CASA is continuing to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 in our community and have some updates to our protocol. We are following the guidelines of the CDC and our local health department. The Springfield-Greene County Health came out with a statement that groups should be limited to no more than 10 people. There are 10 people that work here in our office and we need to ensure that we are practicing social distancing. From today, March 18, 2020, through April 3, 2020, CASA staff will work remotely, as much as possible.
Even though our office may not be open to the public, you can still call our office to speak to a staff member. You can also reach out via email at email@example.com. CASA has the technology needed to continue our good work in the community and ensure that children in foster care have what they need to be successful.
Guidelines seem to change every day, and we will try to communicate any updates as quickly as possible. With these changes in mind, CASA is implementing the following protocols for our CASA program and volunteers. Please let me know if you have any questions about these changes:
- All meetings will move to the phone or Zoom until further notice. CASA has purchased a Zoom membership, which we can use to schedule meetings. “Meetings” include the following: interviews for potential volunteers, Family Support Team meetings, community meetings, one-on-one or networking meetings, etc. Request a call-in option for any meetings you are invited to.
- The next CASA volunteer pre-service training will be completely online through Zoom. Again, we will work through this change together and I will ensure we are fully prepared for the training. Court observation is on hold until further notice. While we are practicing social distancing, we realize that child abuse and neglect will not stop during this time. If you are interested in enrolling in our CASA volunteer training, please call us at 417-864-6202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- An Order from Supreme Court was issued on March 16, 2020, essentially suspending in-person court hearings from March 17 through April 3. In terms of the juvenile court, this order has been interpreted to mean that the only hearings during that period of time will be protective custody hearings and detention hearings. Additionally, please note, attendance at those hearings is limited to attorneys, parties, security officers and other individuals necessary to the proceeding. The order provides that the April 3 date may be extended and we will keep you advised if that date changes.
- CASA volunteers should continue their monthly visits via video chat or phone call and communicate that information back to their Volunteer Coordinator.
Whether you are a CASA volunteer or staff, if you come into contact with someone known or suspected to have been exposed to COVID -19, please notify Laura Farmer, Executive Director, immediately. We acknowledge that social distancing is difficult however, the changes to our protocol are there to protect our staff, community members, volunteers and the children we serve. Please note that social distancing does not mean social disengagement. We need to be more connected than ever. We will get through this together!