Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

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Jane and Craig

Jane and Craig

April 19, 2018

Today is Give OUT Day, the national day of giving for the LGBTQ community. It is a 24-hour online fundraising event that unites the community to raise critically needed funds to support hundreds of nonprofits serving and advocating for the LGBTQ community. At Child Advocates we spend every day working on behalf of Santa Clara’s most vulnerable youth. Nationally, LGBTQ youth are heavily ov

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How We Can Help Victims of Child Abuse

How We Can Help Victims of Child Abuse

April 9, 2018

How We Can Help Victims of Child Abuse By Karen Scussel and Sharon M. Lawrence No one likes to think child abuse exists in their community. But sadly, it does in every community in America. More than 80% of the children entering the foster care system are removed from their families because their parents are charged with child neglect, often the result of one or both parent’s add

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Helping Foster Youth Navigate the Dependency System

Mary and Jade

April 3, 2018

Helping Foster Youth Navigate the Dependency System There are many services available for foster youth such as counseling, health education, and job related services. However, navigating all of the choices and making appointments can become overwhelming for a young person. Our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) can attend monthly discussion groups and educational seminars to learn how t

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CASA Hero and Legend Nora Manchester

Nora Manchester

March 8, 2018

CASA Hero and Legend Nora Manchester Nora Manchester doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and that’s a good thing. Thanks to her perseverance and hard work, children in the Santa Clara County Dependency system who have experienced abuse or neglect have hope in the form of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Thirty-seven years ago, when she was a Santa Clara C

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Stories from the Work: Ron and Emmanuel

Ron and Emmanuel

March 1, 2018

Ron met Emmanuel when he was a 12-year-old,struggling with peer issues in the 6th grade. On their first visit, Ron took him to Rancho San Antonio Park and Deer Hollow Farm to explore the outdoors and meet the animals. Ron was Emmanuel’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a friend, mentor, and advocate for him while he was in the foster care system. Most CASA’s cases last about a

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How My CASA Influenced my Life

How My CASA Changed My Life

February 15, 2018

Most people love holidays. For kids in foster care, holidays can bring up all kinds of emotions. For people like me, mother’s day is tough. I love my mom, but, for the majority of my life, she was not able to be there, leaving a big hole in my and my brothers’ lives. I am the youngest of three children. My mom was a single mother. She worked very hard to make sure that my brother

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Stories from the Work: Jill and Justin help Isaac and Nathaniel

Stories from the Work: Jill and Justin help Isaac and Nathaniel

February 5, 2018

Isaac is an active, enthusiastic 13-year-old. After struggling with a visual disability, he’s set his sights on playing club football. Everyone agreed it would be good for him – his social worker, his guardian, his CASA Justin, his little brother Nathaniel (who wanted to play too), his brother's CASA Jill. He’d been through so much, everyone just wanted him to have a win.

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New Years’ Gift: The Lasting Support of a CASA

New Years’ Gift: The Lasting Support of a CASA

January 5, 2018

If we ever doubt that CASAs make a difference in the lives of the youth they serve,we would like to share an email that was sent by one of our previous Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), Laurie Ann Santos Weber. Laurie was a South County Child Advocate from 2004 to 2010. During this time, she was a CASA to Alex*. So read on, enjoy and may the year ahead be as bright for all as it seems

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Stories from the Work: Brian and Gabriel

Stories from the Work: Brian and Gabriel

January 2, 2018

Gabriel wants to be a train conductor when he grows up – but first, he needs to overcome his fears. Only 10 years old, Gabriel is afraid all the time.

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Are Your a Caltrain Rider?

Are Your a Caltrain Rider?

December 14, 2017

Starting on December 14th, and in partnership with SF CASA and CASA of San Mateo, we began recruiting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) from the 50,000 people a day who ride Caltrain.

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Stories from the Work: Michael and Kevin

Stories from the Work: Michael and Kevin

December 5, 2017

Michael was only 2 when he was removed from his mother’s care. He then bounced between his mom and dad before moving into foster care when he was 3. The chaos in his young life had hurt his ability to speak and he didn’t know how to form words without slurring.

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Stories from the Work: Brianna and Angela

Stories from the Work: Brianna and Angela

November 21, 2017

When Angela met Brianna, she helped Brianna experience some of the everyday childhood activities she had missed. Angela took her to the beach for a day of sports and building sand castles; in return, Brianna taught Angela card tricks. The two volunteered at a food pantry during Brianna’s spring break and the next fall, Brianna enrolled in school again. During their activities together, Brianna beg

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Inaugural Wine, Women, and Shoes Benefit for Child Advocates, Raises $160,000+ to Benefit Foster Youth

Wine, Women and Shoes

October 23, 2017

Child Advocates of Silicon Valleys’ hosted 278 women (and 4 men) at our inaugural Wine, Women, and Shoes fundraiser at Saratoga’s stunning Villa Montalvo. Supporters of the agency enjoyed fine wines, designer shopping, exciting auctions and a competitive best-in-shoe contest.

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Stories from the Work: From One Teen-Mom to Another

Stories from the Work: From One Teen-Mom to Another

October 2, 2017

Susan Maciel-Finley has always been a self-described caregiver by nature so after she retired as a Business Operations Manager from a Telecommunications company, she knew she wanted to volunteer to help others. After learning about Child Advocates’ Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program from a friend, she knew she’d found her calling.

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Another Successful Golf Tournament!

Another Successful Golf Tournament

September 25, 2017

Child Advocates of Silicon Valleys’ 12th Annual Golf Classic was a huge success, raising more than $150,000 to benefit foster youth in Santa Clara County. At the tournament, we also honored Atherton resident and current Board Member Howard Slayen with the Walter “Skip” Shaw Inspiration Award for his philanthropic work in the community.

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Stories from the Work: Face of Success

Stories from the Work: Face of Success

September 15, 2017

Victor is a senior in high school and vice president of his student body council. He dreams of attending UCLA and becoming a pediatrician. He is also in foster care after fleeing horrific violence in El Salvador with his little brother.

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One Wonderful Donor: Farrington Foundation

One Wonderful Donor: Farrington Foundation

September 7, 2017

We are thankful to our broad, strong community of supporters who enable us to recruit, train, and support Court Appointed Special Advocates. Since 1998, The Farrington Foundation has provided over $62,000 to support our work, including $7,500 this year to help recruit more CASAs.

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Fruit Pizzas, Healthy Eating and Friendship

Fruit Pizzas, Healthy Eating and Friendship

August 3, 2017

Whoever said there were too many cooks in the kitchen hasn’t experienced a Child Advocates’ Cooking Class! But earlier this month, 16 foster youth and their Advocates packed into a kitchen to learn how to prepare healthy pizzas. For many children in foster care, the lack of a consistent adult presence often means they are not taught to enjoy physical exercise or learn healthy eating habits.

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Judge Schwarz: Top Ten Pieces of Advice

Judge Schwarz’ Top Ten Pieces of Advice

July 7, 2017

A few weeks ago, Judge Shawna Schwarz stood up at our annual Teen Event to share her happiness and pride that 95% of the foster youth we serve completed their high school requirements this year. We asked her to share her advice with the group and since the teens appreciated hearing it, she gave us permission to share it on our blog. Below are her notes for the speech, which we believe you'd enjoy.

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Stories from the Work: Vanessa and Kate

Stories from the Work: Vanessa and Kate

June 29, 2017

It's simply impossible to say just a couple things about one amazing woman who came into my life to give my world a change. She has pushed me to try things out of my comfort zone; she inspires me each and every day with such an amazing charisma. I'm thankful for having someone so caring. Thank you so much Katie for dedicating time and letting me be part of your life." – Vanessa, former foster yout

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Stories from the Work: Trever and Lisa

Stories from the Work: Trever and Lisa

June 22, 2017

To most people the most meaningful things in life are materialistic. They look at what they got rather than who the item’s from, or the price, rather than how hard that person worked to afford it. When a person asks me what the three most important things in my life are, I don’t say my hair, my fancy phone, or my computer that I am so attached to.

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We're Proud

We're Proud

June 16, 2017

On the Friday before the Equality March, our staff and supporters stood in Judge Shawna Schwarz's courtroom in San Jose. This isn't unusual. You can find us standing beside the foster children we serve when the Judge enters her court room most working days as we help them navigate the dependency system.

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Stories from the Work: Pierre and Harvey

Stories from the Work: Pierre and Harvey

June 15, 2017

Pierre Hemphill came from a rough neighborhood and grew up not trusting adults. When he landed in foster care after his parents could no longer care for him, he bounced from foster home to foster home. At age 10, Pierre met Harvey Fox and Mike Bowman, two friends who became his CASA mentors, and his life changed. “Harvey and Mike made sure I didn’t become another sad statistic an

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Stories from the Work: Larissa and Holly

Stories from the Work: Larissa and Holly

June 8, 2017

Hello. My name is Larissa and my sisters and brother and I all had Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). Holly was my CASA, but I just call her my friend. Honestly, I do not know where I would be if Holly had not become part of my life.

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Stories from the Work: Donna and Ineke

Stories from the Work: Donna and Ineke

May 25, 2017

The first time CASA Volunteer Ineke Ligtenberg set eyes on the 9-year-old foster child she had chosen to work with, she was reminded of a scared little bird. “She was sitting on the sofa, hiding behind her older sister in their new foster home, not knowing what to expect,” Ineke remembers.

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Stories from the Work: Daniel and Harvey

Stories from the Work: Daniel and Harvey

May 18, 2017

Harvey Barnett knew he was a positive influence on Daniel, the foster youth he’d served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), but he didn’t know how much he’d impacted Daniel’s life until years later when he reconnected with him on Facebook.

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Stories from the Work: Collett and Ann

Stories from the Work: Collett and Ann

May 11, 2017

My work with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley began in May 1990 after my husband encouraged me to attend an orientation and there I became aware that many children in our community are victims of abuse or neglect. I decided to become a CASA volunteer, never realizing how involved I could become in a child’s life.

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Child Advocates' Board Member Hosts Los Altos Flower Run to Benefit Foster Youth During National Foster Care Month

Child Advocates' Board Member Hosts Los Altos Flower Run to Benefit Foster Youth During National Fos

May 11, 2017

Los Altos resident and Child Advocates of Silicon Valley Board Member Debbie Crouse is passionate about finding ways to help the 1600 foster youth in Santa Clara County. But she wanted to do more than fundraise, she wanted to make it fun for the community while building awareness for her cause. She recruited her friend, Joy Erf, an experienced distance runner and six other philanthropically minded

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Stories from the Work: Bella and Ninet

Stories from the Work: Bella and Ninet

May 4, 2017

When Bella met her CASA volunteer for the first time, she was only two years old. She did not like to play with other children and was afraid of adults. She frequently threw tantrums and often avoided social interaction with anyone.

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A Lifelong Educator Has 3 Words for CASAs

A Lifelong Educator Has 3 Words for CASAs

May 3, 2017

Adam Escoto believes in respect, empathy, and sincerity. That’s what he communicates to the boys he mentors and advocates for as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). That’s how he asked his teachers to treat his students as a leading educator in East Palo Alto. And that’s how he wished he’d been treated as a young man in the foster care system.

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