FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2020
CONTACT: Gustavo Caraveo | Gustavo@childadvocatessv.org
MILPITAS, CA — Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is excited to swear-in 42 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteers through a virtual ceremony this evening, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. With the graduation of new CASA Volunteers, Child Advocates will be able to serve more foster youth and children.
“During these unprecedented times, our foster youth need the support more than ever. We are thankful that individuals in our community recognize the need and are committed to making a difference,” stated Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates.
Prior to being sworn-in, all CASA Volunteers are required to complete 30 hours of pre-service training that includes a combination of self-paced online courses and virtual presentations ranging in various topics including inclusionary practices, child development and the Dependency Court System. Upon completion, CASA Volunteers are then sworn-in through a “virtual” swearing-in ceremony by the Honorable Judge Shawna Schwarz.
Due to COVID-19, this marks the third pre-service training and ceremony that Child Advocates hosts virtually. As the pandemic continues, Child Advocates is dedicated on making the training more convenient and accessible to potential volunteer recruits.
“We continue to make adjustments and improvements with every class to enhance our trainees’ overall experience.” said Daisy Manapsal, Director of Learning at Child Advocates. “To make training more convenient, this winter we will be offering our usual evening class during the week and introducing an accelerated class on Saturdays.”
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 close to 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.