Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 6. Criminal Justice And Corrections
Agency 20. Department of Criminal Justice Services
Chapter 160. Regulations Relating to the Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA)

6VAC20-160-40. Program and personnel policies.

A. CASA programs shall be in compliance with Standards for National CASA Association (NCASAA) Member Programs.

B. CASA programs shall ensure that an attorney is available for CASA directors and governing boards to provide legal consultation in matters pertaining to administration of the programs.

C. CASA program employees shall not concurrently supervise children in need of services, children in need of supervision, or juvenile offender cases, either for the courts or any child serving agencies.

D. CASA programs shall write policies on the following and make those written policies available to the respective courts:

1. The maximum caseload to which a volunteer may be assigned at any one time. If that number is larger than two children or two sibling groups, a rationale must be submitted to and approved by DCJS.

2. Assignment of CASA staff as an advocate. In the event a CASA supervisor or staff member is required to serve as an advocate, that staff member will serve no more than two children or two sibling groups. If that number is larger than two children or two sibling groups, a rationale must be submitted to and approved by DCJS.

3. The maximum number of volunteers to be supervised by each staff person. The staff-to-volunteer ratio calculated and reported each quarter shall not exceed one full-time equivalent staff to 30 volunteers who are assigned to active cases. This ratio is reduced according to the number of hours the volunteer supervisor may be assigned to administrative or other responsibilities. A request shall be submitted to DCJS for approval should that ratio exceed 1:30.

4. The review, investigation and handling of any complaints that may be received concerning CASA volunteers, including procedures for the removal of CASA volunteers should dismissal become necessary.

5. The specific factors to be used by the CASA program to accept and prioritize cases for assignment to CASA volunteers.

6. The confidentiality of the records and information to which CASA volunteers will have access, and training volunteers on the importance of confidentiality.

7. The objectives, standards, and conduct for CASA volunteers and the procedures that the CASA program will use to evaluate the performance of its volunteers in order to ensure that volunteers are meeting CASA's objectives and standards of conduct.

8. The CASA volunteers' responsibility to report incidents of suspected child abuse and neglect.

9. Concerning CASA investigations, CASA's role and responsibility in assisting the guardian ad litem, and monitoring court order compliance.

10. Compliance with federal laws, including Equal Opportunity Employment, Drug-Free Workplace, Smoke-Free Workplace, and political activity statements.

E. CASA programs shall employ staff capable of managing effective and efficient program operations. The following job descriptions provide for essential CASA program management:

1. Director. The director is responsible for accomplishing organizational goals and all managerial functions. This staff position requires a degree or equivalent experience in child welfare, public administration, counseling, human services, juvenile justice or law. The person should have an understanding of and experience with community organization and volunteer program management. Generally the duties and responsibilities of the director are as follows:

a. Conduct or oversee the recruitment, screening, training, supervision and evaluation of the program volunteers and staff;

b. Develop and maintain procedures for case recordkeeping; supervise staff and volunteers in completing recordkeeping tasks;

c. Serve as a liaison to the court, the local governing board, and if applicable, advisory council, to local agencies serving children, to DCJS, to the Virginia CASA Network, and to the National CASA Association;

d. Plan for and manage program growth, development and evaluation, including special projects, budgets, annual workplans, and analysis of trends in program services;

e. Represent the program to networks of service providers and community coalitions dealing with child welfare issues; and

f. Supervise program operations including financial management, risk management, and resource development.

2. Program/Volunteer Coordinator. Depending on program size, it may be necessary to designate a staff person having knowledge of, or willingness to learn about, court matters, child welfare and juvenile justice issues who will focus on volunteer recruitment, screening, training, case assignment, and supervision. Generally, the duties and responsibilities of the program/volunteer coordinator are as follows:

a. Develop and distribute volunteer recruitment materials, and conduct presentations on the CASA program for the purpose of recruiting volunteers and increasing community awareness;

b. Screen volunteer applications and conduct interviews to determine the suitability of the applicant for the CASA program;

c. Arrange training for CASA volunteers;

d. Recommend trained volunteers for acceptance into the CASA program;

e. Assign cases and supervise volunteers;

f. Plan and implement volunteer recognition events;

g. Evaluate effectiveness of volunteer recruitment, training, and case assignment; and

h. Conduct annual written evaluations of each CASA volunteer.

F. CASA programs are responsible for disseminating CASA reports according to § 16.1-274 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-151 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR240-04-3 § 2.3, eff. July 1, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 5, eff. December 24, 1997; Volume 25, Issue 2, eff. October 29, 2008; Errata, 25:4 VA.R. 761 October 27, 2008.

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