CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Strict implementations of the stay-at-home order have caused major changes for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The non-profit, CASA of the Coastal Bend, serves over 400 children in Nueces and Aransas counties.
To continue operations under the social distancing guidelines, CASA of the Coastal Bend has joined thousands of other businesses and nonprofits allowing employees to telecommute. In fact, the children’s advocacy group held its first virtual meeting this week.
And though staff and volunteers find it somewhat problematic that they can't physically see their child, they're determined to make it work.
“You know they say the show must go on, and for our volunteers and for our organization the protection and the advocacy for our children has to go on,” says Diana Booth, CASA Communications Director.
The organization quickly came up with the emergency health crisis plan to go completely virtual to protect their staff, volunteers and children from the possible transmission of COVID-19.
“Our volunteers will be able to zoom in for their court cases. We’re asking them to call their children twice a week do FaceTime. If they have the ability to do FaceTime or some sort of video chat, phone to phone or zoom,” says Executive Director Page Hall CASA.
However, staff says going remote brings other challenges.
Due to COVID- 19, volunteers can’t get to the next child court case as quickly.
“We’re probably going to see an upshoot of children in the system. Based on the uncertainty in the world, everybody's home now. There’s no school, people have lost their jobs, stress levels are going to go up. We’re preparing for that,” says Hall.
CASA directors say the organization wouldn’t be possible without their volunteers so it’s important for them to become familiar with the new technology.
To see how you can join and become a volunteer with CASA click here.