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Dallas CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates. Allegations of abuse and neglect Investigation by DFPS DFPS has arranged for a residence for the child.

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Presentation on theme: "Dallas CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates. Allegations of abuse and neglect Investigation by DFPS DFPS has arranged for a residence for the child."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dallas CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates

2 Allegations of abuse and neglect Investigation by DFPS DFPS has arranged for a residence for the child away from the child’s parent(s), either in a licensed home or the approved home of a relative or kin. DFPS has conservatorship or has requested. The court has appointed CASA. Children Served by CASA

3 Child is appointed an attorney in the dual role of Guardian ad Litem and Attorney ad Litem. Parents are appointed attorneys. Asst. District Attorney represents DFPS. Child receives needed services and care. DFPS makes reasonable efforts to reunify. Resolution of temporary orders ends with agreement or contested hearing. During the Case

4 Someone reports suspected child abuse and neglect. Call is routed to the county of residence and assigned a priority-24 hours or 72 hours. Investigator makes contact with child and gathers information. Investigator determines disposition and risk. Investigation and Removal

5 A Child’s Path

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9 Judge appoints CASA under “volunteer advocates” section of the Texas Family Code. Orders CASA to conduct an inquiry and attend all hearings. Grants CASA access to current and previous residences. Grants CASA access to information. Appointment of CASA

10 Visit children regularly. Gather information from caregivers, records. Attend meetings and hearings. Send written reports and recommendations to court and the parties. Advocate for children in all settings. Provide consistent support. CASA Activities

11 CASA’s involvement includes: ARD’s (Teacher/ counselor meetings) Education Decision Maker Education Portfolio Child’s records Preschool Program for Children w/ Disabilities CASA Education Advocacy

12 Faster path to safety and permanency. Increased chance of family placement. Court and parties received additional information and perspective. Child benefits from the ongoing commitment of a caring and compassionate adult. Intended Outcomes

13 Nearly 1,000 CASA programs. Program range in size. Most are not-for-profit. More than 70,000 advocates annually. Nationally

14 Formed in 1979, active in (c)3 650 – 700 advocates annually. 53 staff. 304 and 305 District Courts. Volunteer advocates and staff supervisors. Serve about 45% of children in DFPS care. Locally

15 21 or older. Different ages, races, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. Rigorous screening process. 30+ hours pre-service training. Commitment to family reunification, cultural competence, child permanency. Who Are CASA Volunteers?

16 Parents can name potential substitute caregivers. If approved, DFPS designates the caregivers as a Parental Child Safety Placement. Parents and caregivers sign a safety plan. DFPS initiates a more in-depth home study. Based on the findings, DFPS files for TMC. Hearing will occur 3 months or more after placement. Placement of Children

17 Child is appointed an attorney in the dual role of Guardian ad Litem and Attorney ad Litem. Parents are appointed attorneys. Asst. District Attorney represents DFPS. Child receives needed services and care. DFPS makes reasonable efforts to reunify. Resolution of temporary orders ends with agreement or contested hearing. Court Hearings

18 dallascasa.org Program Director – Mary Timmons Associate Program Director – Ben Wilkins Contacting Dallas CASA


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