Texas CASA Program Analysis

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At the core of its mission, CASA programs exist to recruit, train and supervise volunteer advocates in best interest advocacy for abused and neglected children in the custody of Child Protective Services. Texas CASA supports this effort by passing through financial grants, providing training and offering assistance. Texas CASA is also accountable to our funders for meeting established targets for service to children. The volunteer to case ratio (VCR) is an indicator utilized to ensure that Texas’ children are served through trained and supervised volunteers. The program is currently serving 100% of the children in DFPS care in Fannin County. Based on performance measures submitted by Fannin County Children’s Center, the VCR was 90% in…show more content…
New volunteers are recruited through means of social media, news media and word of mouth by current volunteers. Two volunteer trainings are offered each year, a spring session and fall session. The Independent Study format is used in training with most of the reading completed as homework. The tenured volunteers participate in the in-service training which allows new volunteers ask questions of them and learn from them. The last few sessions of training involve practice court report writing and role playing which prepares them for working a case. The program’s volunteer files reviewed received a score of 91%. While onsite, the Texas CASA quality assurance team reviewed four volunteer files. The minimum score requirement is 80%.The review indicated that the program has a strong screening process for volunteers with required documentation of applications, references, statements of confidentiality, and confirmation of background checks. A review of volunteer files indicated: • Four files (100%) were missing any type of performance evaluation • Three files (75%) were missing documentation of in-service training • One file (25%) was missing two references; however that file was from…show more content…
Revised Standards require evaluation at case closure, which also provide a natural opportunity for the volunteer to provide a reciprocal evaluation of their experience and supervision. Regular evaluations between the CASA volunteer and staff provide an opportunity for coaching and improvement in both the volunteer and staff performance. However, the Program Director and Case Supervisor conduct 3-6 month case planning reviews and believe that they can develop a document the will include the evaluation of the volunteer at that time. The program will need to submit a comprehensive plan for with specific activities and measurable factors related to in-service training and volunteer evaluations. . In-service trainings are offered numerous times through the year, with topics including Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse, Stewards of Children and various webinars Part of the challenge regarding in-service training may be in helping volunteers to simply document the many ways in which they do participate in the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and

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