A Message Regarding Our COVID-19 Response
As the world swirls around us in this unprecedented and highly confusing time, one of my strongest emotions is still gratitude for your ongoing support for our work—providing Advocates for kids in foster care. I thought you might want an update on how the work is going.
As always, the safety of the children in foster care in our county (and the CASA volunteers who serve them) is our top priority. In light of the constantly changing news and announcements regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have been updating and adjusting our practices in an ongoing way to 1) make sure that we maintain continuing communication with our Advocates to make certain they have the support they need to 2) continue to serve every child in foster care in our county during this time.
- We have asked that Advocates NOT place themselves or the children they serve at risk by conducting (usually required) in-person visits. Advocates have been instructed instead to call or video chat to check on the child(ren), to speak to the child if they are old enough and also speak to the caregiver. Advocates will continue to maintain documentation of these visits for our case records.
- Most of the courts along with Child Protective Services and mediation services have moved to video conferencing. Our Advocates and staff will continue to participate in mediations, CPS meetings, and court hearings via virtual methods.
- CASA program staff (advocacy managers and case supervisors) will be working remotely, and we have informed Advocates to certainly keep in touch with their supervisor but to understand that they will not be able to meet in-person with their supervisor at the CASA office at this time.
- Advocate continuing education trainings and weekly ‘Conversations with CASA’ informational gatherings have been cancelled through the end of March. We will make decisions regarding our April calendar soon.
Ultimately, we want you to know that our work goes on and we continue to change lives for children in foster care. We are taking precautionary steps to keep the children, their caregivers, our volunteers, and our staff as safe as possible while doing so.
I wish you and your loved ones continued good health, and thank you for your support. We appreciate you.
CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County