Effective immediately, we are changing our policy of communications, by adding contact with parents council. We know this may seem complicated, and I want to make sure that we've answered all of your questions on this.
This policy change is due to conversations we have had recently with all of our court partners. The new policy is as follows:
When CASA volunteers have an observation
about the biological parent(s)
of a child they are assigned to, and they feel that they need to inform childs' council of their observation, they MUST also notify parents coucil. (And they should also notify the social worker on the case).
CASA volunteers should not include parents' coucil on all regular communications, such as communications about the child, the foster or relative placements, or any other fact related to the child. However, if a CASA volunteer is reporting information about the parent of the child they serve, it is important and essential that they include parents' council, whose goal is to best serve their client.
If there is an observation about a parent, it should be reported in a fact-based, non-judgemental way to all parties - The social worker on the case, parents' coucil, and childs' council - via email. There is no need, and it is not appropriate, to engage in extended conversation with council. Observations should be clearly stated, with the concern for the child as the reason for reporting the observation.
Your advocate supervisor is ready to help you, to make sure that your communications meet the expectations of the court.
As always - thank you for the important work you are doing to make sure children are safe and cared for!
Kim Colby Davis