Week of 8/3/2020

With the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the United States, and the resulting guidelines, orders and safety precautions that have been put in place, Fairfax CASA has had to drastically adjust how we continue to serve the Court and our families, while protecting the health and well-being of our volunteers, staff and, most importantly, the children we serve.

In an effort to balance the provision of quality advocacy for children with the limitations of social interaction and contact, we have implemented temporary changes to our day in, day out operations.  Below, please find updates on these programmatic changes, event/training updates, and a link to resources for families in our community. As this situation is changing rapidly, we will provide updates on this page on a weekly basis.


TEMPORARY PROGRAM CHANGES

OFFICE CLOSURE

The Fairfax CASA office will remain open on a modified schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings with one staff member physically in the office. All staff will be available M-F, working remotely, via email and phone during normal working hours. Please do not come to the Fairfax CASA office, unless pre-approved.

VISITS WITH CHILDREN

Now, more than ever, the children we serve are counting on their CASAs to be the eyes and ears of the Court. Effective immediately, all in-person visits with children and families are suspended until further notice. CASAs will remain in contact with their child(ren) and the team, via telephone calls, video chats, texts, etc. We have asked our CASAs to get creative. There are numerous apps such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Skype, that allow for visual interaction.  Video chat will not always be effective or practical, especially when a CASA is assigned to a small child. But it is critical for the health and safety of everyone involved to adhere to social distancing. We have asked our CASA volunteers, in most cases, to increase “visits” from twice monthly to weekly.

COURT HEARINGS

The Court has issued directives as to what types of hearings will continue as previously scheduled, and which hearings are postponed.  CASA volunteers are to continue gathering information, as available and in the safest way possible. Court reports will continue to be submitted.


 

EVENTS, TRAINING, AND INFORMATION SESSIONS

INSERVICE TRAINING (CONTINUING EDUCATION)

All In-Service Trainings for Fairfax CASA have been suspended, pending further notice.  Staff are working to reschedule trainings for late Spring/early Summer, depending on the recommended guidelines of the government. In the interim, there is a wealth of independent learning that can be accessed below for CASA volunteers to continue earning Continuing Education credits.  Additionally, we will be scheduling some virtual sessions through Zoom.  Details to follow.

Independent Study – Continuing Education Resources for CASA Volunteers

INFORMATION SESSIONS

All information sessions for prospective CASA volunteers will continue as scheduled through the virtual platform, Zoom. You can click here to access the schedule. Please email volunteer@casafairfax.org in order to RSVP to an information session or with any further questions.


RESOURCES

COVID-19 FACTS, STATS, AND RESOURCES FOR STAYING HEALTHY AND SAFE

Fairfax County COVID-19 Response and Resources

INOVA Community Resources

Virginia Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19

How to talk to children about Coronavirus, Kid’s Health

Talking to children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent’s Resource, National Association of School Psychologists

Parent/Caregiver guide to helping families cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Helping Children Understand COVID-19, a coloring book by Manuela Molina – @MINDHEARTKIDS.COM

RESOURCES FOR THE COMMUNITY

The document below contains community resources regarding food assistance, WiFi resources, Emergency Financial Assistance, Tax Information, Mental Health resources, and more. Please share this throughout the community so our neighbors can find the assistance they need.

Resources for COVID19 as of 8.3.2020

It is a new year for us at CASA – check out what our 2020 initiatives are, get pumped for our 10th annual Run for the Children, and read success stories from the holiday season in our latest newsletter!

Fairfax CASA’s FY19 was a year of immense success for the children we serve, our volunteers who work tirelessly for those vulnerable children, our dedicated staff and board, and countless supporters. We invite you to review these successes in our FY19 Annual Report to learn about the positive  impact Fairfax CASA had for the abused and neglected children we served in the last fiscal year.

The first step in becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend an information session. At the sessions, guests have the opportunity to hear from a CASA volunteer and a CASA supervisor about the process of advocating for a child who has been abused or neglected. It’s the best way to get the full picture of what’s involved. RSVP to attend to volunteer@casafairfax.org

Next Scheduled Info Sessions:


July 28, 2020

1:00-2:30pm Virtual Information Session via Zoom

Registration and Access Information to the virtual session will be provided once you RSVP to the event

To RSVP for this information session, please email volunteer@casafairfax.org


August 18, 2020

2:00-3:30pm Virtual Information Session via Zoom

Registration and Access Information to the virtual session will be provided once you RSVP to the event

To RSVP for this information session, please email volunteer@casafairfax.org


August 24, 2020

7:00-8:30pm Virtual Information Session via Zoom

Registration and Access Information to the virtual session will be provided once you RSVP to the event

To RSVP for this information session, please email volunteer@casafairfax.org

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