The COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on our community — including the children we serve, our volunteers, and our staff — is of great concern to us at Voices for Children. All CASAs should have received an email from our President & CEO, Kelly Douglas, on March 12 with details on how to best conduct your role as a CASA during this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your advocacy supervisor.
Key recommendations as of March 12, 2020:
- Moving forward, please refrain from in-person CASA-related meetings or visits, including with your case children. Please take extra care during this time to explain to your case children why you aren't able to meet. Consider finding other creative ways to maintain your connection.
- Prioritize good communication with those on your case, especially your case children. Get creative with technology - phone, FaceTime, Skype - to maintain your connection or attend meetings if relevant. As always, stay in contact with your advocacy supervisor on any case issues.
- To the best of your ability, it is important for the well-being of our children that you continue to complete your court reports and submit them to email@example.com with your advocacy supervisor cc'd.
- Beginning Monday, March 16, the majority of Voices for Children staff will be working remotely. You will still be able to reach your advocacy supervisor via email and their same phone number, so don't hesitate to reach out to them with any questions. In addition, we ask that CASAs refrain from visiting the VFC office until further notice.
- Since we have encouraged our staff to not work and take care of themselves if they are sick, please be aware that you may be directed to or contacted by other members of our team if your advocacy supervisor is unavailable. Each and every member of our team is highly qualified and will gladly support you.
- If you have a case child over the age of 10 who has an upcoming hearing, there may be an opportunity for them to attend the hearing by phone. You can help make this possible by notifying the minor's attorney if your child is interested in participating in this way.
Reminders and Deadlines for CASAs
Remote Advocacy Guide
For the latest information, advice, and resources for advocating for case youth remotely while complying with stay-at-home restrictions related to COVID-19, please click here.
May Volunteer Hours
To submit your May volunteer hours, please click here. When submitting your hours, remember to include hours spent driving to and from visits, meetings, and other CASA-related destinations. Thank you.
VFC Office Closures
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the physical VFC office will be closed indefinitely but staff will be available remotely. We will be observing the following court holiday.
Friday, July 3 (Independence Day)
Due to COVID-19 precautions, all scheduled Small Group and Continuing Education sessions will be conducted remotely until further notice.
Open Topic Small Group
Wednesday, June 10
Please join us for a Small Group meeting to discuss your case with peers and an advocacy supervisor via Zoom. To participate, please RSVP to Advocacy Supervisor Kelsey Shalkowski at KelseyS@speakupnow.org by Tuesday, June 9.
At-Home Continuing Education
National CASA is presenting a two-part cultural awareness webinar for CASAs on Monday, June 1, and Monday, June 15. By participating in this training, you will become more familiar with the concept of cultural awareness and the important role it plays in advocacy. Topics to be covered in the series include understanding oneself in relationship to case children and their families, interacting across cultural differences, social justice; and allying with marginalized individuals and groups of people. To register for the first part (Monday, June 1, 1:00-2:30 p.m.), which will focus on defining cultural awareness, please click here. To register for the second part (Monday, June 15, 1:00-2:30 p.m.), which will address why it is important for CASAs to be culturally aware, please click here. If you attend either or both webinars, read a relevant book, or watch a relevant movie or TV show, please contact your advocacy supervisor to receive Continuing Education credit. Also, check out our Remote Advocacy Guide for a list of recorded webinars eligible for Continuing Education credit.