FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2023
CONTACT: Gustavo Caraveo | Gustavo@childadvocatessv.org
MILPITAS, CA — On Friday, April 28, 2023, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley gathered community leaders, government representatives and thought partners from organizations across the Bay Area to announce the launch of its strategic plan for fiscal years 2024–2026. In attendance were Mayor Carmen Montano and Vice Mayor Evelyn Chua of Milpitas, Judge Leonard Edwards, Judge Shawna Schwarz, Zachary Contini from the office of Senator Dave Cortese, Daniel Cao from the office of County Supervisor Otto Lee, Tuan Nguyen from the office of Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Hannah Bar-Ness from the office of Assemblymember Gail Pellerin, and Nora Manchester, first Executive Director of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.
After meeting or exceeding every goal from its previous strategic plan, Child Advocates brought Board members, staff members, and consultants from MIG, Inc. together to set new and ambitious objectives for the next three years. This plan will provide inclusive, responsive, and trauma-informed services to every child in foster care by prioritizing the following: (1) reaching every youth, (2) serving deeply and effectively, and (3) advocating for all.
“We aim to advocate for a responsive, equitable service system for all child-welfare involved families, children, and youth in our county. The overrepresentation of Latino children in the system is proof that our work goes beyond child welfare, this is also a social justice issue that requires thoughtful reform and advocacy. These priorities will guide our work from fiscal years 24 to 26, bringing us steps closer to making our vision a reality, every foster child thriving,” says Frederick J. Ferrer, CEO of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.
“[Child Advocates’] new strategic plan is going to move the program forward in such a way that the foster youth of Santa Clara County will benefit and continue to be served well by a fantastic agency,” says Judge Shawna Schwarz.
“I really love this program because it really helps kids that have gone through [difficult] experiences in life, through no control of their own,” says Carmen Montano, Mayor of Milpitas. “I know that Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is there to help.”
To close the event, Milpitas Mayor Carmen Montano and Vice Mayor Evelyn Chua presented Frederick J. Ferrer with a commendation for his leadership in supporting Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable children. A certificate of recognition from Assemblemember Ash Kalara was also presented to Child Advocates for its outstanding community service.
Child Advocates looks forward to “moving to excellence for youth in foster care” in continued partnership with the greater Silicon Valley, including community organizations like FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, Sobrato Philanthropies, the Department of Family and Children’s Services, Children’s Discovery Museum, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, Animal Assisted Happiness, Red Ladder Theatre Company, and others.
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 by 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.