Child Advocates of Silicon Valley Swears in Over 20 New CASA Volunteers to Support Systemically Underserved Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2023 

CONTACT: Gustavo Caraveo |  

MILPITAS, CA — On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley proudly swore in 22 new Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers at the agency’s main office in Milpitas. 

All graduates completed 30 hours of pre-service training in a hybrid format over the course of five weeks, covering topics that included advocacy, outcomes planning and child development. The training process concluded on Tuesday with a ceremony, during which the supervising judge of the County of Santa Clara  Dependency Court, the honorable Shawna Schwarz, swore-in the new class. All of the graduates received individual recognition before their invited loved ones and staff members in attendance. 

“My goal as a CASA Volunteer is to help kids and their families thrive. It won’t always be smooth sailing, but with our training and the support from our incredible CASA community, I am confident that we can make a real impact for foster youth,” expressed new graduate and elected class-speaker, Jorden.

Child Advocates carefully tailors each class’ pre-service training to meet the evolving needs of the foster youth the agency serves. The summer class’ programming was enhanced by specialized trainings related to the lived experience of Santa Clara County foster youth and ongoing concerns related to disproportionality. “We are continuously improving our pre-service training,” said Child Advocates CEO Frederick J. Ferrer. “This training included a lived-experience panel, which allowed our CASA candidates to hear first-hand perspectives from a current CASA, caregiver, social worker and former foster youth.”

In an effort to address the needs of the children on their waitlist, Child Advocates seeks to diversify its pool of CASAs by recruiting more male, bilingual Spanish-speaking and Hispanic volunteers.  This particular class is set to address some of these areas with five bilingual Spanish speakers and seven advocates who identify as male.

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  

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.