The unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has continued to evolve rapidly in the past few weeks. Our primary concern is always for the wellbeing of our children, families, volunteer advocates and our staff.
There have been new guidelines about how we interact socially, including the use of social distancing, minimizing participation in large gatherings, and changes in business operations. We continue to closely follow the evolution of COVID–19 and its potential impact on the operations within the child welfare system. We have had a number of inquiries about CASA Nashville’s policies in light of the spread of the virus, particularly the question around CASA Volunteer Advocates visiting children.
Temporary Procedure Changes
Even though our physical office is closed in compliance with Davidson County “Safer at Home” order, our staff are working Monday through Friday remotely and are available by email. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If you need your Advocate Supervisors email, please visit our Staff page here.
Effective immediately, volunteer advocates are to suspend all in-person visits with their assigned child/children and families until June 1st (this may be extended). You must still stay in contact but in another manner such as telephone calls, video chats, texts, etc. There are numerous apps that you could explore such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Duo, and Skype. We have listed resources below on how some of our Volunteer Advocates are socially connecting with their CASA kids during the necessary physical distance to contain COVID-19. Please see guidelines to staying safe while remaining physically distant.
CASA Meetings and Court Hearings
All Juvenile Court proceedings have been suspended until June 1st. DCS staff are working remotely and scheduling calls in place of meetings. Volunteers are encouraged to attend and advocate for our children via email, phone and teleconference when available. Please touch base with your Advocate Supervisor if you have any questions.
Events, Training, and Information Session
Continuing Education/Lunch and Learns: These are currently canceled until further notice but we have developed a list of great resources for Volunteer Advocates to participate in continuing education during this time. Training Resources are available here. Remember that ANY child development or child welfare article, movie, television program, or webinar counts towards your required 12 hours of annual continuing education. Email Rebecca Macfarlane or your Advocate Supervisor to let them know if you have completed any activities that might count towards your continuing education hours.