins in another city, county or state, today’s youth often consider Southwest Riverside County their best option and their biggest opportunity for building a successful future. Many foster kids reside in local foster or group homes, including up to 36 children placed with Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services, located in Temecula Wine Country. When foster youth turn 18 and exit foster care, some choose to leave the area in hopes of reconnecting with extended family or simply to make a fresh start. However, in time, many face unforeseen obstacles and plans don’t work out the way they hoped. It is then that many return to their “home” community seeking solace where their hearts are comforted and they’ve established a sense of “family.”
Take “A.C.” for example. As a former foster youth in need of housing, he’s actively engaged in Rancho Damacitas’ transitional housing program for young adults, Project Independence. A hard-working young man, A.C. holds two part-time jobs, volunteers for a middle school dance program and is always on-the-go seeking his slice of the American dream. When the opportunity recently came for him to live with extended family in Florida, he “seized the day” with hopes of getting help in joining the military. Staff with Project Independence encouraged him to pursue this new option, drove him to LAX, and wished him. When things didn’t go as well as he expected, A.C. started missing his “home” and soon returned to Project Independence, where he was welcomed back with open arms.