Wednesday, May 1, 2019
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month
Every two minutes, a child enters the foster care system in the United States. In Santa Clara County, there are approximately 1500 children in the dependency system who have suffered significant trauma due to familial abuse or neglect. Each one of these children deserves love, care, a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. For this reason, every May is commemorated as Foster Care Awareness month to shine a light on all the children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own and the community that supports these children.
- Foster parents who take these children into their homes and give them safe, nurturing environments
- Social workers who make sure the children and their families get the support and services they need to reunify
- Attorneys who represent the children’s rights and best interests in court
- Therapists who help these children heal
- Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who serve as friends, mentors and advocates to children and youth in the dependency system.
In FY18, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley served 905 foster children in Santa Clara county by providing them with the vital gift of a CASA volunteer. We know that CASAs help create better outcomes for foster children and youth.
- 71% of our 3 to 5 year olds were enrolled in preschool compared to less than 23% of all preschool age foster children in Santa Clara County.
- 95% of our CASA teens completed their high school requirements compared to just 46% of all foster youth in Santa Clara County. Furthermore, 90% of our teens had identified a safe place to live after high school and had plans to attend college or work at least part-time.
All children in foster care deserve a CASA who can help them understand their situation and can advocate on their behalf. During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for children and youth in foster care, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.
How to Help
You can help these most vulnerable children in our community by volunteering as a CASA; your life will be immeasurably enriched, and your community with be a stronger healthier place. You can learn more about our CASA program here.
If you want to help but can’t volunteer as a CASA, please consider making a donation to help serve more foster children on our waitlist. It costs approximately $2,500 for our agency to recruit, train and support one CASA volunteer. To support our program, you can make a donation here.
We are happy to come and speak at your workplace or community organization that is interested in improving the lives of foster youth in our community. For speaking opportunities, please contact our Community Development Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- by Frederick J. Ferrer