Being a CASA has been a very rewarding experience. The one on one relationship you build with the youth is an experience unlike any other I have had. From training to the dismissal of a dependency case, I have felt supported by the staff and agency. I am currently working on my second case as a CASA and both presented me with very different challenges and what I like to call "small victories" along the way. I am thankful for this experience, and I hope that those small victories will translate as larger victories for the youth down the road.
There’s a quote from Rita Pierson that says, Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. This is the organization that breed caring adults to become consistent in a foster youth’s life. Because is is needed and because we all need to respond to the call.
A CASA who is also called a Child Advocate, is an important part of a child's life. I have been a Court Appointed Advocate since 2007. I have been a part of more than a dozen children's lives as an Advocate. Our Volunteer Role is one we choose to do. We are not assigned to a case that we receive a salary or any monetary compensation for. We do what we do out of a desire to be an individual in a child's life who will be there no matter what happens. Our only reward is that of the child who may one day open up to you, who may give you a smile that melts your heart and that wall they were trying to hold up and never let anyone in. We are trained, background checked, supervised, made to send monthly reports of the updates and activities of our child's case. A CASA is an individual who is possibly the only adult the child can depend on and reach out to. Child Advocates is an amazing organization that I am proud to be a part of.
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.
Child Advocates puts its heart and soul into every child in our foster care system. They train people in our community to be volunteer advocates for these youth. They support the volunteers with their expertise and years of experience in the field of Social Services.
Being a CASA is one of the great experiences of my life. It gives me the ability to know members of our community I would not otherwise meet. It keeps me in touch with children and offers me a chance to really make a difference. Now that I am a CASA mentor (volunteer supervisor) I feel like I really have the pulse of the foster care population and can help others make a difference.
This is a 5 star non profit full of caring people who are caring for people. I am a CASA and enjoy and benefit from the support of my team. They are all part of the team.
Something for everyone to consider if you feel you have something to give back to foster kids who need consistency, support and unconditional love. You will end up getting back even more than you could give.
Rarely does one person make a concrete difference. As a Child Advocate, volunteers work one-on-one with children who have experienced trauma, and often poverty. An adult friend and advocate can make a huge impact on one child's outlook and life. As a volunteer your life is enriched as well, as you learn how others navigate through and face the world. You give your child strength and hope, while you receive insight and patience.
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is an extraordinary organization supporting the needs of our Forster youth and young adults. I have been involved as a CASA for a year. I have 3 children that I'm advocating for as they go through the foster care system. Child Advocates teaches you and prepares you for the role of the advocate. They give you all the tools and support you will need. It's very rewarding & challenging, and you won't regret getting involved!
After committing myself to the concept of dedicating some of my time to a foster kid, I first needed to understand and learn about how to serve. The training program from Child Advocates of Silicon Valley was extensive but very manageable to fit into my work schedule. Upon completing training, the staff assisted me with getting matched with a kid who's story connected with me. Now four months in, I'm grateful to be a part of this organization and to have the opportunity to show up for a foster child.
The life of a child who is placed in foster care is immediately upside down, as is the whole family. Decades ago, the courts found that one factor predicts how that child will fare: A caring, adult volunteer (called a Court Appointed Special Advocate) who is a mentor, advocate, and source of stable support. Child Advocates of Silicon Valley recruits, trains, and coordinates this precious relationship.
I have been a CASA for several years and it's the most fulfilling experience, and Child Advocates of Silicon Valley does a great job of supporting me as I support these children.
The agency does an important job -- recruiting and training Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster youth -- and year after year, improves the number of kids served and their outcomes (like graduation rates). As a CASA, I am so impressed by the quality of support they provide in what could be a difficult job. They keep it fun and I know there's a sturdy safety net should I need some support.
I was introduced to Child Advocates through a professor at San Jose State. She showed me this great organization and the impact it makes in a foster child's life. As a CASA and intern, I have seen how Child Advocates works tirelessly to make sure every child in the foster care system has someone to support them. They offer great resources to the CASA and the children, never stopping in their efforts to give children a voice in the foster care system.
This is the most rewarding volunteer experience I have ever had. To watch a child look at you with love and trust, hold your hand when they are scared or just want to sit next to you in silence because it is a safe place. If I win the lottery, this would become my full time job!
I am honored to serve an organization that serves the foster children of the Silicon Valley. This organization not only makes a positive difference in the lives of the foster children, but also to the CASAs. You come in thinking that you are going to make an impact to the foster child, but when that foster child tells you or shows you that they have accepted you, you realize that truly the foster child is impacting your life and there is no greater feeling than that!
Child Advocates trained me well to work with a local foster youth. She and I developed a relationship that has touched my life forever. Even after her case ends, she will know she has me as a trusted adult in her life.
I am on my first case as a CASA for a 13 year old girl. I felt confident that the CASA training and support system ensured I am aware and skilled to handle many situations. The community support gives me and my CASA youth many social activities such as tickets to events, movies, museums plus useful items like backpacks, shoes and school supplies. The engagement with my CASA youth and the opportunity to influence her with new experiences, a person to talk with, social interaction and coaching in different situations has given me personal satisfaction. A recent proud moment was learning that my youth has made the honor roll.
As a former CASA and donor to Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, I can attest to their high degree of professionalism and diligent use of funds to support children in the foster care system. They work round the clock to do all they can for these children, even after these children leave the system. Most of the children they serve have ended up in legal foster care through not fault of their own, and rely on members of community to give them a hand up.
Time and money well spent!
I am on the Board of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley and want to share how greatly impressed I am with this organization. I chose to be on the Board for 3 reasons and Child Advocates continues to meet my personal criteria.
First, I want to work with an agency that is solely focused on having an IMPACT on the lives of children in foster care. Child Advocates has a single minded purpose to break the cycle by matching children in foster care with consistent, caring adults - all of whom are volunteers! The impacts show in the numbers. Read the annual report and you will see that high school graduation rates, preschool attendance rates and many other measures are MUCH higher for children with a CASA than those the without -and specifically higher for those children in Santa Clara County served by Child Advocates.
Second, I want to work with an agency that has fiscal responsibility. I am impressed with the Executive Director's ability to apply business acumen to the non-profit sector. This is a challenging thing to do when fundraising is not considered an operating expense and some donors will "ding" you for investing in raising money. Karen Scussel guides us expertly through the trade offs between operating ratios and the need to invest.
Third, I want to be involved with an agency where I feel that I can personally make a difference. While I am not a CASA, I am highly involved with the fundraising of the agency. Many people do not know that government grants make up a very low percentage of the funding Child Advocates receives. The agency works hard to have a diversified funding base - and it IS hard work. It is my pleasure to help move the mission forward.
I highly recommend Child Advocates to anyone who wants to contribute your time as a volunteer and/or your money as a donor. It has a wonderful staff and Board who work together in meeting our goals to uplift these children.
I have been volunteering with the Child Advocates of Silicon Valley group for 6 month. They are an amazing organization. Their demonstrable effectiveness in impacting the lives of foster children can be seen in their amazing 93% high school graduation rate and their ability to get preschoolers enrolled in school.
I volunteered at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley last year and, from an insider's perspective, I can confidently say that this organization is simply wonderful. All the staff work tirelessly to ensure that the CASA's have the best resources/training and that the foster youth have numerous opportunities to grow. There is so much thought, care, and consideration that goes into every event, training workshop, and resource that they provide. I cannot begin to express my positive thoughts but, simply put, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is making a difference. The resources they offer to CASAs and foster youth align perfectly with their mission statement creating the best scenario for positive change within the community.
I am the Advocate for 2 little girls, ages 3 and 5. It’s such a joy to spend time with them - children’s museum, playgrounds, the zoo and yes, even the dreaded Chuck E Cheese. They know I am there just for them and we look forward to seeing each other every time! I try to be informed about all the services they need and how they are progressing. My role is to make sure they get the services they need and to be someone they can depend on with no other agenda. I love being their CASA (court appointed special advocate).
I was introduced to the CASA organization several years ago through a work colleague and it took me awhile to find the time to become a volunteer. Initially I was attracted by the opportunity to help a child directly and CASA impressed me with their commitment to success, thorough training and overall professionalism as an organization. Now that my own children are grown, it has been extraordinarily (and surprisingly) rewarding to spend quality time with children who are most in need and in many cases live right in our communities.
If you are looking for high impact, meaningful volunteer work, consider the CASA program. It is such great work to be a consistent, caring adult in a child's life during the most tumultuous time of a child's life. Foster youth really benefit from this one on one, consistent advocacy. The organization is very supportive and has given me all the resources I need to feel confident both as an advocate in court and during time spent 1:1 with the child. This organization does life changing work!
I have been interning at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley for a few months and I am thrilled with my experience so far. I have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful recruiting team and have gotten to see first hand all the love and effort that is put towards finding CASAs. Being involved in this organization has really opened my eyes to the significant impact that a CASA can bring to a child's life. I have also been very impressed with the quality of resources that are provided on their website and in training sessions for the CASAs and anyone who needs it. The results and outcomes speak for themselves. The work that is being done at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is fulfilling the mission statement one CASA at a time.
I've supported CASA for the past three years. It is a wonderful organization that is having a really positive and life-changing impact on thousands of youth in the Bay Area. I know that when I donate my money to CASA that it does not go unappreciated or under-utilized. They just care so much about the youth and families they are supporting. If you are looking for a non-profit to support, I highly encourage you to donate and/or get involved with CASA of Silicon Valley.
During my time serving with Child Advocates, I have had many great experiences meeting wonderful children and volunteers alike. The trainings that are given to volunteers are very helpful for someone with no experience in foster youth advocacy to learn about all the parties involved and the processes of dependency court. The staff is always welcoming and demonstrate passion for their work!
My association with Child Advocates began in March of 2017, when I signed up for an Information Session. Although my role is just officially beginning, I wanted to share some thoughts.
In my attempts to become a volunteer baby cuddler, I was re-routed to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital volunteer program. I engage with sick kids in PICU by bringing a play cart TO their bedside. This was completely outside my comfort zone in a critical hospital setting. Extensive training and a steep learning curve prepared me for my weekly commitment. Fast forward three years, the highlight of my week now is arriving in ICU to meet my new little friends and just play and be silly. I look past the bandages, tubes and machines to see the child and I connect with toys, stories or songs. I was ready to expand my efforts. I had friends who had briefly told me they were CASAs, but I never investigated what that actually meant. I heard they had been to court with their child and was curious since they were not lawyers.
After seeing a Nextdoor.com post for a March CASA information session, I decided to finally check into it. While the mission and stories that Child Advocates shared made me sad that the Foster Care system is flawed, it renewed my hope that you can make a difference in someone’s life. Their commitment was contagious. I felt like I needed to do this, or at least try. I was worried that it would be too much, too hard to adapt or too much time. But I needed to try and bring the special ICU one-on-one connection, that made me a better person, to a child in Foster Care. The next training session that worked for me was July and so I completed 30 hours of in-depth training from many experts in the Foster Care system. The training is presented with the goal of making you confident in your role and emphasizes that showing up every week will make a huge difference with a long term benefit. I see the upside of a brief play session with new kids each week, so I am confident with the training, tools and the support from my CASA specialist, I can give the best of me to a child in foster care. Everybody needs somebody in their corner and soft place to land; to be heard and made to feel important. CASAs hope to do all that and more. This organization addresses the human side of the foster care system and provides support to Santa Clara County foster youth with CASA volunteers.
I am happy to share that I have chosen to advocate for a 2.5 year old boy and in September his social worker introduced me. I highly suggest you try and move outside your comfort zone.
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley in my opinion is one of the best ways to help foster children. As a CASA you have direct one on one communication with the kids. Its the best way to become friends with the kids, show them new experiences, talk about things and share knowledge and information. Its a wonderful way to help and plant good seeds of experience for the kids. I truly feel that my time spent with my foster child has improved his attitude which will hopefully help him succeed in life with all its challenges.
When I started volunteering as a CASA, I hoped to change a child's life. I didn't realize I'd be changing my own as well.
I have been with child advocates for almost 10 years. I am a very busy mom with three young children and what keeps me going is that I know I can make a positive impact for these children. In the past 9 plus years of my CASA work, I have encountered many different families and situations. As heartbroken as I am sometimes with the outcomes, they have enriched my life. From how excited they were when i visit them to seeing them graduated from high school, I realized that I am not only giving, I am taking too.
Some people asked me, what do they need to do or how do they know if they were making a difference, I will say, your presence, your care and your consistency is already more than anything our foster youth has ever had in their life. You are making a difference because a complete stranger who didn't get paid is willing to go out of their way to visit the youth consistently as promised, to talk to many professionals who work with the youth, to be at the court and speak up on their behalf. You know you have made a difference.
For all fairness in life, life is not fair. I often wonder, what their life would be if the circumstances were different. And it's really not their fault when their parents fail them and not their fault if they can't focus on school work or thinking of future. Working directly one on one with the youth, allows volunteers to really SEE the youth and understand their hopes, their dreams and their needs. This is truly a great program for someone who has few hours a week to spare and cares about children. This is not an easy journey to take but is a very meaningful journey which can change some children's life for better and possibly yours too.
I first started volunteering with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley 3 years ago, and out of the many organizations I've volunteered with, I have to say this is my favorite! I was surprised by the amount of tangible impact I could make on the lives of foster youths simply by showing up every week. Small pushes in education and health made huge differences, and I really treasure the time that I spend with the youths. I'm also very impressed with the organization itself and how it is run. CASV is very organized, provides very thorough and engaging training for the volunteers, and has a ton of extra resources like a weekly newsletter of events, knowledgeable volunteer supervisors who can answer our questions, in-person discussion groups, and a free "store" of gifts for the kids. They do a ton to support the volunteers in this meaningful work.
I always knew my passion was to support disadvantaged children in my community by being a friend, and to give them hope for opportunities they may have not known were possible. When I read about Child Advocates of Silicon Valley (CASV) I realized I finally knew how I would execute this passion and purpose. I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in September 2014, and a CASA Mentor in 2016. I have worked on my own cases and supported others in their journey with our children in the Dependency system. My experience with CASV has been great and continues to get better. Our staff at CASV has done a fantastic job by preparing us to do this type of work by educating us and supporting us as CASA’s.
I have been a child advocate for over 10 years.
For 8 years I guided two sisters through the teenage years.
It was not always easy and successful, but in the end they both are well-adjusted adults. One is a sergeant in the Navy and the other one is finishing junior college while having started a
family at a young age.
I totally love Silicon valley CASA. It is a very dedicated group of professionals and volunteers. The encouragement and support
you get, as a volunteer is great.
I am retired now from Casa because I feel that I can’t keep up
with the energetic children. I recommend Casa to everybody,
It is a rewarding experience
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!
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!!
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.
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+++
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Child Advocates really puts their heart and soul into helping community volunteers have the proper tools, support, and care to make a difference in the lives of foster children.