This is a thread to invite you to share ideas, tips, and reputable resources for managing your operations and CASA services during the global pandemic. I also set up a special COVID-19 folder to collect protocols and other documents (thank you for the suggestion, Greg!).
Here are a few websites as a starting point:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s COVID-19 web page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 web page (incls. resources for different groups, link to Governor’s Exec. Orders, etc.): https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx
- National CASA/GAL Association (offering emergency funding and other resources – response time unclear as of this writing): https://member.nationalcasagal.org/blog/covid-19-update-a-message-from-our-ceo-tara-perry/
- Oregon Community Foundation’s COVID-19 page and pooled Rapid Response Fund (invites folks to visit daily for updates): https://oregoncf.org/news/covid-19/
- Governor Brown’s webpage for Oregonians on COVID-19: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/coronavirus2020.aspx
Please limit resource-sharing to reputable resources so as not to inadvertently spread misinformation. We know information is also changing rapidly and web-based updates are likely to occur throughout the days and weeks ahead. Thank you!
DHS CW Response as of 03/18/2020
Per Rebecca Jones Gaston in today’s Child Welfare Advisory Committee meeting (via Skype) – with public safety for all as the driving consideration:
- DHS child welfare is continuing its CPS response.
- The hotline is up and running. Currently, DHS does not have the technological capacity to manage this remotely, and leadership is looking into possibilities.
- As of 03/17/2020, parent-child visits for children 0-5 will continue but for children ages 6 and over they are on hold for the next two weeks. Rebecca shared, “This was the most difficult decision thus far.” DHS is looking at what would be needed (both DHS and for parents/homes) to use virtual technology to make parent-child connections.
- There is no out-of-country travel. There are strict restrictions on out-of-state travel, with case-by-case decisions.
- DHS recognizes that there are fewer “eyes on kids” with schools closed, etc. They are trying to figure out strategies to ensure children are safe, parents have necessities and can connect to resources if they get sick, etc.
Rebecca noted that DHS is assessing the situation [at least] daily and notes it is fluid as guidance changes.
On 03/18/2020, National CASA/GAL CEO Tara Perry posted updated guidance and resources: https://member.nationalcasagal.org/blog/covid-19-an-update-from-ceo-tara-perry/
See also the Guidance for Volunteers document in the File Library’s COVID-19 folder.
To make sure you are seeing updates to this thread, click the Subscribe box in the top right corner.
During our Monday call, a director asked about National CASA/GAL’s existing guidance on using videoconferencing only with children 13 & over. Via the state listserv (others also asked…), here is the response:
[Regarding] our guidance on children and on-line video chats we would like to share some additional information. The guidance we shared reflects the norms around use of this technology with children under the age of 13. Namely, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires parental consent before children under the age of 13 use any Internet applications that would collect personal information. Microsoft (Skype) and Apple (FaceTime) have complied with COPPA by restricting accounts or use to those over 13.
• Apple (FaceTime) states that children under 13 cannot create an Apple ID on their own which is required to be able to access the FaceTime application. Parents can set up an Apple ID for children under 13 if using Family Sharing.
• Microsoft (Skype) states in their guidelines “Skype’s websites and software are not intended for or designed to attract users under the age of 13. We encourage parents to be involved in the online activities of their children to make sure that no information is collected from a child without parental permission.”
Within this framework, we recognize that children under 13 still use FaceTime, Skype, and other video chat technologies on someone else’s account. Accordingly, please note:
– National CASA/GAL does not have an age restriction for use of video technology with children.
– The federal COPPA sets limits on the use of services like these, along with other Internet sites, by children under the age of 13. Many cell phones allow video calling through the phone app. This video calls would not trigger the same COPPA issues.
– In order to comply with COPPA and industry standards, programs may adopt the following practices:
o Do not have the children under 13 create user accounts (and do not create user accounts for them) with the video chat providers
o Do not otherwise provide any personal information about the children to the video chat provider (including through a text chat feature)
o Choose technologies that permit use by children under 13 (Zoom, Messenger Kids, and FaceTime permit use, while Skype does not)
– Otherwise, we still recommend the following best practices for video conferencing
o Take the call from a private location with no other people around
o Ask the child if she or he is in a safe place with no others around
o Do not discuss private information about the child (as you do not know who is listening in)
o Do not record the chat (either audio or visual)
Your court or child welfare agency might have set up video chat for children and permit CASA volunteers and staff to use it, and determined that it complies with all applicable laws.
Finally, if you feel it necessary out of an abundance of caution, the program can seek an order from the court as follows:
o The Court authorizes video conferencing between the child and the CASA volunteer and staff and the court expressly grants consent for this child to use video conferencing technologies for these purposes.
Oregon DHS has provided updated/additional guidance to its staff on parent-child visits and monthly face-to-face contacts (see attachments).
Miller and Nash (Portland law firm) is posting free legal resources (e.g., human resources & the law) that may be helpful here: http://www.millernash.com/covid-19-resources-03-13-2020/
Nonprofit Association of Oregon is posting COVID-19 webinars and additional information for Oregon nonprofits that are free/available to both nonmembers and members. Here is a link to their website: https://nonprofitoregon.org/
Resources for resource (foster/kinship) parents and child-welfare involved children & youth:
(1) KEEP is hosting Tele-KEEP groups — weekly support meetings for resource parents. Resource parents can sign up at keepfostering.org (see KEEP in Oregon page for availability)
(2) Every Child Oregon is working to match resource parent and foster child needs with donors. Please spread the word:
For resource parents and child-welfare involved children & youth (incl. those on trial reunification or living independently but still under DHS custody), please encourage them to request basic needs, educational support/activity needs, and babysitting/respite needs here: everychildoregon.org/need
If you, a volunteer, or someone you know has supplies they would like to donate for a resource parent or child, please direct them here: everychildoregon.org/myneighbor
If your office can be an anchor site for supply drop off/pick up or you’d like to offer help in another way, please contact Shelly Winterburg at email@example.com
To see a list of current anchor sites, go here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1QvY5iuGNx7eDBRUM49RYFfgcYQ5tOeUc&ll=43.976693222713244%2C-120.78835379999998&z=7
Please login or Register to submit your answer