Expectations for CASA Volunteers

Expectations for Clark County CASA Advocates

 

CONTACTS

 

  1. Child(ren)

 

The child should be seen face to face at least twice monthly.  Other contact can be by phone.

 

Exceptions would include:

 

·         The child is in a facility that will not allow that amount of contact.

·         The child has been moved out of the county.  If this occurs contact the Advocate Supervisor and get instructions as to what is expected for adequate contact of the child.

·         In the monitoring phase you can reduce the amount you see your child to monthly, but only after you have contacted the Advocate Supervisor and they are aware that this is your intention.  If you do not contact the Advocate Supervisor they will continue to assume that you are contacting your child twice a month.

 

It is unacceptable to go over one month without seeing your child(ren).

 

If you feel you have an exception that should be considered, please call the Advocate Supervisor and discuss this with them.

 

  1. Parent(s)

 

The parent should be seen face to face at least once a month.  Other contact can be by phone.  If in the event you are unable to locate your parent you will need to document when you attempted the visit and why the visit did not occur.

 

  1. DHS

 

Contact the FSW frequently regarding compliance.  (example: drug screens, parenting classes, etc.)  You must contact the FSW at least once a month.  Whatever information you receive from the FSW you must call and confirm that information (example: If the FSW tells you that the mother is attending therapy weekly.  You will need obtain the therapists name and call and verify attendance.)

 

If you contact the FSW in your case and get no response call the Advocate Supervisor and inquire as to who is the FSW’s supervisor.  Try to contact the FSW again, if you continue to get no response, contact the supervisor.  If you continue to get no response, contact the Advocate Supervisor and submit documentation regarding your failed attempts to contact the FSW and the FSW supervisor.  The Advocate Supervisor will then try to contact the FSW Supervisor.  If that contact is unsuccessful, the Advocate Supervisor with then get the Director involved.

  1. Attorney Ad Litem

 

Call the Ad Litem frequently but no less that once a month.  The Ad Litem is the child’s attorney and needs to be updated on what is happening in that child’s case.  It is extremely important that you keep in contact with the Ad Litem, they are a great resource of information regarding your case.

 

  1. School/Daycare

 

Contact the school or daycare at least once quarterly regarding attendance, grades, and behavior.  Always contact the school/daycare a few weeks before court so if there is a problem you will have time to follow up before the child’s court date.

 

You are able to obtain copies of any records from the school or daycare.  It is good practice to obtain documentation that will back up any concerns you have regarding the child in your case.

 

Note – If your child is enrolled in special education, a specialized school or has a known behavior problem contact the school on a monthly basis for progress updates regarding services the school is providing.

 

  1. Relatives (Aunts, Uncles, Grandparent, etc.)

 

Contact as needed.

 

Note – If your concurrent plan involves a relative, you will need to have at least monthly face-to-face contact with that relative to verify compliance.  (example: home study, background checks, etc.)

 

Note – If your child is placed with a relative you should have at least monthly face-to-face contact to get an update on your child’s placement.

 

  1. Therapists for parent(s), child(ren)

 

You should have at least monthly contact to verify court order compliance.  Find out if the parent/child is attending, how often they are attending, and how therapy is progressing.

 

  1. Medical Personnel (Pediatricians, psychiatrists, residential programs, drug rehab, etc.)

 

Contact as needed to gain medical records or to verify information that has been given to you by other participants.  If a child is in a residential treatment program, most programs have staffings regarding the child, inquire about those staffings and attend them if at all possible.  Note if you are not able to attend the staffing, call the Advocate Supervisor and let them know that you are not able to attend.

 

 

 

You only have to check with the pediatrician/primary care physician as needed unless they are more than a routine part of the child’s plan of care (other than normal well child visits).  If there is a pediatrician that is following your child for a medical reason, you will need to contact that physician to verify compliance and to keep updated on the child’s condition.

 

  1. Foster Parents

 

Contact the Foster Parents at least monthly regarding how the placement is going.  How the child is doing in that placement, whether there has been significant behaviors, and how the child is doing in school.  If the child is presenting with problems there needs to be more contact with the foster parents.

 

  1. CASA Personnel

 

Contact the Advocate Supervisor at least: (This is mandatory, no exceptions)

 

            Weekly during the beginning of your case.

            Bi-weekly after the first review hearing.

           

The contact can be by phone or by email.  Keep the Advocate Supervisor up to date on your case.  In addition to the above, call or email if any problems arise in your case or if you have questions.

 

Time Sheets

 

All Advocates are required to turn in time sheets on a monthly basis.  If it is July 1, 2005, all Advocates should submit a timesheet for June of 2005.  Timesheets should record all activity for your case.  As part of National CASA guidelines you should spend at least 10 to 15 hours a month on your case.  These timesheets will account for that time expectation.  You can mail, fax, email or drop your timesheets by the office.

 

            Filling out your Time Sheet

 

                        Round up to the nearest 15 minutes (for example):

 

You were on the phone for 10 minutes with the FSW.  You would record on your time sheet .25.  You have rounded up to the nearest 15 minutes.

 

Please use the following time increments:

 

            0 – 15 minutes             .25

            16 – 30 minutes           .5

            31 – 45 minutes           .75

            46 – 60 minutes           1

 

This will allow all the time sheets to be uniform and easier to enter into the database.  Please fill out each space on the timesheet.  Do not enter “ for duplicate days or times.

 

Remember you should document all time on your timesheets.  The following are all things that are acceptable on your timesheets:

 

1.                  Contact with child, relative, foster parent, Advocate Supervisor, program director, attorneys, medical personnel, FSW, essentially anyone that is related to your case in any way.

2.                  Review of your file

3.                  Review of records

4.                  Court attendance

5.                  Staffing attendance

6.                  Any Emails that you send regarding your case.

7.                  Any Emails that you read regarding your case.

 

If you have a question about what is appropriate to put on your time sheet, call your Advocate Supervisor to verify.

 

Time Sheets will be sent out via email monthly.  You can return your time-sheets via email, mail, fax or bring them in to the office.  We must have the time sheets, they are the driving force behind most of our funding.

 

COURT REPORTS

 

Court reports should be submitted to the Advocate Supervisor no less than 15 working days before your court hearing.  Each advocate will be required to staff their case with their supervisor on or before the 15th working day.  This allows for the Supervisor to review the report and verify any information with that Advocate.  This will also allow for the Supervisor to ask questions regarding the report and to have the Advocate verify additional information that may be needed.  Legislation was passed in July of 2005 that the CASA reports have to be sent to all parties and file marked by the file clerk 7 working days before the hearing.

 

Court reports should contain the child(ren) name(s), birth date(s) and social security number(s) if available, background information, current information, concerns and recommendations.  All Advocates should have a format for the court reports, if you do not have a format contact the Advocate Supervisor and they will send you one.

 

Court reports should be fact-based.  There should not be any impressions or feelings in the report.  ONLY during the recommendation part can you express why you feel certain recommendations should be made.

 

Court reports can be up to three pages long.  Please try not to go over three pages.  The judges normally read the report while they are in court on the bench.  We want to give them all the facts about this case in a short concise report so they will be able to make an informed decision about your case.

 

The CASA Advocate Supervisor and/or the Director reserve the right to make changes to an Advocates report; however, these changes will only be made with the express knowledge and consent of the advocate assigned to that case.  Recommendations on all court reports will be reviewed by the CASA office and discussed with the advocate before filing the final report.

 

BOUNDARIES

 

All CASA’s should set and maintain appropriate boundaries.  CASA’s are advocates for the child assigned to them.

 

CASA’s do NOT:

 

a.                   Provide Services

b.                  Supervise Visitation

c.                   Transport

d.                  Buy clothing, shoes or jewelry for the child and/or parent

e.                   Give money to the child and/or parent

 

CASA does not want your child or parent to feel that CASA is there to provide monetary help to them or the kids that we serve.  CASA is there to Investigate, Facilitate, Advocate and Monitor.  We are an extra set of eyes and ears for the courts and to provide factual, unbiased information.

 

If you feel there should be an exception, call the Advocate Supervisor and speak to them regarding your specific situation.

 

MANDATORY TRAINING

 

Our training year is from January 1 to December 31.  Every CASA is required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education training per training year.  New Advocates will not be required to obtain additional training, for the training year, other than the new advocate training. If a CASA advocate does not complete the 12 hours of continuing education, they will be required to participate in New Advocate Training.  This is mandatory; failure to obtain your continuing education training can result in disciplinary action and/or dismissal.

 

Mandatory Training is scheduled on a monthly basis.  ALL Advocates are required to attend these trainings.  If an Advocate misses a mandatory training session and does not come to the CASA office to make up the missed training, the Advocate will have an additional hour added to their total number of training hours for the year.  (For example: An Advocate starts with 12 hours of training needed each year.  The Advocate misses the March Mandatory Training.  That Advocated will then have 13 hours of training to complete for the coming year.)

  
 

COURT ETTIQUITE

 

1.                  Attendance

 

All Advocates are expected to attend all court hearings.  If an advocate is unable to attend their scheduled court hearing the advocate must contact the Advocate Supervisor(s) or Director prior to the hearing to discuss the reason(s) the advocate cannot attending the hearing.  All advocates must be present 30 minutes ahead of their scheduled court time.

 

2.                  Dress Code

 

All Advocates are to dress appropriately for court.  No jeans, tennis shoes, open toe shoes, or low cut blouses.  All court attire should be slacks, skirts, dresses, shirts, and dress shoes.  If an advocate shows up and is not dressed appropriately for court the advocate will not be allowed to attend the hearing.

 

3.                  What not to bring to court

 

1.                  No Cell Phones – Leave the cell phone in your car if possible.

2.                  No Gum

3.                  No Candy

No Food or Drink

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