FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2020
CONTACT: Gustavo Caraveo | Gustavo@childadvocatessv.org
MILPITAS, CA — Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is thrilled to serve more foster youth and children with the graduation of 55 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteers via Zoom on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Filled with very active and engaged trainees, Child Advocates is eager to get these volunteers assigned to a child so that they can begin their advocacy with the same vigor they demonstrated throughout training.
“The energy of this class was palpable,” stated Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates. “This is exactly what our foster kids need, someone that can’t wait to be there for them, to advocate for them, to ensure they aren’t forgotten during these challenging times. We continue to ask our community to show up for our foster youth and the community continues to respond. We are extremely grateful for that.”
CASA Volunteers were sworn-in through a “virtual” swearing-in ceremony by the Honorable Judge Shawna Schwarz after completing 30 hours of pre-service training that consists of self-paced online courses and virtual presentations that ranged in various topics from child development, the Dependency Court System to inclusionary practices.
This is the second time Child Advocates has hosted the pre-service training and ceremony virtually because of COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, Child Advocates is focused on making the training more seamless and accessible.
“After receiving feedback from the previous virtual class, we made adjustments and improvements to enhance the experience of our trainees,” said Daisy Manapsal, Director of Learning at Child Advocates. “To make the training even more accessible, this fall we will be offering a morning and an evening session for our trainees.”
As an affiliate of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Child Advocates is responsible for operating the CASA program in Santa Clara County according to the national guidelines, which entails recruiting, training and supporting CASA Volunteers. Child Advocates holds four to six training classes per year in an effort to recruit a CASA for every child placed in the Santa Clara County Dependency Court System. There are currently over 1,000 foster children in the system.
About Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is an independent nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization created in 1986. We serve children aged birth to 21 years old who are placed in the Santa Clara County Dependency Court System for having experienced trauma in the form of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. We are also an affiliate of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. As an affiliate, we are responsible for operating the CASA program in Santa Clara County according to the national guidelines, which entails recruiting, training and supporting CASA Volunteers. To learn more, please visit ChildAdvocatesSV.org.
About the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program
The first CASA program in the nation was created in 1977 to ensure children in foster care, who have experienced abuse or neglect, have a trained volunteer speaking up in the courtroom for their best interests. All CASA Volunteers are trained community members who are appointed with a court order by a judge to advocate for the best interests of a child in foster care. They stay with each case for up to a year or until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home. CASA Volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, service providers and family members to ensure the child’s voice is heard. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.