A Year-By-Year Historical Tour of Promises2Kids

Founded in 1981 as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (CAPF)


Promises2Kids is celebrating 35 years of serving foster youth in San Diego County.


Celebrated the 20th anniversary of Polinsky Children’s Center and the 50,000 children it has served, as well as the dedication of the Mary Goodall Education Center.


Guardian Scholars expands its services to include college preparation support to foster youth in their junior and senior years of high school. This program, Junior Guardian Scholars, was launched with its first class of 10 students in March 2013.


Camp Connect expands its program to include day camp activities each month in addition to its annual life changing 4-day Summer Camp for siblings who have been placed in separate foster care homes. Camp Connect ensures hundreds of foster children maintain critical relationships with their brothers and sisters that otherwise may be lost.


Promises2Kids launches its Summer Concert Gala with headliner Jewel to raise funds for foster children. The annual gala concert raises awareness for foster youth and the work of Promises2Kids to support these children.
  The Child Abuse Prevention Foundation becomes Promises2Kids.P2K_NewLogo_rgb-e1362767752873


Nearly 500 children in San Diego County are separated from their brothers or sisters while living in foster care. The relationship between siblings is crucial, and many children feel additional grief and loss when separated from brothers and sisters after removal from their parents’ home. These children need their siblings to maintain some sense of identity and survive the emotional trauma. Camp Connect San Diego launches a 4-day summer camp designed to bring together siblings who have been separated by their placement in the foster care system.


A collaborative effort between CAPF, San Diego County Adoptions and others is initiated to help improve the process of finding warm and loving homes for foster children who cannot be reunited with their family.


Former CAPF President, Emeritus Board member and lifelong volunteer Elizabeth Lennon passes away and the Elizabeth Lennon Something Special Fund is established by Board members.

The San Diego International Conference on child and family maltreatment presented annually by The Chadwick Center at Children’s Hospital incorporates a new symposium, the Annual Beth Lennon Symposium on Child Maltreatment, focused on training first responders on identification, investigation and victims of child abuse.  This is now included as part of Promsies2Kids law enforcement education and training opportunities.


In partnership with HomeAid San Diego and YMCA Youth & Family Services, the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation opened “Mary’s House,” North County’s first transitional living program for former foster youth.


CAPF receives $2.5 million bequest from Sunshine Brooks and establishes the Hattie
“Sunshine” Brooks Endowment Fund to provide for the future needs of abused and at-risk children.
  CAPF, KGTV/San Diego’s Channel 10 and Union Bank of California start the “Team10 Foster Fund”, a scholarship program to fund college or technical training for former foster youth in San Diego. Ten former foster youth receive nearly $43,000 in scholarship funds in the first year. This was later named Guardian Scholars.
  San Pasqual Academy, the first of its kind residential high school for foster youth opens its doors in September.  CAPF raised $6 million to assist with the capital campaign, surpassing the original goal by $1 million.


A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center opens, relocating all children from the overpopulated Hillcrest Receiving Home. The new Center becomes a national model.  Promises2Kids continues to provide annual funding for services and support to the children cared for at the Center each year. The Center was made possible thanks to major gifts from Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, Betsy & Doug Manchester, the San Diego Padres, Skyline Wesleyan Church, Coca-Cola Company, Centex Golden Construction, Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation, the Engel Family, Weingart Foundation, Jack in the Box, Jack W. Goodall Family, St. Germaine Auxiliary and many other generous donors.
  The first Holiday Gift Drive is held, and now collects more than 10,000 gifts annually for foster children. This program ensures that children who are away from their families receive a gift for the holidays and the comfort of knowing someone cares for them during this troubling time.


CAPF begins the successful campaign to raise $12 million to build the new emergency shelter for children to replace the outdated Hillcrest Receiving Home. The County of San Diego donates the land for the project and CAPF raises the remaining $12 Million to build the Center. A $5 million lead campaign gift is made by Mrs. Jessie Polinsky.  In honor of the gift, the new shelter is named A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center.


Birthday Club is established to provide birthday cards and gifts to foster children. Often foster children feel isolated and alone – their birthdays are not a sense of joy nor celebrated. The Birthday Club sends each child a card and a gift on their special day – letting them know that they are important and that they deserve to be celebrated. Today, Promises2Kids provides birthday gifts for hundreds of foster children every year.
CAPF raises $1 million to fight child abuse in San Diego County.


CAPF creates a new program at UCSD to help drug-dependent pregnant women from delivering drug-addicted babies. Within a few years, 99 out of 100 of the mothers served had delivered drug free babies. This program continues to operate today as a community supported program.


CAPF creates a private child-friendly waiting room at family court for children waiting to testify.  Prior to having the private room, children had to wait in the same room as their abusers, increasing their trauma.
CAPF Foster Parent Recruitment Campaign results in 60 new foster homes for the placement of children within three months. This is a record number for foster family recruitments efforts.


CAPF volunteers and donors provide funding assistance to remodel San Diego’s Child Abuse Hotline Center. The hotline receives over 70,000 calls of suspected abuse annually.


Barbara Christiansen and nine friends found St. Germaine Auxiliary to the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation.


Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (CAPF) is founded by Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau, Rob Butterfield, Carla Snyder and Mary Avery. First activities were to raise community awareness of the issues of child abuse and establish an emergency Baby Food Fund to provide food, medicine and supplies to children.