Court appointed special advocate means a community volunteer who:
· Has completed a training program approved by the court
· Has been appointed by a court to represent and protect the best interests of a child
· May research, examine, advocate, facilitate, and monitor a child's situation.
· Abide by the National, Indiana and Boone County GAL/CASA Code of Ethics.
· Review all pertinent records to the case.
· Attend all court hearings pertaining to the case.
· Prepare written reports to the court with recommendations on what placement and services are for the child’s best interests, maintaining integrity and objectivity.
· Conduct an independent, objective investigation interviewing appropriate parties, agencies, school sources and service providers, and the child(ren) to make recommendations in the best interest of the child(ren).
· Assist in facilitating appropriate services for the duration of the litigation.
· Monitor the Child(ren) on a regular basis (a biweekly visit is suggested as a minimum) to insure appropriate services, including reasonable efforts, are being provided to the child(ren) and family, and that court orders are being followed and that an appropriate Permanency Plan is in place.
· Attend team meetings/case conferences with DCS, schools, and service agencies to ensure the best interests of the child(ren) are met.
· Maintain written records of the case including appointments, interviews, and information gathered about the child(ren) and the child(ren)’s life circumstances.
· A volunteer may monitor a visitation for the purpose of Court reporting.
· A volunteer must commit to serving the Boone County Guardian ad Litem/CASA program for a period of at least one year.
· A volunteer must sign an Oath of Confidentiality and be sworn in by the Boone County Circuit Court Judge.
· A volunteer must notify the CASA Program immediately of any criminal charges.
· A volunteer must follow child abuse reporting procedure as outlined in this manual.