We're pleased to share with you recent articles highlighting the stories of two of our youth who were able to triumph over incredible challenges in their lives with the unwavering support and dedication of their CASA volunteers.
Please share these articles on social media and with other members of the community!
Join the entire CASA family for a rockin' roller-skating party. Music, fellowship, and goodie bags for youth. Everyone is welcome. RSVP with our Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator Nilda Aldredge Nilda@casaofsanmateo.org or (650) 517-5843. See you all there!
Please join us, Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Mateo County (CASA), as we celebrate and highlight our Embracing Our Community program along with the volunteers and community partners that have made it possible.
CASA of San Mateo County recruits and trains community members to serve as advocates and mentors to children in the foster care and juvenile delinquency system. CASA also continues to be the only program, out of almost a thousand programs nationwide, that offers a training fully in Spanish.
Our Amigos de CASA social will be held on Wednesday June 21st from 6-8 PM in the Shoreway Room here at the Redwood City Sobrato Center. Please see the flyer below for more information.
On Thursday, March 2nd CASA of San Mateo County hosted a panel of local medical practitioners to share their perspectives on the comprehensive health care needs of and services available to foster children in San Mateo County.
As part of our volunteer continuing education series, referred to as Monthly Networking Meetings, CASA of San Mateo County held this very special event where we invited our county foster parents to join CASA volunteers and CASA staff to learn directly from medical practitioners with considerable experience with children and families involved in the child welfare system. The panelists reviewed the age-specific preventative health care standards, touching on the early intervention and screening for delays that occur in the first five years and the well child checks that all children should be receiving. The panelists highlighted the role that CASA volunteers and foster parents can play as the "squeaky wheel" that can ensure our children get the basic check-up and health provider services that all children need. The night concluded with a question and answer session where attendees were able to get concrete guidance on how best to advocate for the medical needs of their assigned children. This two-hour session built upon CASA volunteers' 30-hour training and the professional support they receive on an on-call basis to provide the type of advocacy and support our program is known for.
Thank you to our panelists for sharing their wisdom with our volunteers and foster parents. CASA of San Mateo County is looking forward to continuing to enhance the healthy futures of our children.
(Pictured from left to right: Dr. Tricia Tayama, Medical Director, Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention; Dr. Janet Chaikind, Director of Pediatrc, San Mateo Medical Center; Dr. Harvey Kaplan, CASA of SMC Board Member; and Lori Sterling, Public Health Nurse, San Mateo County)
On February 1st, the Peninsula Health Care District awarded CASA of San Mateo County a $25,000 grant for our Healthy Futures Program and chose CASA volunteer Ricky Ono as the "Volunteer of the Year".
At CASA of San Mateo County we have always trained and supported our volunteers to respond to the unique needs of their assigned children. For some children this means signing them up for their first sports team, for others it means representing that child in a special education meeting, and for others a volunteer helps ensure a child's healthcare needs are met. Most recently, we have redoubled our commitment to making sure all of the children we represent have their regular medical and dental check ups while also supporting any specialized care a child may need in collaboration with caregivers and professionals. To formalize this effort, CASA of San Mateo County created the Healthy Futures Program, for which the Peninsula Healthcare District awarded us $25,000.
Prior to CASA creating a formal program to support this work, CASA volunteers, like Ricky Ono, have been stepping into the breech for their CASA children's healthcare needs for years because that's what our CASA volunteers do. A shining example of this, Ricky has been a CASA volunteer since 2008 and has worked with three young men. He is not only able to build trust through consistent visits with his youth, but he does the hard work of following up on their social-emotional, educational, and health needs, facilitating communication among the adult's in his youths' lives, and diligently reporting these to the Court, His combination of interpersonal and advocacy skills is special and allows him to be a particularly effective volunteer. If that wasn't enough, Ricky regularly helps us plan special events, most notably our Major Donor Appreciation Event. We feel extremely fortunate that he has committed to work with our kids and to make our program that much stronger.
We cannot thank the Peninsula Health Care District enough for recognizing Ricky's work and providing CASA with the funding necessary to build on our healthcare advocacy work.
Dear CASA Volunteers, I am sure you remember from training and from your own experience as a CASA Volunteer how a little of your time can have a great impact on the life of a foster child.
- 8 year old Justin told his CASA he was glad to be in foster care in Newark instead of his previous placement in Antioch. He said she wouldn’t have been his CASA if he was still in Antioch. She assured him she would be his CASA no matter where he lived.
- 17 year old Amanda spoke at her probation graduation and thanked her CASA for helping her believe in herself and not be afraid to suceed.
Please join us on Wednesday January 25 from 6 to 9 PM for a special event for trained volunteers. You will be able to connect with other volunteers and share training and case experiences over a light dinner. Program staff will be available to share the files and describe the needs of children and youth on our priority wait list. Our hope is that you will enjoy spending time with other volunteers and consider commiting to one of our children and youth -- leaving with a New Year's Resolution to make a difference in 2017!
If that day doesn't work for you, but you're interested in learning more about children who critically need a CASA Volunteer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-517-5844.
Hope to see you at this very special event!
On January 18th, members of the San Mateo County Foster Youth Advisory Board (FYAB) and California Youth Connection (CYC) will be presenting at our monthly networking meeting.
Getting direct feedback from clients is critical to the success of any enterprise. The same applies to serving children and youth in foster care. Recognizing this, San Mateo County has helped develop a Foster Youth Advisory Board (FYAB). FYAB is composed entirely of former and current foster youth, who partner with the county's Department of Children and Family Services and provide feedback on county policies, services, and priorities. By participating in this advisory body, youth are educated about the complicated details of child welfare policy and services while having a direct say in how their services are delivered.
Of course, the FYAB would not exist without the tireless advocacy of the California Youth Connection (CYC), which is a chapter-based statewide youth organization that harnesses the energy and wisdom of current and former foster to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change.
We are honored that these two critical voices of foster youth in our community will be speaking to our volunteers this month. We are looking forward to strengthening our connection with both groups.