In San Diego and Riverside Counties, thousands of children in foster care, mainly children from marginalized communities, do not have a stable, caring adult figure who can support and advocate for their wellbeing and future. Yet, local programs and services to support youth in foster care are not widely known or trusted by the communities they are meant to serve. 

In an effort to uplift their programming, Voices for Children partnered with Mixte to reach audiences of varying demographics who are qualified to become volunteers for its Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) program with the purpose of raising awareness of how each person can make a difference in the lives of children. When paired with CASA volunteers, children have better chances to succeed later in life and to form meaningful relationships with the adults, caregivers and guardians around them. This is especially true when the children can identify with the CASA volunteer’s culture and background.

Our Objectives

Using the power of public relations, the MixTeam implemented a seven-month plan that guided strategic and creative communications including digital consulting and traditional media relations. Here’s how we did it:

  • Our work began by researching and connecting with key stakeholders that helped us immerse ourselves in and understand the impact and importance of the CASA program.
  • We identified traditional and niche community-based media outlets in order to reach desired audiences. 
  • Our media relations efforts focused on connecting men, people of color and individuals from the LGBTQ+ community to Voices for Children’s CASA program. Our efforts culminated in a series of profiles, features and stories around key social issues to position Voices for Children and its CASA program as a critical and trusted partner in the foster care system.
  • We collaborated closely with Voices for Children’s communications team to strengthen messaging that volunteers can use to comfortably spread the word about the organization and their experience without compromising confidential information.

The Outcome

After our seven-month journey with Voices for Children, we secured 34 media placements in traditional and nontraditional outlets and connected the team to reporters in outlets where Voices for Children could continue to reach potential CASA volunteers.

The interest in volunteering with Voices for Children spiked thanks to the stories of impact we told through media coverage. Many new volunteers mentioned that these stories helped them make the decision to become a CASA volunteer.