On April 28, 2023, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley welcomed over 30 partners, community leaders and government representatives on-site to launch our strategic plan for 2024–2026. Board of Directors Chair Steve Hoffman kicked off the event, sharing what a pivotal time this is for the agency as we continue to make transformative changes for the children and youth we serve. CEO Frederick J. Ferrer then took the floor to provide an overview of the strategic plan and discuss how each objective will be achieved. Over the next three years, Child Advocates aims to reach every youth, serve deeply and effectively, and advocate for all, providing inclusive, responsive and trauma-informed services to every child in foster care.
A panel discussion followed featuring Judge Shawna Schwarz, Board Member Penny Blake and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer Rob Ortega, who each play an integral role in LIFTING UP foster youth in our community.
“I’m really proud to be a CASA, and I’m proud to be a part of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. Reviewing this strategic [plan], it’s definitely something I want to continue doing for many years in the future,” said Rob Ortega.
Vice Chair Tony Rangel concluded the event with a touching story, recounting his experience becoming a foster parent to twin siblings over a decade ago. It wasn’t long before Tony and his partner knew the boys were meant to be a permanent part of their family and they sought sole guardianship. Presiding over their case was Honorable Judge Leonard Edwards, who played a central role in establishing the CASA Program in Santa Clara County. Judge Edwards was in attendance at Friday’s event, and the two enjoyed a heartfelt moment as Tony shared his sons’ memories of their adoption and the powerful impression Judge Edwards left, an impression they continue to speak of to this day. Child Advocates’ new strategic plan is crucial to ensuring all youth in foster care receive guidance and support from caring adults like Tony who will consistently SHOW UP for them. Moving forward, our agency will continue to center racial equity and create greater access for people with lived experience to influence those who shape policy and practice.
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