FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mar 7, 2023
CONTACT: Gustavo Caraveo | Gustavo@childadvocatessv.org
MILPITAS, CA — Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is proud to celebrate the graduation of 22 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers in-person at the Milpitas office on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley held an in-person swearing-in ceremony for its latest class of CASA Volunteers. CASA Volunteers are sworn in by the Honorable Judge Shawna Schwarz after completing 30 hours of pre-service training, hybridly held in-person and online on various topics, including advocacy, outcomes planning and child development. At the swearing-in ceremony, CASA Volunteers receive more individual recognition in front of their loved ones and staff members.
“Our community continues to come together and support foster youth when it matters most. Our agency is grateful that so many individuals are committed to making an impact on the lives of foster youth, near or far,” stated Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates.
Over 60% of foster youth currently waiting for a CASA Volunteer are out-of-county foster youth, which means that although their case is with the Santa Clara County Dependency Court, their placement (where they live) is in a different county. A majority of the CASA Volunteer graduates in this class are willing and eager to advocate for an out-of-county youth.
Although 22 foster children will soon be matched with a new CASA Volunteer, there is still a need for more Advocates that are either bilingual Spanish-speaking, male-indentifying or LGBTQ+ identifying community members. Child Advocates is dedicated to enhancing its pre-service training to meet the needs of the children they serve.
“Before each class, we continue to update and enhance our pre-service training,” said Jasmine Scott, Learning Manager at Child Advocates. “We implemented out-of-county resources, tools and experiences into our winter pre-service training to better equip our new CASA graduates to take on an out-of-county case.”
Child Advocates is responsible for operating the CASA Program in Santa Clara County according to the National CASA Association 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.
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 responsible for operating the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program in Santa Clara County, which entails recruiting, training and supporting CASA Volunteers according to the National CASA Association standards. To learn more, please visit ChildAdvocatesSV.org.
About the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program
The first Court Appointed Special Advocate (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.