Child Advocates of Silicon Valley: Giving foster children hope, support and a voice

Courtesy of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
Through Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, Court Appointed Special Advocates are matched with foster children to provide critical emotional and educational support. Pictured is Jon-Rey and Moe Rubenzahl.

• Mission: Child Advocates of Silicon Valley provides stability and hope to children who have experienced abuse and neglect by serving as a powerful voice on their behalf.

The organization’s purpose is to recruit, train and support Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), who are matched with foster children to provide critical emotional and educational support, ensuring each child’s needs are met and his or her voice heard while navigating the Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court system. CASAs provide stability and guidance to children despite the constant carousel of social workers, attorneys, placements, schools and service providers in their lives.

“Just as importantly, CASAs are friends and mentors, awakening potential and resiliency in the children they serve,” said Laura Fulda, Child Advocates’ director of community development.

• 2018 update: Child Advocates recently hit a milestone by matching a record 905 Santa Clara County foster children with CASA volunteers. There are approximately 1,500 foster children in the county, and the organization’s leaders believe 1,200 of them would benefit from a CASA’s guidance. It is Child Advocates’ goal to connect each foster child with a CASA by the end of 2021.

• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: The Holiday Fund is Child Advocates’ largest campaign of the year. The funds will be used to help the agency provide 1,000 foster children with a CASA this fiscal year – children like Jon-Rey, whom CASA volunteer Moe Rubenzahl has visited weekly to ensure his emotional and educational needs are met.

“When Moe noticed Jon-Rey was struggling with reading and math, he helped him learn his times tables, and they read books together,” Fulda said. “Jon-Rey has made a lot of progress in math, and he loves reading his favorite book, ‘Captain Underpants.’”

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Location: Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 509 Valley Way, Building 2, Milpitas

Founded: 1986

Annual budget: $2.47 million

Staff: 24 employees; approximately 700 volunteers



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