About California Alliance of Caregivers

California Alliance of Caregivers is an organization that provides information, advocacy, and support for foster, kinship, guardian, and adoptive parents in order to improve outcomes for foster youth and improve the child welfare system.

Mission

California Alliance of Caregivers (CAC) represents the voices of relative and non-relative caregivers (foster & kinship parents) to promote the well-being of children in foster care.

Our offices are located at:

Sacramento: 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 2350, Sacramento, CA 95814

Los Angeles: 400 Continental Blvd, 6th Floor El Segundo, CA 90245

Mailing Address: California Alliance of Caregivers, P.O. Box 576, Sacramento, CA 95812 

Core Activities

  • Caregiver engagement in statewide and local child welfare & child mental health advocacy
  • Local foster and kinship parent organization empowerment
  • Connecting foster, kinship, guardian, and adoptive parents to information, training, support, and advocacy
  • Providing representation to foster and kinship parents
  • Statewide policy-maker education on issues of children in foster care
  • Supporting statewide child welfare advocacy

Our Story

California Alliance of Caregivers was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2016 by a group of foster parents and child advocates committed to prioritizing the interests of children in foster care and providing an active and regular caregiver voice in statewide discussions on child welfare programs and policy. California’s relative and non-relative caregivers are a diverse group of individuals who share a passion and love for children and youth in and from foster care. California Alliance of Caregivers seeks common ground among foster, kinship, guardian, and adoptive parents to advocate for a focused set of priorities concerning children in foster care.

Contact Us

For more information on how you can be involved, please contact: info@cacaregivers.org, or 

Jenn Rexroad | Executive Director | Foster Parent | jrexroad@cacaregivers.org

Jackie Rutheiser | Policy Director | jrutheiser@cacaregivers.org

Judy Mandolfo | Family Resource Coordinator NorCal | Foster/Kinship/Adoptive/Guardian Parent | jmandolfo@cacaregivers.org

Kelli Sedgewick | Family Resource Coordinator SoCal | Foster/Adoptive Parent | ksedgewick@cacaregivers.org

Coffee with Caregivers | coffee@cacaregivers.org

Training & Events | events@cacaregivers.org

California Alliance of Caregivers, Inc. is a registered 501 c(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible. Tax ID #81-2865148

Our Team

Board Members

Vanessa Armijo

Vanessa’s track record includes building three companies from conception to fully functional and successful businesses. She is a team player with strong analytical and interpersonal skills. Her expertise includes strategy development, mentoring, partnership cultivation, human resource management, program management, and leading teams with a cross functional approach to business development.

Her core principles are built on the belief that investing in people, and helping them reach their fullest potential, is the best way to achieve outstanding results. Her experiences abroad in challenging and ambiguous conditions have built empathy, resourcefulness, and resilience that are reflected in her strong work ethic.

Shelly Best

Shelly loves systems and helping to improve them. Her professional work in accounting and as a business owner has allowed her to assist families, businesses, and organizations become fiscally responsible, sound, and sustainable. Her passion for children led her to become a foster parent 15 years ago; and to help Santa Barbara County and the CA State Foster Parent Association improve programs and policy.

Ashley Snee Giovannettone

Ashley Snee Giovannettone is a highly respected communications and public relations professional with nearly two decades of experience working at the highest levels of business and government. Over the last decade, she has advised Fortune 50 companies, statewide political campaigns and issue advocacy efforts on effective communications strategies.

Ashley’s skills were honed while serving on two presidential campaigns, as Assistant White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Assistant Secretary of State for California.

During the 2000 Bush for President primary campaign, Ashley served as the California Political Coordinator and then went on to serve in VP Operations in the campaign’s Texas headquarters. In 2001, Ashley moved to Washington D.C. where she served in the White House for three years – first, as Special Assistant to Vice President Cheney, then as Assistant White House Press Secretary and Spokesperson.

In 2003, Ashley returned home to California to serve as Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Schwarzenegger. She then went on to become Assistant Secretary of State and Communications Director under Secretary of State Bruce McPherson. Ashley has advised some of the nation’s top companies and many statewide ballot measure campaigns on complex communications strategies including message development, crisis communications and media training.

Ashley is active in her community, serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster youth and is a member of multiple non-profit boards.

Mikaela Randolph

With over 15 years of experience working internationally, nationally, and locally on a variety of public policy issues and strategic communications campaigns, Mikaela brings her professional, and personal experience with the child welfare system to California Alliance of Caregivers.

Mikaela has experience working in all levels of government, non-profit and the private sector. Mikaela is an accomplished public policy expert with a keen ability to translate complex policy issues to multiple audiences to create actionable change. Mikaela enjoys working on a variety of issues that affect the most vulnerable populations ranging from land-use, transportation, housing, economic development, and food access. She acknowledges the value of the issues independently but thrives on the opportunity to identify the points of intersection. She believes by identifying the points of intersections affords the opportunity to identify and bring strategic partners to the table to provide innovative solutions. Mikaela’s facilitation of strategic partnerships has played a critical role in advancing the work of multiple organizations by ensuring diverse voices are a part of the solution. Mikaela is a skilled facilitator, facilitating national and local coalitions to influence policy change at the state and national level to smaller workgroups or trainings at the local level to assist businesses in navigating complex challenges to achieve their end goals. Mikaela has convened diverse sectors around a common cause and is a skilled researcher.

Mikaela holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University.

Jennifer Rexroad

Jenn Rexroad’s training was in teaching and technology. She has over 28 years of K-12 & adult classroom teaching experience. She has experience in educational programming, leadership, training, curriculum, and staff development. She has developed, implemented, and managed educational technology programs; and has a proven ability to envision, plan and execute innovative and complex programs and activities.

Jennifer has been a Yolo County First 5 Commissioner since October, 2013. Jennifer has experience in local and statewide advocacy on youth and child welfare issues; and was a founder of California Alliance of Caregivers in 2016. The Rexroad family was a foster family for 8 years.

Staff

Nicole Trimble

Nicole has decades of experience training, mentoring, and coaching parents. She is a Los Angeles County Resource Parent and Adoptive Parent.

Judy Mandolfo

Judy has had the privilege of using her experience growing up in foster-care to work passionately for vulnerable children and their caregivers. Judy and her husband, Jeff, have five children and have been kinship, foster, guardian, and adoptive parents for nearly 20 years to infants and teenagers. Judy teaches Resource Family Approval classes for Shasta College, Foster and Kinship Care Education; and she is an independent Resource Family Mentor. In her spare time, Judy is an event planner and caterer for many large community events.

Jackie Rutheiser

Jackie Rutheiser joined as Policy Director of CAC in February 2022. Her background as an expert in foster care rates, child welfare funding, regulations, and the California state budget and legislative process brings valuable knowledge to the organization. Prior to joining CAC, Jackie was a Senior Policy Advocate for 15 years for the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, a statewide advocacy organization representing over 160 accredited private non-profit child welfare agencies.

Jackie is very proud of having been the lead staff person with her previous employer to co-sponsor AB 12, which extended eligibility for foster care up to the age of 21. Ms. Rutheiser also served as co-chair with the California Department of Social Services on the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) Foster Family Agency Workgroup and served as
a principal stakeholder on the statewide Intensive Services Foster Care, Therapeutic Foster Care, Rate Setting, Wraparound, Medically Fragile, National Accreditation, and4 Probation Workgroup Committees during the past decade. From 2012-2014, Ms. Rutheiser co-chaired the California Capitol Foster Care Month Capitol event and co-chaired National Adoption Day from 2012-2019, In addition to her policy and advocacy work, Jackie has been involved in numerous community activities including coaching her sons’ soccer team, serving as the high
school hockey team treasurer, the Vice President of Emerson Junior High School, and was a Yolo County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for two years. She currently serves as the Board President of a Davis STRTP serving youth who need therapeutic interventions.

Prior to her work in the State Capitol, Jackie was a managing partner in a political research and campaign strategy consulting business and was the Research Director for the National Health Care Campaign for then First Lady Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
Jackie received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from U.C. Davis and is currently a candidate for a Child Development Master Teacher Permit.

Jennifer Rexroad

Kelli Sedgewick

Kelli and her husband have fostered children in Los Angeles for a decade. She has become a vocal foster youth advocate. Kelli became a nonprofit entrepreneur when founding Tori’s Torch, a foundation set up to educate, empower, and encourage caregivers to be a voice for children in the juvenile court system. Kelli has become a powerful liaison between county agencies, foster parent support groups, and statewide child advocacy organizations with the purpose of improving communication across all sectors and to encourage child centered decision making. She facilitates a support group for resource families in Los Angeles and Northern Orange County.

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