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Advanced Court Report Writing: Painting the Picture of Best Interest Presented by: CASA Jefferson Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court Cynthia Chauvin & Wendy.

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Presentation on theme: "Advanced Court Report Writing: Painting the Picture of Best Interest Presented by: CASA Jefferson Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court Cynthia Chauvin & Wendy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advanced Court Report Writing: Painting the Picture of Best Interest Presented by: CASA Jefferson Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court Cynthia Chauvin & Wendy Magee

2 Why Have a Clinic? Reports did not reflect the level of advocacy being performed by the advocates Too much information presented during pre- service training; advocates couldn’t assimilate all they learned Pre-service training is a sterile environment in which to learn; no real situations to relate to their learning

3 Afraid to go into the Water? SHARKS! Well, not exactly, but some advocates find writing reports intimidating. Some advocates are better with the written word than others; level of education and experience doesn’t matter and can hinder in some instances. Some advocates cannot distinguish big details from little ones; what should or should not be included in a report

4 If You Are Afraid of the Water… What happens when people are afraid? Sometimes NOTHING…as in NO REPORT! A court report writing clinic can help ease fears and calm minds; they show an advocate how to write so the judge will listen

5 We wanted a “best practices” program with “best practices” court reports. Thus began our clinic. We looked at: Location Time of Day Frequency Who would benefit In-Service credit The need for individualized instruction An evaluation component

6 Why Write Reports? Judges can read them…and re-read them! Document facts Provide a roadmap for the Advocate’s testimony A CASA report timely provided to all parties can initiate compromise, reducing the likelihood of Court battles No “surprise attacks” the day of Court

7 Provide factual information Give identifying information Provide background information for the Judge and parties Review Case Plan compliance SO THAT… The Judge can make accurate, fact- based decisions in the best interest of the children and families before the bench that day, and each and every day thereafter.

8 Providing a Report to the Court: When and to Whom When  Dispositions  ASFA Reviews  ASFA Permanency Reviews  Status Hearings To Whom  The Judge  All parties

9 CASA Court Report Template Issues for Court’s Attention Placement Education Psychological/Medical Social Visitation Case Plan Compliance Safety and Protection Financial Wishes of the Child Resources in the Family and in the Community Conclusions Fact-based recommendations

10 Best Practices Reports Best Practices reports are objective and thorough, based on facts discovered by neutral Advocates performing independent investigations of children’s lives. It provides information to the Court and parties so that the best interest of the children is the main consideration when rendering decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their families.

11 Questions? Cynthia Chauvin x332 Wendy Magee x307


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