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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Foster Care, Youth Development

Mission: The mission of Child Advocates is to provide stability and hope to children who have experienced abuse and neglect by being a powerful voice in their lives.

Results: In FY 2015, Child Advocates recruited, trained and supported 575 CASA volunteers to work one-on-one with 735 children in the Santa Clara County foster care system. Over the past 30 years, the agency has served more than 15,000 children in the foster care system with a CASA. Child Advocates’ goal to provide all of the county’s foster children with a CASA is based on the fact that foster children with CASAs achieve greater outcomes than those without. Last year, 93% of Child Advocates’ youth completed their high school requirements, compared to fewer than 50% of foster children nationwide; and, 73% of Child Advocates’ children ages 3 to 5 were enrolled in pre-school, compared to just 35% of all 3 to 5 year old Santa Clara County foster children.

Target demographics: We work with community volunteers to help children who have been placed in the foster care system due to abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 735 children in the foster care system by recruiting, training and supporting 575 CASA volunteers.

Geographic areas served: Santa Clara County

Programs: Child Advocates make a lifelong difference for children who have experienced abuse and neglect by serving as friends, mentors and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). In response to the needs of children in our community Child Advocates has developed innovative programs serving children birth to five, preteens and youth preparing to emancipate from the foster care system. In addition, we have launched two programs for children whose parents are recovering from substance abuse and foster children who are struggling in school.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been such a privilege volunteering as a CASA for SV child advocates. I greatly enjoy time with my two kids. They are amazing kids. And I get all the suppport I need from the staff!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for 7 years, and have worked with a variety of children, ages 2 to 17. I am still actively working with 4 of them,and have loved seeing them blossom. The support we get as advocates enables us to work with the children, and help them achieve things they never thought possible. Foster Youth need a positive, stable adult in their lives, and CASA's provide that. It is amazing what time and love can do for a child!! Please join us!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a CASA for two years and advocated for seven girls, ranging from 3 to 18 years old. The organization is well run, will provide you with support all along the way and will give you plenty of opportunity for continuing education. I believe in what we do to support children in Foster Care and highly recommend Child Advocates if you would like to give some of yourself to positively affect a child in need.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for five years and on the board of this organization for 2.5 years. Child Advocates is an expertly managed organization with a committed staff and caring volunteers. Put simply, Child Advocates' methods work and its results matter: Local foster children with an advocate are twice as likely to be enrolled in pre-school and are significantly likelier to graduate high school than their peers. It's well known that having at least one caring adult in a child's life is critical to his or her success. Child Advocates provides that caring adult for local foster children while offering a meaningful and rewarding experience for volunteers. A+++

2 Dawn162

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a CASA over 5 and half years ago. I have advocated for six different cases and still have 5 active cases. My youths range in age from 17 years old to 2 years old. They all have different needs, different personalities, and do need to have that consistent adult in their lives. I am truly blessing to be part of their lives they way that I am.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is AMAZING!! Great people, great mission, great work! The training is ongoing so you never feel alone, the need is HUGE, and the kids are well worth your time.

As you learn more and more about the dependency system, you also realize - with a huge sigh of relief - that the systems partners (Judges, attorneys, etc.) really do care about these kids and want what's best for them. It's not always stated up front, but the more you listen the more you can see the compassion at work.

If you're looking for a way to jump into the deep end of volunteering, this is it! Come join us!

2 Tania8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA is an amazing organization! Working with foster youth has been incredibly rewarding and educational. CASA is very well organized, communicative, supportive and provides many resources to help advocates as they navigate the dependency system. My supervisor is always available to help and gives me great advice when I need it.
Working with my youth has been wonderful. I've heard people say over and over again that they could never be a CASA because it's too sad or difficult. My experience has been the exact opposite. While there are occasional moments of sadness and frustration, the majority of the time I spend with my youth is fun and uplifting.

3 MariLyn71

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you can imagine, there are children who only want some attention because they have been neglected or abused, then imagine they have to sit in court wondering what's happening, why it's happening and feeling helpless to affect the outcome. This is the life of a child in dependency, afraid, insecure, uncertain and often alone with those feelings. A CASA's (Court Appointed Special Advocates) relationship often has a life long impact and can change the outcomes of these most vulnerable children. Being a CASA has helped me understand the plight of these children and driven me to find ways to help. The best part of working with these children is that you can see impact in progress. Being a CASA can change your life one child at a time.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I consider my volunteer time valuable, so I don't like to waste time doing things that don't matter. That is why I work with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. They serve an population of children who are going through probably the hardest time of their lives as foster kids, and it's a privilege to come along side the kids to encourage them and support them, and it does make a difference to the kids. The staff at CASV are all very professional, helpful, and encouraging.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Child Advocates in 1986. It took me until 1998 to contact the organization, as I thought I was too busy with work. Once I completed the training and began working with my first child, I was hooked. There is no more rewarding feeling than helping others, especially a child. Seeing them smile, gain confidence and a belief in themselves is tremendous. Spending time with my CASA child is a highpoint each week. Knowing that they are better able to face life's challenges and become a healthy adult due, in part, to the support received from me and the CASA agency is incredibly satisfying. Just wish I had started this journey earlier, as it has added such richness to my life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Perhaps one of the most well run and truly life changing organizations. I've been involved with Child Advocates, in different capacities, for many years. As a CASA I see first hand how being a steady, consistent presence in the life of a foster child can make a huge difference. Their vetting process, training, and continued support (from staff and peers) provide an amazing base for a volunteer to go forward and help these kids. The staff are there because they truly care and will provide guidance and knowledge. Is it always easy? No. But if you want to step up and be a part of positive change for many of our foster kids and youth, then it will be a rewarding experience.

1 Denise149

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a CASA, which is a Court Appointed Special Advocate. We volunteer as advocates for youth in the Foster Care/Dependency system.
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is an amazing non-profit organization. This organization is something I encourage others to volunteer with. If you love children, love helping them to have a voice, then this is a great organization to look into volunteering with.
I have been a volunteer advocate since March 2007 and I currently have 3 young teens whom I advocate for. The reward is just knowing, that we as advocates, can make a difference in a child's life. I have had approx. 15 cases that I have worked on and have built a bond with almost all of the children who I have chosen to work with. I cannot say enough about CASV. Please look into what we are about. Be the voice for a child who otherwise may not have someone to speak up for, and with them.

1 S.Etcheson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a court appointed advocate for a foster child that has been through more things than 4 year-old should have to deal with. I signed up a year ago because I wanted to make a positive difference in someone's life, not thinking that it was going to enrich and change mine. This experience is and continues to be one of the most gratifying things that I can do with my time. I definitely recommend becoming a CASA to anyone that is thinking about volunteering.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a child advocate in the newly funded Family Wellness Court. This is a court for children 0-3 years of age and their families. It is a collaborative team effort bringing together agencies within the community to support the child and the family in their recovery from addiction. Services are available from Mental Health, Public Health, Social Services, Drug and Alcohol and the Court. All these services are available in a positive and supportive environment to assist the families in their efforts to build a healthy family.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley for 2 years. I've been assigned multiple cases working with teenagers in the foster care system. I am not formally trained in social work of any kind. Therefore, I use my resources at Child Advocates for help in all situations. My supervisors have been my best resource. I don't think I could be successful with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Child Advocates provides and supports a valuable and needed service to Foster Care children of all ages. They require (provided) substantial initial and ongoing training regarding what experiences you will encounter, what agencies, in addition to themselves, provide support (and of what kind). They provide counseling on immediate problem situations, tickets to events kids will enjoy, school supplies, Xmas gifts, and numerous other small, but needed, assistances.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization to volunteer for. You can really make a difference in the lives of these children. The Child Advocate training program is very thorough and there are many resources and a lot of support to help you with your specific child and the situations you encounter. It is a very rewarding experience in many ways.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Child Advocates has a great training program. Every Advocate has a supervisor that supports concerns, questions, and so on. Not only am I helping an individual child but also the community by strengthening the qualities of a future adult. When I met "my child" 1.5 years ago she could not relate to peers, did not speak English, was not performing at grade level, and was over weight. Today "my child" speaks fluent English, has lots of friends her own age, is performing at grade level, loves to learn and can't wait for school to start this fall, she has lost weight and learned to swim. I think that I get more satisfaction from her achievements than she does. She has made these achievements because she was given a chance, tools, and a friend (me). I have taught her things such as table manners, don't litter, respect others, follow rules, etc.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a child advocate. I believe every child deserves a chance every child deserves a childhood. I work with some amazing people and best of all I work with some amazing teens. I choose to avocate for the teens that emotional, angry at the world, bundles of hormones age group 14-18. I ran across a child advocate ad at 17 and ran across that ad at 30 but finally decided at 50ish to do something. I have been an advocate for about 3yrs I have met people who sincerely care and some truly burned out. I have met parents who try very hard and parents who don't. But!!!!! all of my teens contrary to belief sincerely care and sincerely appreciate all that is given to them even though at times they cannot or is unable to express that. I must say that all of the people at the Milpitas office are truly caring people and I respect what they represent and I am truly happy that they are there to help and support our kids that are truly in need. If you don't think you have anything to offer think again we all have something even if it's just being grateful we made it another day. WE CAN SHOW A CHILD ONE STEP AT A TIME ONE DAY AT A TIME.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I joined Child Advocates I didn't know what I was going to get myself into. I have to say it was the best thing I ever did. I've been and Advocate for about 3 1/2 years. When I first started seeing my child it was kind of hard cause my child didn't talk or open up to me. But over the years my child started to trust me. Now we have this great bond together. I enjoy hanging out. Over my 3 1/2 years, my child had 2 foster mom's, 3 social workers, 2 county social worker and the list keeps changing. I really understand why we are a big part of their lives.