On Saturday, July 30, over 70 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers gathered with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley staff for the agency’s first in-person CASA Summit at De Anza College.
The CASA Summit started with a State of the Agency message from CEO Frederick J. Ferrer. In the speech, he shared data about children on our waitlist, gave updates on the developments of the CASA Program, and invited everyone to engage on the agency’s internal communication platform to better connect with one another and the agency.
Following Ferrer’s State of the Agency message, Director of Programs Mary Patterson delivered a heartfelt message to our volunteers and introduced our guest speaker, Charles D. Appelstein, M.S.W. He is a critically acclaimed author and youth care specialist that provides expertise in delivering a strength-based approach to vulnerable youth.
Appelstein gave an informative and actionable presentation on “No Such Thing As a Bad Kid” Understanding and Responding to Kids with Emotional & Behavioral Challenges Using a Positive, Trauma-Informed Strength-Based Approach. During Applestein’s presentation, all of the CASAs in attendance participated in engaging activities putting techniques into practice. From a greeting exercise to the dice roll game, CASAs were taught simple tactics to help aid their advocacy.
Mid-event, Patterson recognized the diverse representation of CASAs in attendance. Whether newly sworn in or seasoned CASA Volunteers, the agency celebrated all of them for their commitment and dedication to foster youth. After Patterson’s speech, Appelstein continued engaging the CASAs with his presentation.
The event concluded with Ferrer delivering closing remarks reminding CASAs to take advantage of the communication platform to connect and build friendships and, most importantly, to make connection opportunities for the youth they serve. Additionally, Ferrer discussed using the CASA Store, a dedicated room filled with items for youth, as a resource. Followed by a sentiment of gratitude for their service.