Thursday, January 3, 2013

ARIZONA CASA PROGRAM ADVOCACY ACADEMY Training Manual

ARIZONA CASA PROGRAM
ADVOCACY ACADEMY
Training Manual

Dear Advocate,
The Arizona CASA Advocacy Academy Manual has been developed to help you expand
your knowledge of the systems, policies and practices you will encounter as a CASA
volunteer. The systems include Child Protection, the Court, Education and the Arizona
CASA Program. In addition, you will find more information about the work and role of a
CASA volunteer as well as a helpful glossary that explains many terms and acronyms
that may be new to you.
The Advocacy Academy Manual is divided into seven sections:
1.  The Development of Child Abuse and Neglect Laws
2.  The Child Protection System
3.  The Court System
4.  The Education System
5.  CASA Volunteer Work—Part 1
6.  Administrative Code & Policy Manual
7.  Glossary and Acronyms
This manual is intended to be a supplement to the topics that will be discussed during the
two-day Advocacy Academy. Please be sure to review the information in this manual
before starting your first case. We hope this manual continues to be a useful tool as you
advocate for the best interests of foster children in Arizona.
We truly appreciate all your efforts and thank you for making a real difference in the
lives of Arizona’s abused and neglected children.
Sincerely,
Bonnie Marcus
Program Manager
Arizona CASA Program

Arizona CASA Program
ADVOCACY ACADEMY MANUAL
Section Overview
Section One:  THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILD ABUSE AND
NEGLECT LAWS
Section Two:  THE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM
Section Three:  THE COURT SYSTEM
Section Four:  THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
Section Five:  CASA VOLUNTEER WORK—PART 1
Section Six:    ADMINISTRATIVE CODE & POLICY MANUAL
Section Seven:  GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS

Advocacy Academy Manual
Revised 9/09
Section One
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILD ABUSE AND
NEGLECT LAWS
Page
o  The Real Story of Mary Ellen Wilson………………………..………....... 1
o  Historical Treatment of Children…..……………………………….......... 4
o  Federal Child Abuse and Neglect Laws………………………………….. 6
o  Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)……………………….......................... 8
o  Other Laws that Affect CASA Volunteer Work……………………..…..  11
o  Resources…………………………………………………………………… 12

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The Real Story of Mary Ellen Wilson
The sufferings of the little girl Mary Ellen led to the founding of the New York Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the first organization of its kind, in 1874. In 1877,
the New York SPCC and several Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from
throughout the country joined together to form the American Humane Association. The
following is Mary Ellen‘s story, which marked the beginning of a worldwide crusade to
save children.
Over the years, in the re-telling of Mary Ellen Wilson’s story, myth has often been
confused with fact. Some of the inaccuracies stem from colorful but erroneous
journalism, others from simple misunderstanding of the facts, and still others from the
complex history of the child protection movement in the United States and Great Britain
and its link to the animal welfare movement. While it is true that Henry Bergh, president
of the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), was
instrumental in ensuring Mary Ellen’s removal from an abusive home, it is not true that
her attorney—who also worked for the ASPCA—argued that she deserved help because
she was ―a member of the animal kingdom.‖
The real story—which can be pieced together from court documents, newspaper articles,
and personal accounts—is quite compelling, and it illustrates the impact that a caring and
committed individual can have on the life of a child.
Mary Ellen Wilson was born in 1864 to Francis and Thomas Wilson of New York City.
Soon thereafter, Thomas died, and his widow took a job. No longer able to stay at home
and care for her infant daughter, Francis boarded Mary Ellen (a common practice at the
time) with a woman named Mary Score. As Francis’s economic situation deteriorated,
she slipped further into poverty, falling behind in payments for and missing visits with
her daughter. As a result, Mary Score turned two-year-old Mary Ellen over to the city’s
Department of Charities. The Department made a decision that would have grave
consequences for little Mary Ellen; it placed her illegally, without proper documentation
of the relationship, and with inadequate oversight in the home of Mary and Thomas
McCormack, who claimed to be the child’s biological father. In an eerie repetition of
events, Thomas died shortly thereafter. His widow married Francis Connolly, and the
new family moved to a tenement on West 41st Street.
Mary McCormack Connolly badly mistreated Mary Ellen, and neighbors in the apartment
building were aware of the child’s plight. The Connollys soon moved to another
tenement, but in 1874, one of their original neighbors asked Etta Angell Wheeler, a
caring Methodist mission worker who visited the impoverished residents of the tenements
regularly, to check on the child. At the new address, Etta encountered a chronically ill
and homebound tenant, Mary Smitt, who confirmed that she often heard the cries of a
child across the hall. Under the pretext of asking for help for Mrs. Smitt, Etta Wheeler
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introduced herself to Mary Connolly. She saw Mary Ellen’s condition for herself. The
10-year-old appeared dirty and thin, was dressed in threadbare clothing, and had bruises
and scars along her bare arms and legs. Ms. Wheeler began to explore how to seek legal
redress and protection for Mary Ellen.
At that time, some jurisdictions in the United States had laws that prohibited excessive
physical discipline of children. New York, in fact, had a law that permitted the state to
remove children who were neglected by their caregivers. Based on their interpretation of
the laws and Mary Ellen’s circumstances, however, New York City authorities were
reluctant to intervene. Etta Wheeler continued her efforts to rescue Mary Ellen and, after
much deliberation, turned to Henry Bergh, a leader of the animal humane movement in
the United States and founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals (ASPCA). It was Ms. Wheeler’s niece who convinced her to contact Mr. Bergh
by stating, ―You are so troubled over that abused child, why not go to Mr. Bergh? She is
a little animal surely.‖
1
Ms. Wheeler located several neighbors who were willing to testify to the mistreatment of
the child and brought written documentation to Mr. Bergh. At a subsequent court hearing,
Mr. Bergh stated that his action was ―that of a human citizen,‖ clarifying that he was not
acting in his official capacity as president of the NYSPCA. He emphasized that he was
―determined within the framework of the law to prevent the frequent cruelties practiced
on children.‖
2
After reviewing the documentation collected by Etta Wheeler, Mr. Bergh
sent an NYSPCA investigator (who posed as a census worker to gain entrance to Mary
Ellen’s home) to verify the allegations. Elbridge T. Gerry, an ASPCA attorney, prepared
a petition to remove Mary Ellen from her home so she could testify to her mistreatment
before a judge. Mr. Bergh took action as a private citizen who was concerned about the
humane treatment of a child. It was his role as president of the NYSPCA and his ties to
the legal system and the press, however, that [would] bring about Mary Ellen’s rescue
and the movement for a formalized child protection system.
Recognizing the value of public opinion and awareness in furthering the cause of the
humane movement, Henry Bergh contacted New York Times reporters who took an
interest in the case and attended the hearings. Thus, there were detailed newspaper
accounts that described Mary Ellen’s appalling physical condition. When she was taken
before Judge Lawrence, she was dressed in ragged clothing, was bruised all over her
body and had a gash over her left eye and on her cheek where Mary Connelly had struck
her with a pair of scissors. On April 10, 1874, Mary Ellen testified:
―My father and mother are both dead. I don‘t know how old I am. I have no recollection
of a time when I did not live with the Connollys…Mamma (Mrs. Connolly) has been in
the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a
twisted whip—a raw hide. The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. I have
now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by mamma, and also a cut
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on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors. She struck me with
the scissors and cut me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one—
have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma‘s lap and
caressed or petted. I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get
whipped…I do not know for what I was whipped—mamma never said anything to me
when she whipped me. I do not want to go back to live with mamma, because she beats
me so. I have no recollection ever being on the street in my life.‖
3
In response, Judge Lawrence immediately issued a writ de homine replagiando, provided
for by Section 65 of the Habeas Corpus Act, to bring Mary Ellen under court control. The
newspapers also provided extensive coverage of the caregiver Mary Connolly’s trial,
raising public awareness and helping to inspire various agencies and organizations to
advocate for the enforcement of laws that would rescue and protect abused children.
4
On
April 21, 1874, Mary Connolly was found guilty of felonious assault and was sentenced
to one year of hard labor in the penitentiary.
5
Less well known, but as compelling as the details of her rescue, is the rest of Mary
Ellen’s story. Etta Wheeler continued to play an important role in the child’s life. Family
correspondence and other accounts reveal that the court placed Mary Ellen in an
institutional shelter for adolescent girls. Believing this to be an inappropriate setting for
the 10-year-old, Ms. Wheeler intervened. Judge Lawrence gave her permission to place
the child with her own mother, Sally Angell, in northern New York. When Ms. Angell
died, Etta Wheeler’s youngest sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Darius Spencer, raised
Mary Ellen. By all accounts, her life with the Spencer family was stable and nurturing.
At the age of 24, Mary Ellen married a widower and had two daughters—Etta, named
after Etta Wheeler, and Florence. Later, she became a foster mother to a young girl
named Eunice. Etta and Florence both became teachers; Eunice was a businesswoman.
Mary Ellen’s children and grandchildren described her as gentle and not much of a
disciplinarian. Reportedly, she lived in relative anonymity and rarely spoke with her
family about her early years of abuse. In 1913, however, she agreed to attend the
American Humane Association’s national conference in Rochester, NY, with Etta
Wheeler, her long-time advocate. Ms. Wheeler was a guest speaker at the conference.
Her keynote address, ―The Story of Mary Ellen which started the Child Saving Crusade
Throughout the World,‖ was published by the American Humane Association. Mary
Ellen died in 1956 at the age of 92.
1 E. A. Wheeler, The Story of Mary Ellen, 3, quoted in Sallie A. Watkins, ―The Mary Ellen Myth: Correcting Child Welfare History,‖ Social
Work 35, no. 6 (1990), 501.
2 Watkins, ―The Mary Ellen Myth,‖ 502.
3 ―Mary Ellen Wilson,‖ New York Times, April 10, 1874, 8, quoted in Watkins, ―The Mary Ellen Myth,‖ 503.
4 Watkins, ―The Mary Ellen Myth.‖
5 Ibid.
From Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework Handbook,
Oxford University Press, 2004. Used with permission from the American Humane Association.
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Historical Treatment of Children
Historically, many cultures did not value children. There are exceptions to this, of course,
and some cultures have respected and protected children throughout history.
Many practices that were once accepted or condoned would be considered abusive today,
such as:
  Treating children as ―property‖ with no rights
―The justice of a master or father is different from that of a citizen; for a son or a slave is
property and there can be no injustice to one‘s property.‖ – Aristotle
  Harsh physical discipline
―If one beats a child until it bleeds then it will remember; but if one beats it to death, the
law applies.‖ – 13th-century saying
  Infanticide—the willful killing of a child—particularly of weak or ―deformed‖
infants and of female children
  Dubious child-rearing practices, such as swaddling for prolonged periods or early
marriage of children
―We went the next day into the town and to the house of the merchant and he said, ‗My
daughter is 13 years old and no longer a child and she is fit for marriage.‘‖ – Pearl S.
Buck, The Good Earth
Some cultures honored and supported children by:
  Punishing the mistreatment or murder of children
The Code of Hammurabi (1780 B.C.E.)
  Opposing physical discipline
―A loving parent‘s hands should be as soft as feathers and not cast iron, and should not
break bones.‖ – Ghana
―A whipped child loses courage and his soul withers and dwindles away until he dies.
For the soul of a child is a tender thing and easily hurt.‖ – Havasupai
Deeply embedded in the history of many industrialized societies, including the United
States, were ―anti-child‖ practices such as:
  Indentured servitude and child slavery
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  Orphan trains
  Boarding schools for Native American children
  Child labor in mines and factories
Child-focused policies are relatively new.
  1899: First juvenile court (Chicago) placed dependent and delinquent children in
homes for wayward youth or reform schools
  1910: Development of X-ray technology, which eventually allowed doctors to
detect subdural (under the skin) injuries and untreated fractures
  1938: First legal rights of children—Fair Labor Standards Act imposed restrictions
on working hours and conditions
  1962: Dr. C. Henry Kempe created the diagnosis for battered child syndrome
  1965: Mandatory reporting laws in place in all states
Beginning in the 1970s, the United States Congress became aware (along with the rest of
the nation) that the child welfare system was not adequately protecting children and their
families. From a historical perspective, it can be said that we are still relatively new to the
concepts of protecting abused and neglected children and developing appropriate
systems, methods, and programs to cope with the problems these children face.
The chart on the next page outlines information about federal child abuse and neglect
laws.
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Federal Child Abuse and Neglect Laws
1974: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
Public Law 93-247, amended in 1996
Created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and earmarked federal funds for
states to establish special programs for child victims of abuse or neglect.
This law requires that states:
  Have child abuse and neglect reporting laws.
  Investigate reports of abuse and neglect.
  Educate the public about abuse and neglect.
  Provide a guardian ad litem to every abused or neglected child whose case results in a
judicial proceeding.
  Maintain the confidentiality of child protective services records.
1978: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
Public Law 95-608
  Recognizes that Indian children have special
rights as members of sovereign nations within
the United States
  Responded to congressional hearings in the
1970s that revealed a pattern of public and
private removal of Indian children from their
homes, undermining their families and
threatening tribal survival and Native American
cultures
  Was designed to implement the federal
government’s trust responsibility to the nations
by protecting and preserving the bond between
Indian children and their tribe and culture
  Sets up placement preference schemes for foster
care placements and adoptions of children who
have been determined to be Indian children
  Establishes the right of certain entities, including
the tribe and the Indian custodian, if one exists,
to appear as parties to child welfare cases
  Determines when and if a case should be
transferred to tribal court
  Describes rights of the Indian child and the
child’s tribe
For CASA volunteers:
  Ask whether every child has
Native heritage.
  Research tribal resources and
services that can be of great
benefit to the child.
  Be aware that jurisdiction can be
transferred to the tribal court.
  Pay attention to the heritage and
identity needs of the child.
  Remember that ASFA timelines
(see next page) do not apply to
Indian children.
  Keep in mind that ICWA takes
precedence over other federal and
state law.
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Federal Child Abuse and Neglect Laws (continued)
1980: Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act—Public Law 96-272
This law requires that states:
  Recruit culturally diverse foster and adoptive
families.
  Comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
  Establish standards for foster family homes and
review the standards periodically.
  Set goals and a plan for the number of children who
will be in foster care for more than 24 months.
  Provide ―reasonable efforts‖ to prevent or eliminate
the need for removal of the child from his/her home
or to make it possible for the child to return to his/her
home.
  Have a data collection and reporting system about the
children in care.
For CASA volunteers:
  Consider possible placements that
respect the child’s cultural heritage
but do not limit his/her options.
  Learn the name of the data
collection system used in Arizona.
  Learn how to access this
information.
1990: Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Protection Act
  Establishes federal requirements for the reporting and investigation of child abuse and neglect
on tribal lands
  Requires background checks on individuals who have contact with Indian children (including
foster and adoptive families)
  Authorizes funding for tribal child abuse prevention and treatment programs
1993: Court Improvement Legislation
Encourages reform in the court system
1994: Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA)
The goals of this law are to:
  Decrease the time children wait to be adopted.
  Prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the placement of
children and in the selection of foster and adoptive placements.
  Facilitate the development of a diverse pool of foster and adoptive families.
1996: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Amended
Amended to include Court Appointed Special Advocates as guardian ad litem
1997: Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)—Public Law 105-89
This act embodies three key principles:
  The safety of children is the paramount
concern
  Foster care is a temporary setting and not
a place for children to grow up
  Permanency planning should begin as
soon as the child enters foster care
The act directs timelines within which the child
welfare system operates:
  Requires permanency plan within 12 months
  Requires dispositional hearing within 12
months of placement
  Requires court reviews every six months
1997: Volunteer Protection Act
Limits liability of volunteers
1999: Foster Care Independence Act
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Addresses needs of older youth in foster care, particularly those aging out of the system
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The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
BACKGROUND
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was a response to Congressional findings that
there was a need for a federal law to prevent state courts and social workers, as well as
private agencies, from further destruction of the American Indian family caused by
unwarranted removal of Indian children from their tribes and families.
ICWA acknowledges the loss of Indian culture resulting from historical government
policies, such as separating Indian children completely from their tribe, placing them in
boarding schools, and forbidding them to speak their native language. In an effort to
―civilize‖ and assimilate Indians into the mainstream, a decision was reached in the early
1800s to start with the children. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agents and social workers
were given cash incentives based on the head count of children taken away from their
tribes and placed in non-Indian institutions and adoptive homes—usually far from home.
The Indian Civilization Act was passed in 1810 to facilitate the removal of children in an
attempt to assimilate them into Anglo-America. Subsequently, non-Indian caseworkers,
courts, and agencies continued to see the Indian family structure as alien, foreign, and
undesirable, so the process of adoptions by non-Indians occurred in wholesale numbers.
The sense of loss and devastation not only tore away the child’s heritage and foundation,
it nearly destroyed the Indian family unit and the tribal government structure.
The Indian Child Welfare Act was established to strengthen the participation by Indian
tribes when placement of Indian children is being considered. It establishes requirements
for child-placing agencies to follow when placing Indian children.
SUMMARY
Children who are members of an Indian tribe, or who are the biological children of a
member of an Indian tribe and are eligible for membership in the tribe themselves, may
only be placed in foster care or for adoption according to the requirements of the Indian
Child Welfare Act. The child’s tribe is the final determinant of who is a member of the
Indian community entitled to ICWA coverage. When ICWA coverage applies in a child’s
case, it takes precedence over other federal or state legislation.
If a state agency initiates an Indian child custody proceeding on the reservation,
jurisdiction belongs exclusively with the tribe. When the proceeding is off-reservation,
the case must be transferred to the tribe upon the request of the tribe unless there is ―good
cause to the contrary,‖ as set forth in the Department of the Interior’s 1979 BIA
―Guidelines for State Courts,‖ Indian Child Custody Proceedings.
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Some of the reasons not to transfer include the following:
  Parents object
  Child is over 12 and he/she objects
  The case is at an advanced stage and all witnesses are off-reservation
The state court cannot look at the economics of the family or tribe in making the decision
not to transfer. Likewise, the state court cannot look at what it might deem ―in the best
interest of the child,‖ since the law presumes that it is always in the best interest of an
Indian child to have his/her own people determine what is proper for his/her future.
ICWA sets forth the following requirements:
1.  State court proceedings for foster care placement or termination of parental rights that
involve an Indian child must be transferred to the jurisdiction of the tribe unless they
meet one of the exceptions outlined in the 1979 BIA ―Guidelines for State Courts.‖
2.  A state court faced with pending proceedings for the foster care placement of
an Indian child or the termination of parental rights must notify the child’s
parent, custodian, or tribe of the proceedings.
3.  An Indian child may not be placed in foster care unless there is a determination,
supported by clear and convincing evidence, that the child will likely suffer serious
emotional or physical damage if left in the custody of his/her parent or Indian
custodian.
4.  An Indian child’s parents may not have their parental rights terminated unless there is
a determination, supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that the child is
likely to suffer serious emotional or physical damage if left in the custody of his/her
parent or Indian custodian.
5.  Voluntary consents to foster care placement or termination of parental rights that
involve Indian children are not valid unless executed in writing before a judge and
accompanied by the judge’s certificate that the terms and consequences of the consent
were fully explained to and fully understood by the parent or Indian custodian.
  Voluntary consents to foster care placement may be withdrawn at any time.
  Voluntary consents to termination of parental rights or adoption may be
withdrawn at any time before the final decree of termination or adoption is
issued—and up to two years thereafter upon a showing of fraud or duress.
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6.  In adoptions of Indian children, preferences for placement must be accorded as
follows: (1) to a member of the child’s extended family; (2) to other members of the
child’s tribe; and (3) to other Indian families.
7.  In foster care or pre-adoptive placements of Indian children, preferences for
placement must be accorded as follows: (1) to a member of the child’s extended
family; (2) to a foster home licensed or approved or specified by the child’s tribe; (3)
to an Indian foster home licensed or approved by an authorized non-Indian licensing
authority; and (4) to an institution for children approved by an Indian tribe or operated
by an Indian organization that has a program suited to the child’s needs.
Synopsis prepared in October 1995 by Jill Moore, UNC law student.
Updated in May 2000 by Evelyn M. Stevenson, tribal attorney,
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation.
It is critical to understand that ICWA applies different standards to cases involving
Indian children. It is always in the best interest of an Indian child to have ICWA
followed. By identifying Indian children and monitoring ICWA compliance, CASA
volunteers can help ensure that the Indian child’s cultural and familial needs will be
fully considered by the court.
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Other Laws that Affect CASA Volunteer Work
In your work as a CASA volunteer, you will encounter other federal laws that have an
impact on child abuse and neglect cases. Below are a few of them:
  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
requires, among other things, permission or a court order to access ―protected health
information‖ for any individual.
  Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) assists some children, including those in
foster care, in obtaining legal permanent residency.
  Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act says that any entity that receives federal funds
must provide a professional interpreter in court.
  Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act: IV-E is the primary federal
funding stream that partially reimburses states for foster care for qualified children.
IV-B allots funding for targeted case management services. The state must pay all
expenses for a child who is not IV-E eligible out of state general revenues. These
expenses include foster care, therapy, etc.
  The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (VOCAA) protects the privacy rights of
child victims or witnesses during the investigation or prosecution of a federal crime.
  McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1997 (Public Law 100-77) helps
youth and their families who are experiencing homelessness and protects the right of
homeless youth to attend school. (More information is provided in section 5.)
  2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
focuses on improving educational stability, opportunities and outcomes for special-needs children in foster care. (More information is provided in section 5.)
  Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006:
o  Improves protections for children and holds states accountable for the safe and
timely placement of children across state lines.
o  Requires state courts to ensure that foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and
relative caregivers of a child in foster care are notified of proceedings
o  Requires agencies to provide youth with their health and educational records when
they are emancipated.
  Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 amends
part B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to connect and support relative
caregivers, improve outcomes for children in foster care, provide for tribal foster care
and adoption access, and improve incentives for adoption.
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Resources
American Bar Association Center on Children & the Law
www.abanet.org/child/home.html
The goal of the ABA Center on Children and the Law is to improve the lives of children
through advances in law, justice, knowledge, practice, and public policy. This site
includes child welfare tips and great child advocacy links.
American Humane Association
www.americanhumane.org
Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American
Humane provides national leadership in developing policies, legislation, curricula and
training programs—and taking actions—to protect children and animals from cruelty,
abuse, neglect and exploitation.
US Department of Health and Human Services
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/ij_adopt/support.htm.
Summarizes federal laws directly relevant to permanency planning and interjurisdictional
placements of children in foster care.
INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT
National Indian Child Welfare Association
www.nicwa.org
Improves the lives of American Indian children and families by helping tribes and other
service providers implement services that are culturally competent, community-based,
and focused on the strengths and assets of families. This work includes collaborating with
tribal and urban Indian child welfare programs to increase their service capacity,
enhancing tribal-state relationships, and providing training, technical assistance,
information services and alliance building.
The Indian Child Welfare Act and CASA/GAL Volunteers: Advocating for the Best
Interests of Native Children
http://www.casanet.org/download/tribal-casa/0709_icwa_and_volunteer_0012.pdf
Understanding the Relational Worldview in Indian Families
http://www.casanet.org/program-services/tribal/relational-worldview-Inidan-families.htm
NOTES PAGE
NOTES PAGE
Advocacy Academy Manual
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Section Two
THE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM
Page
o  Child Protective Services…………..………………………………………   1
o  Reasonable Efforts…………………………………………………………   2
o  Investigation……………………………………………………………….. 4
o  Assessment…………………………………………………………….........  6
o  Permanency Planning……………………………………………………...  8
o  Case Plans………………………….....……………………….....................   13
o  Concurrent Case Planning.…………………………………………..........   15
o  Services………….………………………………………………………….   16
o  Visitation…………………………………………………………………...  19
o  Monitoring and Evaluation…………………………..……………………  23
o  Case Plan Staffings and Child Family Team Meetings (CFTs)………...   25
o  Resources…………………………………………………………………..   28

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Child Protective Services
Child Protective Services (CPS) is a part of Division of Children, Youth and Families
(DCYF) within the Arizona State Department of Economic Security (DES) and works on
behalf of children and families of Arizona. The role of CPS is to ensure the safety of
children while maintaining the integrity of the family.
CPS receives, screens, and investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect, performs
assessments of child safety, assesses the imminent risk of harm to the children, and
evaluates conditions that support or refute the alleged abuse or neglect and need for
emergency intervention.
When allegations of child abuse or neglect, exploitation or abandonment indicate the
need, Arizona law requires that CPS conduct an investigation. One of the most important
functions of CPS is to help families receive the services necessary to enable them to
remain together and to build better family relationships.
Child Protective Services helps families by strengthening the ability of parents, guardians
or custodians to provide good child care. Its primary objective is to keep children safely
within their own families. CPS works cooperatively with parents to make that happen.
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Reasonable Efforts
When the court finds that a child is dependent, the child is made ―a ward of the court‖
and is committed to the care, custody, and control of the Department of Economic
Security (DES). The court must further find that DES made reasonable efforts, under the
requirements of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (Public Law. 96-272)
  To prevent removal of the child from the home.
OR
  That the child was in imminent danger and in-home preventative services would
not substantially reduce the risk to the child.
Before the passage of this law, social services agencies were removing children and
allowing them to languish in out-of-home placement for years with little follow-up by the
courts on what services were being provided to the family, and what efforts towards
permanence were being made for the child.
Public Law 96-272 mandates that social service agencies make every effort to avoid the
trauma of removing a child from home. Some children can safely remain in the home
while the agency provides services to the family in an effort to correct the problems
which brought the family to the attention of CPS in the first place. Once it is determined,
however, that a child must be removed from the home, DES is mandated to have a case
plan for each child and provide every available and appropriate service so the child can
safely return home in the shortest amount of time. The law requires a case plan be
developed and implemented that:
  Provides reunification services for families whose children are removed from the
home.
  Provides timely, alternative permanent planning for children in which
reunification with their families is unlikely after diligent efforts are made by the
agency to rehabilitate and reunify the families.
The Reasonable Efforts requirement applies to all phases of the case management
process, from intake to case closure. Identification and assessment of family problems
and offering appropriate services to remedy those problems are necessary components of
CPS providing reasonable efforts for the family. Fundamentally, if the core problem is
not correctly assessed, efforts at mediating the circumstances of the removal will
probably be ineffective. Without appropriate services to correct the root cause or causes
for the removal, reasonable efforts will not have been made. The result is an untimely
resolution for children and families. Every family is unique and its problems demand that
appropriate services be provided to address specific needs. The assigned case manager
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assesses need, determines the case goal, and offers services necessary for each family.
Parents should be fully involved in the case planning process. If not, they may not be
fully invested to cooperate with the system that removed their children. Sometimes,
parental non-compliance is the reason for delays in case plan progress, however this does
not excuse the lack of a timely permanency solution for the children, and CPS’s
responsibility to accomplish this.
The courts are mandated at every court hearing to determine whether the agency has
made reasonable efforts. Every order of the court must contain a judicial determination
whether or not reasonable efforts were made. Ineffective, unavailable, untimely, or
inappropriate services can lead to a court finding of lack of Reasonable Efforts.  Public
Law 96-272 does not define reasonable efforts. Judicial officers make reasonable
efforts findings based upon the facts of each case.
Hopefully, there is no gap between what should happen and what actually occurs in
service delivery to the child and family. However, if gaps do occur, the CASA volunteer
should view these gaps as opportunities to advocate for the child’s best interests. The
CASA’s job is to know where the system falls short and what actions need to be
encouraged on behalf of the child. CASA volunteers must offer an opinion at each court
hearing, via their court report, on whether CPS has made Reasonable Efforts in their case.
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Investigation
The investigation is the first stage in the CPS process. It is the point at which reports are
received concerning children who are suspected of being abused or neglected. This stage
requires that CPS gathers sufficient information to determine the validity of the report,
provide support to the reporter to ensure that concerns and fears of the reporter are
addressed, and check records to determine if the reported family/children are already
known to DES or other agencies in the community.
Throughout Arizona, thousands of calls per month are placed to CPS regarding children
who might be at risk for abuse or neglect. These calls cover a wide variety of situations—
hunger and housing issues, educational needs, custody battles, physical abuse, neglect, or
sexual molestation. Any individual or agency representative may call CPS to report that a
child is not receiving adequate care or protection or that a family might benefit from
services. This report can be made by a doctor or nurse, teacher, counselor, social worker
or any other concerned person who is aware of the situation. Arizona law requires certain
people, such as doctors and psychologists, to make a report to CPS or the police when
they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected.
All abuse and neglect calls across the state are taken through a centralized hotline: 888-SOS-CHILD. A trained hotline operator prioritizes calls and distributes ―reports‖ to local
offices. Reports may be quite incomplete (e.g., the child’s name and whereabouts are not
known) and contain information which cannot be substantiated. These reports must be
handled as allegations, not facts.
A classification system prioritizes response time to the severity of an allegation of abuse
or neglect. Each classification is generalized as CPS will further define each priority with
mitigating or aggravating factors that will impact response time. Currently the department
has four major priority classifications in the investigation process:
  High Risk—Includes the death of a child, severe physical abuse, life threatening
medical neglect, a child who has been left alone who is in immediate danger.
Approximately 7% of the prioritized calls are considered high risk. (Response
time: within two hours)
  Moderate Risk—includes serious, chronic physical abuse, substance exposed
newborns, serious physical or medical neglect, or severe and serious sexual abuse.
Approximately 15% of the prioritized calls are considered moderate risk.
(Response time: within 48 hours)
  Low Risk—includes substandard child care situations that are damaging but not
dangerous or life-threatening. (Response time: within 72 hours)
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  Potential Risk—includes substandard care that can become damaging like
exploitation (using a child for another person’s profit or advantage), delinquent
child, or an incorrigible child. (Response time: within one work week)
PROCEDURE FOR CONDUCTING A CPS INVESTIGATION
1.  Determine the nature and extent of current and future risk to the child for
maltreatment.
2.  Gather information concerning alleged maltreatment of the child to determine
whether presenting allegations or other information obtained during the
investigation is valid.
3.  Involve the parent, caretaker, child, and others as appropriate in the information
gathering and decision-making process.
4.  Protect the child from suffering further or future abuse through provision of in-home services, or out-of-home placement if it is determined that the child cannot
be protected in the home.
5.  In the process of the investigation, balance the legal rights of the parent,
caretaker/custodian, and the need and right of the child to live in a physically and
emotionally healthful environment.
Court action is not always necessary to protect the child. Sometimes the child remains in
the home, a voluntary relative placement is made, or the child is placed in voluntary
foster care while the family receives appropriate services. Therefore, the cases that are
assigned to CASA volunteers are only a part of the total CPS picture.
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Assessment
Assessment is an ongoing process that begins at the investigation and continues until the
case is dismissed. The process involves information gathering, documentation, reviewing,
and evaluating the case. The purpose of assessment is to:
  Assess family functioning.
  Determine the risk to the child.
  Develop a case plan appropriate to the needs of the child and family.
  Identify methods by which the case plan will be implemented.
  Evaluate the extent to which the case goal and objectives have been achieved.
To assess whether or not the child is at risk, a case manager uses a risk assessment tool.
The risk assessment tool aids and supports case management decisions to either allow
children to remain in their own homes, remove them from the home, or return them to
their homes.
Risk assessment also aids in defining what needs to change and/or what supports and
services are needed by families so children can safely remain with or be returned to their
families. The risk assessment tool serves as a guide in case planning. It is not 100%
accurate in predicting risk, however, and is not a substitute for a case manager’s
judgment or a CASA volunteer’s personal evaluation of a particular case.
THE STRENGTHS AND RISKS ASSESSMENT TOOL
The Strengths and Risks Assessment (SRA) tool assists CPS to apply the information
gathered during the family-centered interviews to:
  Make a determination of overall risk to children in the family.
  Make appropriate decisions about the level and type of intervention required.
  Document that these decisions are based on a research-based process, using factual
and observable indicators of risk and strengths/protective factors.
The SRA tool includes five sections and 17 risk factors that are associated with child
maltreatment (abuse and neglect). The five sections are:
  Baseline Level of Risk—considers the prior history of child abuse and neglect
and the current incident of abuse and/or neglect
  Child Vulnerability—considers the child’s special needs and ability to self
protect.
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  Caregiver Characteristics—considers the past and present parenting functioning
of the child’s caregiver.
  Familial, Social and Economic Factors—considers factors such as family stress,
social support, economic resources and domestic violence
  Overall Level of Risk—considers the Baseline Level of Risk and the ratings of
the remaining 15 factors to reach a determination of the Overall Level of Risk to
the most vulnerable child in the family.
Assessing risk is not only done at the investigation stage of the case. It is important to
continue evaluating the child’s safety and risk level throughout the life of the case. To
ensure that the case manager has the whole picture, he/she may obtain information from
multiple sources, including parents, children, other family members, teachers and other
school personnel, physicians, psychologists, and counseling agencies. Documentation can
be found in various source documents, including prior CPS reports, social service
records, police/probation records, psychological evaluations, school records and
achievement tests, medical records/histories, and other appropriate sources of
information. Most, if not all, of this information is kept in the case file, to which a CASA
volunteer has direct access.
As information on the family is gathered, a social history is prepared. A social history
describes the family life in detail and includes background information on all family
members. The social history can be very helpful in understanding the family as a whole.
It is part of the permanent record and is required by law to be considered when the
permanent plan is changed to severance and adoption.
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Permanency Planning
Permanency planning is the process of ensuring that a dependent child is maintained or
placed in settings which provide commitment, continuity, and safety. Recognizing that
frequent moves within the foster care system have detrimental effects upon a child, every
effort needs to be made by CPS to provide each child with a safe and permanent home. It
is the responsibility of CPS to provide services to the family which will enable a
dependent child to safely remain in his own home or to reunify the family when out-of-home placement has become necessary. When all reasonable efforts have been made to
reunify families and it is not possible to do so within the time frames provided by law,
CPS is required to explore other permanent plans for a dependent child, including
placement with relatives, adoption, and legal guardianship.
THE GOALS OF PERMANENCY PLANNING ARE TO:
  Establish an initial case plan for each child within five days of case opening.
  Establish a permanent case plan within 30 days following a finding of dependency or
within 60 days of case opening for ―services only‖ cases.
  Provide services to the family that will enable the child to safely remain in the family
home or return home as expeditiously as possible.
  Explore permanent placements that include adoption or legal guardianship with
relatives, adoption or legal guardianship with nonrelatives, or long-term foster care
when the child cannot be reunited with the parents.
  Provide counseling to parents who are unwilling or unable to exercise effective care
and control of their child regarding relinquishment of parental rights if there is
reasonable likelihood that the child will be adopted.
  Evaluate the possibility of severance action for purposes of adoption three months
prior to the following time frames:
o  Abandonment of the child by the parents for a period of six months
o  Unwillingness of the parents to remedy their situation within a period of nine
months
o  Inability of the parents to remedy their situation within a period of 12 months
  Initiate a severance action when grounds have been established by the agency and
approved by the attorney general’s office.
  Place children who are legally free in an adoptive home as expeditiously as possible.
  Establish a plan of legal guardianship when such a plan is in the child’s best interests
and return to parent or adoption is not possible.
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The case manager considers the following factors when placing a child. The order does
not indicate priority of factors. Depending on the individual circumstances in each case,
especially the needs of the child, certain factors may be given more weight than others in
selecting the most suitable out-of-home placement. These factors are:
  Case plan.
  Age and gender of the child.
  Availability of relatives and other significant others.
  Racial and ethnic heritage of the child.
  Sibling relationships.
  Primary language of the child and/or parents.
  Physical handicaps of the child.
  Health care needs of the child.
  Emotional needs and behavioral functioning of the child.
  Social needs of the child.
  Physical proximity to the child’s birth parents.
  Religious preferences of the child and/or birth family.
  Placement preferences of the birth parents and/or child.
  Other significant factors related to the needs of the child.
An additional requirement in case planning is consideration of the overall living
environment in which the child grows and develops. Though a specific case plan goal
may appear ideal and permanent, it may be found to be too restrictive in that certain
rights and privileges are taken away. The objective is to develop a permanent plan which
places the child in the least restrictive environment. The range of placement options
includes:
  Their own home (with parents).
  Relative placement. This is the least restrictive of out-of-home placements, with
the possibility that the family may benefit from intervention services offered.
  Family foster homes which are licensed to care for up to five children each.
  Group homes which are licensed to care for up to ten children each.
  Residential or institutional setting that is not locked
  Institutional setting that is locked (correctional, hospital). Both residential and
institutional settings require a court order for the child to be placed in this type of
facility.
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CASE PLAN PERMANENCY GOALS
1.  Remain With Parent
Whenever case plan objectives can be accomplished within a child’s own family, and
whenever it is possible to leave a child in the family home while providing
intervention services for the family, the case plan goal of remain with parent shall be
selected. Furthermore, the case plan shall reflect services which support the child
remaining in the home and will elicit the kind of changes which are needed within the
family. Very few cases of this type will involve a CASA volunteer. Most family
preservation program services are directed towards families with this permanency
plan in place.
2.  Family Reunification
Recognizing that in most instances the family is the best place for a child to grow,
parents should be assisted in developing their strengths in order to provide safety and
nurturance for their child. If out-of-home placement is necessary to preserve a child’s
safety, then the goal of returning the child to the parental home is pursued. The role of
CPS is to facilitate family reunification by recommending and providing services, and
by listening, encouraging, and helping parents to make choices and understand the
results of those choices.
In most cases the goal of family reunification shall be considered the appropriate
permanency plan. This goal shall be selected when it is possible for the following to
be accomplished:
  The parents will be able to adequately provide for the child’s health and safety,
with minimal supervision
  The parents want the child to be returned home
3.  Adoption
Adoption offers the likelihood of a stable, permanent placement for a child who
cannot be reunited with the parents. Whenever diligent efforts have been made and
reunification with the biological parents has been ruled out, the case plan goal of
adoption needs to be explored. When seeking to place a child for adoption, the
following priority status has been established.
1.  Relatives
2.  Significant person in the child’s current life, which may include foster parents, a
teacher, friend of the family, etc.
3.  Unknown persons seeking to adopt
60% to 70% of families accepting children for adoption are foster parents. Adoption is
a complex process which involves the voluntary relinquishment or court-ordered
severance of parental rights before it can be accomplished. This section is not
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intended to provide detailed information about the plan of adoption, but only to
explain where it fits into the continuum of permanency planning.
  Voluntary Relinquishment
CPS works with biological parents who may want to voluntarily give up their legal
rights to their children. Parents may have specific requests, especially as it pertains
to siblings and social or ethnic considerations, before they will willingly relinquish
their parental rights and the agency may attempt to honor those requests.
Once a relinquishment is signed, parental rights are terminated. Non-binding
stipulations providing the release of identifying information, if any, between
parent and adoptive parents, or guardians, will also be discussed at this time.
  Termination Of Parental Rights
The action of terminating parental rights is a serious step. Cultural and
institutional hesitancy is deeply ingrained against terminating a parent’s rights to
deliver support, love, and care to a child. The action is taken when the parent is
unable or unwilling to provide minimal parental support for the child. Attempts
are made to obtain voluntary relinquishments from parents whose whereabouts are
known and who are mentally competent, prior to initiating court proceedings for
termination. Termination of parental rights, or more commonly referred to as
―severance‖ is an action taken by the court. Before a severance takes place, CPS
holds a centralized staffing internally to determine if all conditions for severance
are met by the agency.
4.  Legal Guardianship
Legal guardianship is a permanent plan which gives the guardian the legal right to act
on behalf of the child, but does not require the same degree of legal responsibility and
commitment on the part of the guardian as that of adoption.
Guardianship is to be considered as an alternative after return to parent and adoption
have been ruled out or judged to be inappropriate for the child. The most suitable use
of this permanent case plan goal is in relative placements where payment and
subsidized medical assistance may not be required and supervision by CPS and the
court is not necessary. The guardian may be eligible, however, for a guardianship
subsidy payment to help with the cost of caring for a child.
The appointment of a guardian does not terminate the parents’ rights or affect the
child’s inheritance rights or affect the parent’s obligation to contribute to the support
of the child.
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Any party, including the child, parent of the child or any party to the dependency
petition may request that guardianship be rescinded if there is a significant change of
circumstances including:
  The child’s parent is able and willing to properly care for the child; or
  The child’s guardian is not able to properly care for the child.
5.  Independent Living
Independent Living, with a specific sub-program, the Young Adult Program, is a
permanency plan that addresses young adults, age 16 or older. This plan offers an
array of services to older youth in care to support a successful transition from
adolescence to adulthood. Although the Young Adult Program focuses on specific
services to youth identified as likely to age out of foster care, CPS is required to
provide independent living skills training to all youth, age 16 and older, in out of
home care.
6.  Long Term Foster Care: Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement
(APPLA)
Another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA) is only established when the
permanency options of adoption and guardianship are not in the best interests of a
child, the child is expected to remain in out-of-home care at least until the age of
majority, and the foster home provider has made a commitment to continue as a
permanent supportive adult in that child’s life.
It is the belief of CPS that no child should leave the child welfare system without a
legal relationship to an adult who cares about them and is unconditionally committed
to them. CPS Specialists will continue to search out permanent options for children in
care. However, the reality is that there are times when children are not placed for
adoption, or do not have legal guardians. While this should be rare as it is very
difficult for children to leave the child welfare system without consistent and reliable
adult supports, and the Adoption and Safe Family Act does not allow for Long Term
Foster Care as a viable permanency option, it does happen.
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Case Plans
Every child and family receiving ongoing services from CPS has an individualized family
centered case plan, consistent with the requirements of federal and state law. The
development and implementation of the case plan is one of the most important parts of
the case management process. A case plan draws from the Child Safety Assessment
(CSA) and the Family Strengths and Risks Assessment (SRA) and is developed in
cooperation with the family and service team.
The family centered case plan includes the following components:
  Permanency Goals
o  Expected date of achievement
o  A concurrent permanency plan for children who have been assessed as unlikely
to reunify with their parent within 12 months of the child’s initial removal
  Family intervention plan
o  The services and supports that will be offered to the family in order to achieve
the case plan permanency goal; the services and supports are tailored to meet
the specific needs of the family
  Out-of-home care plan
o  Specifies for every child the most recent information available regarding:
  the child’s special needs.
  the child’s educational status including child’s grade level, academic
performance, special education services if applicable, attendance and
any other relevant education information.
  how the placement type meets those needs.
  services provided to the child.
  services provided to the caregiver to help them meet the child’s needs.
  actions CPS will take to ensure safety in the out-of-home setting.
  Tasks and services to achieve a concurrent permanency goal or a
permanency goal other than family reunification.
  The reason the placement is in the best interest of the child for any child
placed substantially distant from the parent’s home or out-of-state.
  Health care plan
o  Specifies for each child, the most recent information available regarding the
child’s health status including:
  Healthcare providers.
  Immunizations.
  Known medical problems.
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  Known medication.
  Any other relevant health information.
  Actions to assure the child’s health needs are met.
  Contact and visitation plan
o  The plan for frequent and consistent visitation between the child and the
child’s parents, siblings, family members, other relatives, friends, and any
former (family) resource family, especially those with whom the child has
developed a strong attachment
  Participation record
o  Specific documentation of how the family and other team members actively
participated in the development of the plan
For dependency cases, a proposed case plan must be developed and submitted to court
prior to the first scheduled hearing. The plan will be developed with limited information
about the family’s strengths and needs and should be revised during the process of
creating the permanent plan with the family and service team. An exception to this may
be a case in which the department has been working with the family and comprehensive
information about the family’s strengths and needs are already known. In these cases, the
proposed case plan may be used as the permanent case plan if a case plan staffing was
held to develop the plan and family members, extended family and others with whom the
family has a strong relationship were part of the planning process.
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Concurrent Permanency Planning
In an effort to ensure that cases proceed efficiently and that children reach a permanent
placement as soon as possible, concurrent permanency planning may occur if the
prognosis of achieving family reunification is unlikely to occur within 12 months of the
child’s initial removal. Concurrent permanency planning means that the agency will have
two case plans active at one time—typically the primary case plan of Family
Reunification and an alternative plan should that goal not be reached.
Child Protective Services is required to use the Reunification Prognosis Assessment
Guide as early as the removal review conference, but no later than 45 days from the
child’s initial removal, to identify the cases where this should occur. If a concurrent
permanency goal is not initially identified, CPS must review and update the prognosis
assessment at each case plan staffing.
When a concurrent permanency plan is deemed necessary, a planned set of concurrent
planning activities will be implemented to ensure that potential or identified alternate
caregivers are prepared to care for the child on a permanent basis if needed.
Within six months of actively working with the family on both the reunification plan and
concurrent planning activities, a final concurrent permanency goal must be established.
Based on the circumstances of the case, the preference for concurrent permanency goals
are as follows:
  Adoption
  Permanent guardianship
  Independent Living as Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement
(APPLA)
When the identity and whereabouts of the parents are known, the department will provide
written notification of the concurrent permanency goal to the parents so that they are
aware that a concurrent plan exists. In these cases, CPS must actively pursue the family
reunification permanency goal and the concurrent permanency goal simultaneously.
This ensures that, if the birth parents do not comply with the case plan and they will not
be reunified with their children, the concurrent plan can be used to move the case to
permanence quickly because it will have been in motion the whole time; i.e., adoptive
parents identified, prepared and ready to accept the children. These efforts dramatically
reduce the additional time that would have to be spent ―shifting gears‖ and choosing a
new case plan if the family is not reunified after the one-year point.
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Services
Services are task-centered, time-limited, and focused on the resolution of specific
problems. Services may be provided by the case manager, other department staff,
contract providers, and other community resources and/or volunteers, depending on the
needs of the children and families and the resources available. Services available to
children and adults in the case include:
  Medical Services
The Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP) provides medical and
dental coverage for all children, birth to age 18, who are in CPS custody and placed in
a relative home, certified adoptive home, licensed foster home, residential treatment
center, or other licensed facility, including those youth on independent living subsidy.
CMDP provides coverage up to age 21 for those adolescents who voluntarily continue
to receive CPS services beyond age 18.
CMDP provides coverage for a full range of services that are medically necessary and
appropriate, from immunizations and prescriptions to surgery. Most non-routine
services require prior authorization, which the medical or dental provider obtains.
CMDP may cover psychiatric services for children who are not Title XIX eligible.
This also requires prior authorization.
  Psychological Services
CPS contracts with a number of psychologists to provide consultations, psychological
testing, evaluations, and treatment. A psychological evaluation is a specific
assessment conducted by a licensed psychologist to determine and address behavioral
health problems and may include treatment recommendations or advise certain
interventions. Psychological assessments include a review of referral materials,
assessment of the individual’s readiness for testing, a clinical interview, and may
include intellectual, personality, educational, protective, and specialized testing for
specific disabilities. Neuropsychological assessments will also delineate between the
neurologically based causes for behavior versus an emotional dysfunction.
Specific therapies are available to assist parents who are ready and willing to
strengthen weaknesses. Each of these therapies requires a great deal of specialized
knowledge and skill on the part of the therapist. If the parent and/or child have had a
psychological evaluation, the psychologist will be able to recommend the most
effective therapy for them.
The following are some of the ways specific therapies can benefit families.
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  Individual Therapy: Provides children, who can express themselves verbally
with attention and support to meet their needs, deal with their fears, resolve
conflicts, and promote self-esteem.
  Group Therapy: Provides children and adolescents with support and
experiences which assist with socialization and development of self-awareness
and sensitivity to others.
  Marital and Family Therapy: Allows partners to learn how to communicate
with each other, how to express feelings openly and constructively, and how to
trust and support each other.
  Family Therapy: Beneficial to families whose members are attempting to
address issues of family dynamics and behavior.
Specific therapies are available for children with emotional difficulties, but the age of
the child must be taken into consideration. Types of therapy include:
  Play Therapy: Provides young children with a safe environment where they
can learn to express and resolve feelings, conflicts, and fears through play.
  Art Therapy: Allows children to release feelings, conflicts, and grow
emotionally. Art therapy is useful both as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. It
generally requires a trained art therapist.
  Parent Aide Services
Parent aides are trained paraprofessionals. As members of the service team, they
provide a range of family focused supportive services, which may include teaching
and modeling of parenting and home management skills, teaching the use of informal
and formal community resources, and providing transportation. Parent aide services
may be provided by CPS employees, volunteers, or contract personnel.
  Special Education Considerations
A foster child requiring special education will have an Individual Education Plan
(IEP), which outlines what specific services the school will offer to address the child’s
educational needs (see section 5). A CASA volunteer should be familiar with a child’s
IEP to ensure that the child is receiving the education services to meet his/her child’s
needs. Although the child is a ward of the state, the case manager is not allowed to
sign for an IEP for any dependent child. The parent may sign or a surrogate parent
may be appointed by the court.
Often times, the child will have a psycho educational evaluation prior to receiving an
IEP. The psycho educational evaluation is important as it identifies the child’s
strengths and weaknesses in regards to the education process and assists in developing
an IEP that truly meets the child’s needs. It is important to recognize that although
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psycho educational evaluations are extremely helpful in this process they are not
mandatory.
  Transportation
CPS shares responsibility for routine transportation of children in out-of-home care
with providers as specified in the child's case plan or Child’s Placement Summary
Agreement. This includes arranging for the foster care providers to provide
transportation for routine health care and activities, contacting CMDP to arrange non-emergency transportation for medical services when foster care providers cannot
transport the child, contacting the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) for
transportation if it is medically necessary for non-emergency mental health or
substance abuse treatment services, etc.
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Visitation
Visitation between children and parents is an essential part of permanency planning for
returning children home. Research indicates a positive correlation between family contact
and family reunification. Without visitation, the parent/child relationship may deteriorate
and both parent and child may become emotionally detached. Once this has occurred,
successful reunification can be extremely difficult.
SIBLING AND PARENTAL VISITATION
One of the biggest losses to a child in out-of-home care is the loss of shared history with
family members. Siblings who are placed together are better able to adjust to placement
and are realistic about reunification. If a child is not placed with siblings, efforts must be
made for maintaining these relationships. Joint counseling for siblings as well as
unstructured play time or visits with one another can aid the children with separation
issues.
If siblings are separated, the case manager must ensure that relationships are maintained
by arranging frequent visits and shared experiences.
Foster parents may bring siblings together for visits, counseling sessions, vacations, etc.
The sharing of history maintains consistency and support. This assists in adjustment to
transitions and in maintaining relationships. If a foster parent does not facilitate this
process, a CASA volunteer can be instrumental in providing the means for separated
siblings to spend time with one another.
Carefully planned visitation between parents and their child in temporary care is a
powerful family reunification intervention tool. Visitation can help implement many
essential family reunification goals, including maintaining the parent/child/sibling
relationships; enhancing child and parent self-images; promoting partnership between
parents and foster parents; learning and practicing parenting skills, and documenting
progress towards reunification goals. Please note: CASA volunteers cannot supervise
court-ordered visits between parent and child; however it is useful for CASA volunteers
to observe this type of visit in order to gain more information about how the child
relates and responds.
DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING A VISITATION PLAN
  The agency is obligated to develop a visitation plan that allows a child to have
frequent contact with parents, siblings, and others who cared for them prior to
placement. The visits should be frequent enough to maintain family relationships.
Initial visitation should occur weekly, except in those cases where treatment or legal
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issues indicate otherwise. In most cases, as much visitation as feasible is
recommended.
  Family members should be actively involved in developing visitation plans. Not only
does this increase the probability that family members understand and will comply
with the plan, but also assures that visit plans take into account family members’
needs, resources, and concerns.
  Agency efforts should be directed at determining a visitation plan that best meets the
individual child’s and parents’ needs, and will closely parallel the case plan goals.
Visitation plans should address visit frequency, length, location, need for supervision,
supportive services, tasks, and activities. It should be expected that visitation plans
will be altered depending upon case changes.
  Visitation plans should consider information provided by service providers and foster
parents concerning the progress of parents and the specific needs of the child.
  Visitation plans should never be used as a reward or as a punishment. Changes in
visitation arrangements should be directly related to the ongoing risk and family
assessment.
CONFLICTS RELATED TO VISITATION
Visitation conflicts involving realistic concerns for a child’s safety and security should be
resolved through weighing the issue of the child’s safety more heavily than any other.
When the family members’ right to contact the child conflicts with the needs or
preferences of the substitute caregivers or service providers, the conflict should be
resolved in a way that protects and assures the family members’ right to contact with the
child.
When visitation plan options offer varying degrees of support to the case plan, for
example with regard to visit length or visit site, weight should be given to the visitation
plan that best supports the case plan, even when the visitation plan is less convenient for
service providers or agency personnel or requires additional agency resources.
o  When expectations differ as to whom should be included in visits, the child’s
and the parents’ preferences should be given priority over those of temporary
caregivers or extended family members.
o  When limited resources create a conflict with any aspect of the visitation plan,
every effort should be made to develop or access resources in order to carry out
the plan.
Reunification may not be recommended until the child has safely completed
unsupervised visits in the family’s home, including overnight visits, weekend visits or
visits lasting several weekdays, and if at all possible, extended visits (longer than one
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week). Without extensive visits, the actual change achieved and the continuing risk to the
child in the home cannot be adequately assessed.
The case manager is responsible for developing the Visitation Agreement prior to the
initial case plan staffing, ensuring that the first visit takes place within five working days
of placement unless extenuating circumstances exist, such as inability to locate the
parent, incarceration, or illness. The minimum frequency for visitation is once every two
weeks for a minimum of one hour. In most cases, visitation will be initially supervised.
At the initial case plan staffing and subsequent case plan staffings, the visitation
agreement should be reviewed and modified as necessary.
The emphasis in visitation planning is on assuring a smooth transition home and
assessing services needed to support the family after the child is returned home. During
the period to implement reunification, visits should provide maximum opportunity for
parent-child contact and for parental responsibility for the child, particularly in areas
where problems may have previously occurred. This is also an opportunity for the case
manager to evaluate stress points and to anticipate future problem areas which should be
addressed.
In developing the visitation plan, the following should be considered.
  The current and specific needs of the child
  The parents’ behaviors and abilities related to reason for placement
  Family relationships and interactions
  The location of the visit should be the least restrictive, most normal environment
in the community that can assure the safety of the child. The agency is the least
normal, most institutionalized setting in which visits can take place. The visit
should be held in the agency if it is the only way to assure protection of the child.
Supervision of the visits is warranted if:
  The child is afraid to be alone with the parent.
  There is concern about physical or emotional abuse to the child during visits.
  The parent’s behavior may be inappropriate or unpredictable, such as when the
parent is mentally ill or emotionally disturbed.
  The visits are with the perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse.
  The parent verbally abuses the child, speaks critically of the agency or foster
caregiver, or makes unrealistic and inappropriate promises to the child.
If the visit must be supervised, it may be provided by the caseworker, the foster
caregiver, a non-abusive or non-neglectful family member, or a family friend, all upon
approval from the case manager. The supervising person should maintain a low profile
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and interfere only if needed. If a goal of the visit is to help parents learn more appropriate
parenting skills, the caseworker or foster caregiver can supervise the visit and become
directly involved in visitation activities.
There are times when a child may become excessively upset prior to or after a visit with
the parent. In this case the caseworker should fully assess the reasons for the child’s
distress and, if appropriate, revise the visitation schedule accordingly. Statistics show that
frequent contact can reduce the negative effects of the separation for the child. Seeing the
parent during visits reduces the child’s fantasies and fear of bad things happening to the
parent, and can often help an older child eliminate self-blame for the placement.
  Normal feelings of loss and separation may be reactivated by seeing the parent and
may be expressed in emotional distress or acting out behavior. Look to see if the
frequency of visits can be increased in this case.
  The child may be anxious and fearful when with the parent; their time together
may be stressful. Closer supervision by someone the child trusts may be required.
  The child may experience loyalty conflicts after having visited with the parent and
may need to reject the foster caregiver upon return to the foster home in order to
continue to feel loyal to the parent. The child needs to know it is okay to have
more than one set of parents.
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Monitoring and Evaluation
The case manager has the ultimate responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the case
plan and the outcome of services being offered to the family.
Monitoring by the case manager involves:
  Verifying that services are being provided according to the time frame of the case
plan.
  Identifying problems relating to the delivery of services and the parents’
participation in services early enough to be able to make changes in the plan.
Sometimes barriers are procedural or logistical, such as a parenting group being
offered at a different time from what is outlined in the case plan. At other times,
barriers are related to client issues, such as avoiding participation in the treatment
process.
  Working with parents and/or service providers to remedy barriers that occur, such
as making adjustments in the case plan to accommodate procedural/logistical
barriers, or working out new arrangements to enable the parent to make use of
services.
  Identifying the parent’s progress or lack of progress in achieving objectives.
  Identifying major setbacks in the case, such as recidivism. If this occurs, the court
should be informed as well as the service providers. The case plan objectives may
need to be redesigned to better ensure the safety of the child.
  Communicating directly with parents and service providers in identifying barriers
related to achieving the objectives identified in the case plan and the consequences
if these objectives are not achieved.
  Identifying new or additional objectives which are central to preventing recurrence
of abuse.
  Assessing with the parent and service team members not only the implementation
of objectives, but also whether the objectives and tasks are actually helping to
change behavior and achieve the permanency goal.
  Ensuring that information acquired through monitoring is shared among the
service team members and with the parent.
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  Reviewing and discussing progress reports with parents.
  Arranging and conducting required periodic staffings of the case and multi-disciplinary reviews.
  Maintaining written documentation of all monitoring activities as well as reports
submitted by service providers and team members. This documentation is a critical
function of case management and is essential for court purposes.
If monitoring activities are conducted throughout the provision of services, the case
manager, parent, and other team members will have the information needed to evaluate
progress. The case plan evaluation process measures the efficiency and effectiveness of
solving case problems in terms of how observable results relate to the stated case plan
goal objectives. The case manager is responsible for pointing out to the service team the
actions taken that were effective or counterproductive in attaining the permanency goal.
Case documentation is the written record and history of each case. Documentation in case
management encompasses all required reports, forms, legal documents, correspondence,
contact logs, and reports from service providers and others including CASA volunteer
reports.
A major source of information that many team members will provide to the case history
is a recorded description of contact with the parents and child. When any team member is
reporting observations regarding family interactions and environment, a clear distinction
must be made between observable facts and impressions, opinions, and/or conclusions.
A CASA volunteer must use this monitoring process as a guide to help target areas that
may create problems in completing the case plan, ensure that the child’s needs are being
met, and to help achieve the goal of a safe, permanent home as quickly as the law allows.
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Case Plan Staffings and Child Family Team Meetings (CFTs)
CASE PLAN STAFFINGS
The case plan staffing is a vehicle through which the case plan is formally developed and
reviewed, and accomplishments and/or concerns are discussed and documented. A case
plan staffing may be arranged to:
  Clarify issues.
  Remove barriers.
  Modify the case plan.
  Implement consequences as set forth in the case plan.
A staffing is a team effort consisting of all parties to the case, such as parents, case
manager, foster parents, service providers, CASA volunteer, and assigned attorneys.
Parties involved in this process are referred to as the staffing team. The number of team
members will vary, depending on the complexity of each case. As part of the team effort,
a CASA volunteer should be notified of staffings and is responsible for attending. If
unable to attend, CASAs should notify their county coordinator.
CPS policy requires that cases are staffed within the first 60 days of a dependency case
and every six months thereafter. Any member of the service team may request that a case
plan staffing be held more often than every six months. If staffings are not occurring or if
the CASA volunteer feels one should occur, he/she may ask the case manager to schedule
one to discuss issues and modify case plan goals. The case manager, in consultation with
a CPS supervisor or program manager, makes the final decision about holding more
frequent staffings.
From a CASA volunteer’s perspective, a staffing is a primary opportunity to advocate for
specific actions to take place that help the child. DES provides a discussion guide for case
managers to follow when speaking with a CASA volunteer at a staffing. Questions the
CASA may be asked by the case manager include:
  How frequently do you have contact with the child?
  What activities do you share?
  Do you also interact with the birth or foster parents? Please describe these
contacts.
  Do you feel that the case plan is appropriate to the child’s needs?
  Do you feel that progress being made toward achieving the case plan?
  Does the child have special needs that are not being addressed?
  Has the child shared concerns which the service team should be made aware or
with which it could help?
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As the child’s advocate, the CASA volunteer should ensure that all pertinent information
is given to the case manager, even if the case manager does not ask questions relating to
the information.
Members of the case management team should be present to determine courses of action.
At the completion of staffing, goals, objectives, and tasks should be identified and
accepted for action by each team member.
If the CASA volunteer disagrees with the course of action decided on at a staffing, the
report to the court is the opportunity to voice the objections. Objections should be also
noted at the staffing in the Case Plan Summary.
CHILD AND FAMILY TEAM (CFT) MEETINGS
The Child and Family Team (CFT) is a defined group of people that includes, at a
minimum, the child and his/her family, a behavioral health representative, and any
individuals important in the child’s life and who are identified and invited to participate
by the child and family . This may include, for example, teachers, extended family
members, friends, family support partners, healthcare providers, coaches, community
resource providers, representatives from churches, synagogues or mosques, agents from
other service systems like CPS, etc.
Families have a powerful role in the Child and Family Team process, actively
participating in the process of assessing needs, identifying team members, developing
and implementing the plan.
Effective CFTs function in a flexible manner that includes varying levels of involvement
from the behavioral health system, other child-serving agencies and natural supports. All
families are unique and as such, each CFT experience is different. Frequency of CFT
meetings, intensity of activity between CFT meetings, and level of involvement by
formal and informal supports necessary to adequately support children and families will
vary depending on the following:
  The size of the team, coordination efforts required, and the ability of the CFT to
work effectively together.
  The number of distinct services and supports necessary to meet the needs of the
child and family.
  The frequency of CFT meetings necessary to effectively develop a plan, track
progress and make modifications when needed.
  The number of agencies/systems involved.
  The severity of symptoms and the effectiveness of services.
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  The stress that is currently affecting the child and family.
The Child and Family Team, with the assistance of the behavioral health representative,
is responsible for overseeing and facilitating decision-making regarding the child’s
behavioral health services. Based upon the recommendations and decisions of the Child
and Family Team, the behavioral health representative will formally secure any covered
services that will address the needs of the child and family.
The Child and Family Team is expected to carefully consider and give substantial weight
to family preferences in formulating its views on the developing service plan,
acknowledging the family’s expert knowledge of their child. In determining how to
successfully meet its objectives, the Child and Family Team should not begin by
identifying specific interventions, placements or services, but rather on the underlying
needs of the child (and of the family in providing for the child) and on the type, intensity,
and frequency of supports needed.
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Resources
Child Protective Services
www.azdes.gov/dcyf/cps
Child Protective Services (CPS) provides specialized welfare services that seek to
prevent dependency, abuse and neglect of children. The Child Protective Services
program receives, screens and investigates allegation of child abuse and neglect,
performs assessments of child safety, assesses the imminent risk of harm to the children
and evaluates conditions that support or refute the alleged abuse or neglect and need for
emergency intervention.
  Children’s Services Manual
The Children’s Services Manual is the Division of Children, Youth and Families'
interpretation of applicable federal and state laws and administrative codes.  This
Manual provides overall guidance for Child Protective Services field staff; however,
practice is implemented based upon individual case circumstances.
The Judges’ Page Newsletter
http://www.nationalcasa.org/JudgesPage/
This online newsletter is published by National CASA and the National Council of
Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is an excellent resource for CASA volunteers. The
October 2007 issue, Reasonable Efforts in the Dependency Courts, addresses the role of
the judge in making reasonable efforts findings as well as provides the perspective of
others involved in foster care cases.
Making Reasonable Efforts: A Permanent Home for Every Child
http://familyrightsassociation.com/bin/white_papers-articles/reasonable_efforts/
This report was published in 2000 by the Youth Law Center and includes guidelines for
attorneys, judges and child welfare agencies as well as a list of resource organizations
and internet resources.
NOTES PAGE
NOTES PAGE
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Section Three
THE COURT SYSTEM
Page
o  The Juvenile Court Process……………………………………..……..  1
o  Authority of the Juvenile Court and the Role of the Judge..……… 3
o  Court Terminology………………………….…………………………  4
o  Juvenile Court Procedure…………….………………………………  6
o  The Arizona Dependency Process Flow Chart…………...................  9
o  The Arizona Dependency Process Descriptions……………………..  10
o  Resources……………………………………………………………….  15

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The Juvenile Court Process
Court is a series of steps, a series of hearings—each building on what has occurred
before.
For a typical child abuse case, the steps are as follows:
1.  When a case meets the definitions of child abuse or neglect set out in the law, the
allegations of abuse or neglect will be listed by CPS in a formal document (petition)
and filed in court.
2.  At the first hearing the judge will make a series of decisions:
  Whether the allegations are serious and appear to meet the definitions in the law
  Whether it is safe for the child to live with the parent while the matter is being
resolved
  If the child won’t be living with the parent, whether visits will be allowed
  When the next hearings will take place
3.  Parents will be given a chance to answer the allegations.
  If they admit the allegations, the judge will make official findings about what has
happened to the child. The judge will order the parents to do things that will
correct the problems that brought the family to court, such as counseling,
parenting classes, or chemical dependency evaluation and treatment. These are
things that CPS has laid out in the initial case plan.
4.  The parents can deny the allegations and then the case will go to trial.
  Attorneys will enter documents into evidence.
  Witnesses will testify about what they have seen or heard.
  The judge will consider all the evidence and make a decision about whether the
allegations have been proven. If not proven, the case will be dismissed. If proven,
the judge will order the parents to do things that will correct the problems that
brought the family to court.
5.  Once the judge orders the case plan, Child Protective Services will monitor the
situation and there will be review court hearings to see how things are going.
6.  If the problems are corrected and it is safe for the child, the child will be returned to
live with the parent and the case will be dismissed from court jurisdiction.
7.  If the problems continue—usually because the parents cannot or will not follow
through with the requirements of the case plan—the court will have to look to other
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options to keep the child safe, such as placing the child permanently with a relative or
placing the child for adoption by a new family.
CIVIL CASES VS. CRIMINAL CASES
Civil actions are brought to court by individuals or the government to seek various
remedies—for instance, damages for injuries or enforcement of contracts. If the
defendant is found liable, the court can order him/her to pay compensation, take certain
steps, or stop certain conduct. The court cannot send a defendant in a civil case to prison,
except for contempt of court. The legal standard of proof is ―preponderance of the
evidence‖—meaning that the allegations are more likely than not to have occurred.
Child protection cases are civil matters.
In criminal cases, the government brings an action against an individual alleging that a
crime has been committed. If the defendant is found guilty, the court can order fines,
restitution, probation, participation in treatment programs, incarceration (prison), or in
some states, the death penalty. Given the severity of potential consequences, the legal
standard of proof is higher than in civil cases. Allegations in criminal cases must be
proven ―beyond a reasonable doubt.‖
A parent might also be charged criminally for hurting a child—for example, for
sexually assaulting the child. This court process would be separate from the child
welfare case.
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Authority of the Juvenile Court and the Role of the Judge
Juvenile courts have the responsibility to protect the rights of parties before the court and
ensure safe, permanent homes for abused and neglected children. Among the most
pressing judicial concerns in abuse and neglect cases are the modality of treatment,
rehabilitation, family preservation, and permanency planning.
Child protection agencies, service providers, guardians ad litem, attorneys, and CASA
volunteers all play critical roles in child abuse and neglect cases. For the child welfare
system to function in the best interests of the children, it is essential that all these major
participants discharge their responsibilities in an effective and responsible manner.
Ultimately, however, children are placed pursuant to court orders. Therefore, the juvenile
court has the responsibility to hold the entire system accountable. To discharge this
responsibility, the juvenile court must have authority commensurate with the task
assigned.
Juvenile court judges can be leaders in their communities, state capitols, and at the
national level to improve the administration of justice for children and families. Judges
can be active in the development of policies, laws, rules, and standards by which the
courts and their allied agencies and systems function. Judges can inform the community
of the unique and diverse needs of troubled children and their families. Judicial
responsibility for impartiality does not preclude judicial leadership. The very nature of
the office mandates that the judge act as an advocate and convener to assure that needed
services for children and families are available and accessible.
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Court Terminology
DEPENDENT CHILD
A child who has been made a ward of the court and is determined to be one or more of
the following:
a.  In need of proper and effective parental care and control and has no parent or
guardian, or one who has no parent or guardian willing to exercise, or capable of
exercising, such care and control.
b.  Destitute or who is not provided with the necessities of life, or who is not provided
with a home or suitable place of abode, or whose home is unfit for him by reason
of abuse, neglect, cruelty, or depravity by either of his parents, his guardian, or
other person having his custody or care.
c.  Under the age of eight years who is found to have committed an act that would
result in adjudication as a delinquent or incorrigible child if committed by an older
child.
PARENTAL RIGHTS
Biological parents have certain rights, but when they are unwilling or unable to discharge
these rights, the state must intervene. When a child is made a Ward of the Court, a plan is
developed that attempts to address this issue. The court is required to determine if
reasonable efforts have been made so that the child may be reunited with the parents. If
reunification is not possible, a permanent plan must be designed to address other options
for a safe, permanent home (placement) for the child.
Parental rights for a dependent child are:
  To know they are under investigation.
  To be notified in writing when their child is taken into custody. This is
accomplished through the Temporary Custody Notice (TCN).
  To choose whether or not they will cooperate or accept the services offered by
Child Protective Services. However, consequences are involved in the decision not
to cooperate.
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  To have legal counsel. If they cannot afford an attorney they may request that the
court appoint one for them.
  To be notified and to attend court and Foster Care Review Board hearings.
  To participate in the development and to receive a copy of the Case Plan/Written
Agreement.
  To know what they must do to regain custody of their child.
  To have an invalid report that was investigated purged from the Central Registry if
no other reports are made within a two-year period.
  To purge from the Central Registry after five years if (1) not investigated and (2)
no further reports are received by the department.
  To sign for medical treatment of their child, even if the child is a ―ward of the
court.‖ Often the court states in the minute entry that CPS personnel are given the
authority to sign on behalf of the parent for medical treatment, school
authorization, etc., but the parent still has the right to sign in such situations. A
problem may arise when the CPS case manager and the parent do not agree as to
medical treatment.
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Juvenile Court Procedure
The juvenile court, a division of the County Superior Court, has the authority to hear
cases involving children ages birth to 18 years. These cases include adoption, termination
of the parent-child relationship, delinquent youth (juvenile criminal), incorrigible
children (including runaways, out-of-parental control, or actions taken by a child
considered delinquent if performed by a child eight years or older), and dependency cases
(child abuse or neglect).
While juvenile proceedings may be less formal than other superior court proceedings,
Arizona Revised Statutes, Rules of Evidence, and Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile
Court must be followed. The parties, including juveniles, have constitutional rights to due
process before the juvenile court can act to intervene in lives of children and families.
Juvenile court orders direct parties of the case to act based upon facts presented before
the court in hearings or other formal procedures. Court orders take precedence over
any other actions or recommendations by other state agencies or parties unless
overturned by appeal by the Arizona Court of Appeals or the Arizona Supreme
Court. A CASA volunteer benefits from this authority through the Court Order of
Appointment. Essentially, the court order gives the CASA access to confidential
information without prior approval for purposes of providing information to the juvenile
court.
  Certain agencies functioning under federal law, regulations, and statutes are not
required to honor a CASA volunteer’s court order. Generally, federally-funded
facilities that treat substance abuse do not have to initially honor a CASA’s court
order. Arrangements for confidential information from these types of facilities
need to be made by the county coordinator.
  Since the court is not a social service agency, it cannot find a child ―dependent‖
just because services are needed or it appears to be in the child’s best interest. A
dependency will be granted by the court only if sufficient legal grounds are
present.
  In dependency matters the juvenile court operates with the presumption that the
parent-child relationship is fundamental. The burden of proof is on the petitioner
to overcome this presumption. Usually Child Protective Services and the Attorney
General’s Office petition the court. However, private parties can petition the court
to ask for an initial dependency hearing.
  The standard of proof to declare a child dependent in non-Indian Child Welfare
Act (ICWA) cases is ―by the preponderance of the evidence.‖ This means it is
more likely than not that the allegations contained in the petition are true.
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  A ―clear and convincing‖ standard of proof requires that more than the majority of
evidence points to one conclusion. This standard is applied to dependency
hearings involving Indian children, mental health commitment proceedings, and
severance proceedings for non-ICWA cases.
  The ―beyond a reasonable doubt‖ standard of proof requires that evidence points
to one conclusion. This standard of proof is required for severance proceedings
involving Indian children and delinquency proceedings for all children.
  Once a child is adjudicated dependent, delinquent, or incorrigible, the child
becomes a ―ward of the court.‖ This means, in essence, that the child becomes
―the court’s child.‖
  Some juvenile court matters are heard by commissioners or judges pro tempore.
Juvenile court commissioners are appointed by the presiding juvenile court judge.
A commissioner may perform all functions of a juvenile court judge except
hearing contested cases in which a parent might lose custody and cases in which a
juvenile might be committed to the Department of Corrections. A judge,
commissioner, and judge pro tempore are all judicial officers.
  A judicial officer will preside over juvenile court proceedings, hear testimony, rule
on the admissibility of evidence, determine credibility or weight to be given to the
testimony or exhibits, and make findings of fact and decisions. The judicial officer
will also make orders to implement decisions.
  Various other personnel or the public may be at court hearings, which are ―open‖
in Arizona. The judge may decide to ―close‖ a dependency hearing based on a
justifiable reason from a party. The juvenile court clerk keeps a written summary
of what occurred during hearings, administers the oath to witnesses, and is
responsible for exhibits. The court reporter will record everything said during the
proceedings and later will prepare a transcript of the hearing, in case it is required
for an appeal or other purposes.
  The parties to the hearing may each have an attorney. The attorney is responsible
for giving advice to the client and presenting the best case possible for the client.
Unlike a criminal hearing that almost always has only two parties, it is possible to
have more than two parties at a dependency hearing.
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 8 ~
Revised 9/09
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual          ~ 9 ~
Revised 9/09
The Arizona Dependency Process
CPS Receives Report
Pre-Hearing Conference/
Preliminary Protective
Hearing
Placement, visitation, and services
5-7 days from removal
Initial Dependency Hearing
Only if parents fail to appear at the
Preliminary Protective Hearing.
21 days from service of petition
Petition Filing
72 hours from removal
Adjudication
30 days from Settlement
Conference/Mediation
No later than 90 days
from service of petition
Disposition
30 days from adjudication
or at the same time as adjudication
Review of Hearing
Every 6 months
at a minimum
Motion for Termination of
Parental Rights or
Guardianship Hearing
10 days after Permanency Hearing
Initial Guardianship Hearing
30 days from Permanency Hearing
Initial Severance Hearing
30 days from Permanency Hearing
Guardianship Adjudication
Hearing
90 days from Permanency Hearing
Severance Hearing
90 days from Permanency Hearing
Adoption Hearing
Settlement Conference or
Mediation
30 days from Preliminary
Protective Hearing
Permanency Hearing
12 months from removal
of child from home
Determination of Permanent Plan
Removal of Child
In Home
Intervention Filed
In Home
Intervention
Review Hearing
*Child not
removed
*Parent shows
no progress
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 11 ~
Revised 9/09
Arizona Dependency Process Descriptions
PETITION FILING
A dependency case is initiated in juvenile court with the filing of a dependency petition.
The dependency petition must be filed within 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays,
and holidays) of a Temporary Custody Notice being served on the parents. The petition is
a sworn statement filed with the court containing allegations of fact showing dependency.
The petition may be filed by any interested party.
Most petitions are filed by the state Attorney General’s Office, based upon information
gathered by a Department of Economic Security Child Protective Service case manager.
However, it is not uncommon for a relative or person who has been caring for a child to
file a petition, called a private petition.
The petition is often accompanied by a request that the child be made a temporary ward
of the court. This occurs when the petitioner believes grounds exist to remove the child
from the home. This request is be reviewed by the judge or commissioner. If the sworn
petition contains sufficient information to show that removal is necessary, the judge will
make the child a temporary ward of the court. In some cases, the court will find a child
dependent but will allow the child to remain in the home while obtaining appropriate
services.
Once the petition has been filed, the agency is obligated to make ―diligent and reasonable
efforts‖ in searching for ALL biological parents should their whereabouts be unknown.
This extensive search should occur prior to key decision points in the life of a case and no
less than once every six months. The agency is also required to conduct an extensive and
documented search for guardians, custodians, extended family members, and other
significant persons as placement resources for children in out-of-home care.
PRE-HEARING CONFERENCE
This is a mandatory meeting of all parties to the dependency action and other persons as
permitted by the court, and is held immediately before the preliminary protective hearing,
usually facilitated by court personnel. The purpose of the meeting is to attempt to reach
an agreement about:
  Temporary custody.
  Placement of the child.
  Services to be provided.
  Visitation.
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 12 ~
Revised 9/09
The availability of reasonable services to the parent or guardian shall be considered; the
child’s health and safety shall be of paramount concern.
PRELIMINARY PROTECTIVE HEARING
This hearing is held on each case, no less than five (5) and not more than seven (7)
working days, (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays) after the child is taken
into custody and a dependency petition is filed. The court may grant one continuance not
to exceed five days. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether temporary
custody of the child is clearly necessary to prevent abuse or neglect pending the hearing
on the dependency petition.
At this hearing:
  The court will review any agreement reached at the pre-hearing conference.
  The parent is advised of his or her rights and will admit or deny the allegations in
the petition.
  The court will determine if reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate
the need for removal and if services are available that would eliminate the need for
continued removal.
  The court will enter orders regarding the child’s placement and visitation, if the
child is not returned to the parent.
  The court will inform the parent that the hearing may result in further proceeding s
to terminate parental rights.
  The court will give paramount consideration to the child’s health and safety in
making determinations.
INITIAL DEPENDENCY HEARING
The initial dependency hearing must be held within 21 days of the date on which the
dependency petition was filed as to a parent not present at the preliminary protective
hearing.
At the initial dependency hearing:
  The parent is advised of his or her rights and will admit or deny the allegations in
the petition.
  The court will determine if reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate
the need for continued removal.
  Unless the court finds reunification is contrary to the best interest of the child, the
court will order CPS to make reasonable efforts to provide reunification services,
if the child is not returned to the parent.
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 13 ~
Revised 9/09
SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE OR MEDIATION HEARING
The settlement conference or mediation is set when the parent or guardian denies the
allegation in the petition and must occur prior to the pre-trial conference or dependency
adjudication hearing. The purpose of the settlement conference or mediation is to attempt
to settle the issues of dependency and disposition in a non-adversarial manner and to
avoid trial. All parties to the contested action must participate. Any agreement reached is
recorded in writing and submitted to the court for approval.
ADJUDICATION
This hearing must be completed within 90 days of service of the dependency petition on
the parent. If critical circumstances exist, the court may extend this deadline by 30 days.
At this hearing, the court determines whether the allegations of dependency are sustained
by a preponderance of the evidence. If the allegations are sustained the court may either
proceed with a disposition hearing or set the disposition hearing within 30 days.
DISPOSITION
This hearing must be held at the same time or within 30 days of the adjudication hearing.
The purpose of this hearing is to obtain specific orders regarding the child’s placement,
services, and appropriateness of the case plan.
The court considers the goals of:
  The placement.
  Appropriateness of the case plan.
  Services that have been offered to reunify the family.
  The efforts that have been or should be made to evaluate or plan for other
permanent placement.
REVIEW HEARING
These hearings, also referred to as Report and Review Hearings, are held at least once
every six (6) months from the disposition hearing to review the dispositional orders of
the court.
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 14 ~
Revised 9/09
PERMANENCY HEARING
This hearing is held within 12 months of the child’s removal from the home. The court
will determine the permanent plan for the child and order the plan to be accomplished
within a specified period of time. If the court finds that termination of parental rights or
permanent guardianship is in the child’s best interest, the court will order a motion to
terminate parental rights or for permanent guardianship be filed within ten days.
INITIAL HEARING ON MOTION TO TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS
The hearing is held within 30 days of the permanency hearing when the court orders the
filing of the motion to terminate parental rights. If the parent contests the motion, the
court must set a date for trial within 90 days of the permanency hearing. At this hearing,
the court determines whether there are sufficient grounds to terminate the parent-child
relationship. It is also known as a severance hearing.
TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS HEARING (SEVERANCE HEARING)
At this hearing, the court determines whether there are sufficient grounds to terminate the
parent-child relationship. It is also known as a severance hearing.
ADOPTION HEARING
At this hearing, the court determines whether to grant the adoptive parents’ petition to
adopt a child.
In addition to the above those listed above, the court may order special hearings or
reviews to address specific case-related issues.
Section Three
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 15 ~
Revised 9/09
Resources
Dependency Handbook for Parents
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/dcsd/improve/dep/docs/AzParentsHandbook.pdf
The handbook provides an overview of the court process and the people involved in a
dependency case.
Dependency Process Training
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/dcsd/improve/judicial.htm
This training module was designed with ease-of-use and convenience in mind. There are
links for immediate definitions, statutes, and laws. The tutorial offers a solid overview of
the dependency process and illuminates areas of special importance throughout.
Laws Affecting Dependency
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/dcsd/improve/laws.htm
This page provides information and links to Federal and State Regulations Applicable to
the Arizona Dependency Process
NOTES PAGE
Advocacy Academy Manual
Revised 9/09
Section Four
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
Page
o  Educational Challenges for Children in Foster Care………………..     1
o  Education Legislation…………….……………………………………  2
o  Resources……………………………………………………………….  4

Section Four
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 1 ~
Revised 9/09
Educational Challenges for Children in Foster Care
Chaos in a child’s life often results in the neglect of educational concerns. Parents or
caregivers may not be available to help with homework, attend school conferences, or
make referrals for evaluation when concerns arise. Children entering foster care often
have school issues. Addressing these issues can allow a more positive experience for a
child who hasn’t known the rewards of success in school. Teachers who see the child
every day have a wealth of knowledge about the child’s behavior, attitude, likes, and
dislikes, and about the best ways to communicate with that child. As you inquire about a
child’s progress in school, you may discover that your child has special educational needs
and should be referred for an evaluation. In some areas, an abundance of resources may
be available for special-needs children, and in other areas, you may have to advocate for
the creation of needed resources.
Children from racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds different from the majority culture
may also have special needs based on discriminatory practices in the educational system.
For instance, children may face racist or homophobic taunts, teachers who believe they
can’t learn, and testing that is racially/culturally biased. It is important to realistically
assess the school difficulties of any child and determine what role the educational system,
as well as the child’s particular school setting, may be playing in creating or sustaining
those problems.
Section Four
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 2 ~
Revised 9/09
Education Legislation
MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1997
Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in order to help youth
and their families who are experiencing homelessness and to protect the right of homeless
youth to attend school.
  The law targets all youth who do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate residence.
This includes youth who are staying with friends or relatives because they’ve lost
their housing; youth who are awaiting foster care placement; and youth who are living
in emergency or transitional shelters, motels, domestic violence shelters,
campgrounds, inadequate trailer parks, cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, and
bus or train stations.
  The law enables homeless youth (including those awaiting foster care placement) to
remain in their school of origin if they wish, and it requires school districts to provide
transportation to that school if needed. It attempts to remove any barriers to a
homeless youth’s enrollment, attendance, or success in school, such as compulsory
residency requirements. It also seeks to enable homeless youth to choose to attend the
local school where they are living, the school they attended before they lost their
housing or the school where they were last enrolled. The underlying intent is to give
homeless youth access to the same free, appropriate K–12 public education and
services that other youth receive.
  Child welfare professionals working with qualifying youth in out-of-home care may
be able to use the provisions of McKinney-Vento to keep a particular youth in his or
her home school. Each case should be explored individually with the state’s
McKinney-Vento coordinator. (To find the McKinney-Vento coordinator in your
district, check with your local school district.)
THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in 2004 with a
new focus on improving educational stability, opportunities and outcomes for special-needs children in foster care. The act ensures that:
  Children’s educational needs are considered by the judge and the child welfare system
in making decisions.
  A specific individual is appointed to advocate for each child’s educational needs.
Section Four
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 3 ~
Revised 9/09
  The child welfare system, the school system and the judicial system communicate
with each other about individual foster children.
  Delays are eliminated in enrolling children in new schools or transferring school
records when students move because of a new placement. The new school should
immediately enroll the child and honor the child’s existing Individualized Education
Plan (IEP) until a new assessment can be conducted.
Eligibility
Children, from birth through age 21, who need early intervention and/or special
education and related services because of a disabling condition are eligible. Eligibility
for services is determined through ―nondiscriminatory evaluation.‖ This requires that
Early Intervention Providers and school districts use testing materials free from racial
or cultural discrimination and presented in the child’s native language or means of
communicating. Tests must be chosen that assess the child’s actual abilities if sensory,
motor, language, or other impairments are present. Evaluations cannot be based solely
on one general test, such as an intelligence test, and the child is to be assessed across
all areas related to the disability by a ―multidisciplinary team‖ or ―IEP team.‖ An
appropriate education may include an out-of-district or private school placement if the
school district cannot provide appropriate services in the district. The courts have also
ruled, however, that an ―appropriate‖ education is not always the same as the ―best‖
education as long as the education services adequately meet the child’s needs.
Individual Education Program (IEP)
After a child aged three or older is diagnosed with special learning needs, you may
hear the term ―Individualized Education Program‖ (IEP). This is a written, legal
document that describes the specialized educational plan and related services to be
provided to the student. It guides both teachers and parents in the appropriate
education of the child for a period of one year (except in states piloting multi-year
IEPs). It is developed in a team meeting in which all members of the IEP team decide
what an appropriate education is for the child and identify goals, objectives,
description of how progress will be measured, and necessary services. If a child is in
the custody of the local child protection agency, the IEP team will likely include
teachers, caseworkers, parents, foster parents, and others who interact with the child.
The child must be assigned an education surrogate/surrogate parent—a trained
community member who advocates for appropriate educational services for the child.
The surrogate parent gives permission for testing and for services to meet the needs of
the child. Some counties have a list of people who are qualified to assume the role of
the surrogate parent, and with training, foster parents or CASA volunteers can assume
this role.
Section Four
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 4 ~
Revised 9/09
RESOURCES
American Bar Association Legal Center for Foster Care & Education
www.abanet.org/child/education/
The Legal Center FCE serves as a national technical assistance resource and information
clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children in the foster
care system.
Arizona Department of Education
  General: www.ade.state.az.us
  Special Education: www.azed.gov/ess
  Parent Information Network (PINS): www.azed.gov/ess/SpecialProjects/pinspals/
Blueprint for Change: Education Success for Children in Foster Care FACT SHEET
http://www.abanet.org/child/docs/Q_A_1_Blueprint_FINAL.pdf
The Blueprint for Change is a tool for change. The 8 Goals for Youth and Benchmarks
for each goal indicating progress toward achieving education success is a framework for
both direct case advocacy and system reform efforts. Following each goal are National,
State, and Local Examples of policies, practices, programs, and resources that exist to
improve educational outcomes for children in foster care.
Foster Children & Education:
How You Can Create a Positive Educational Experience for the Foster Child
http://www.vera.org/download?file=119/Foster%2Bchildren.pdf
This paper gives an overview of the educational obstacles facing children in foster care
and the role adults can play to have a positive impact on their educational experience.
Fostering Futures Research Project
http://www.rri.pdx.edu/fostering_futures.php
The Fostering Futures Research Project is conducting research on the educational
performance and quality of transition planning for foster youth with disabilities. This site
provides a link to two articles of interest: ―Are We Ignoring Foster Youth with
Disabilities?‖ and ―Transition Planning for Foster Youth with Disabilities.‖
LD OnLine
www.ldonline.org
An interactive learning disabilities resource guide for parents, teachers, and students, this
site provides a wealth of information, including a section in Spanish.
Section Four
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 5 ~
Revised 9/09
Mythbusting: Breaking Down Confidentiality & Decision-Making Barriers to Meet the
Education Needs of Children in Foster Care
www.abanet.org/child/education/mythbusting2.pdf
This paper gives an overview of the education needs of children in foster care, explains
the federal laws regarding confidentiality of education records, and debunks myths about
confidentiality.
National Conference of State Legislatures: Educating Children in Foster Care
http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabId=4245
This informative policy article looks at challenges and services involved in educating
children in foster care.
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP)
www.nlchp.org
NLCHP’s Children & Youth Program strengthens legislation that guarantees homeless
students’ right to education, trains state and district education workers and pursues
litigation to protect America's homeless students.
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice & Permanency Planning
www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/education-and-foster-care.html
The Education and Foster Care section of this site provides a wealth of articles and
resources on educating and children in care.
New Horizons for Learning
www.newhorizons.org
This site is dedicated to improving education. It gives links to student voices, special
needs in education, and teaching and learning strategies.
A Roadmap for Learning – Improving Education Outcomes in Foster Care
www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/RoadMapForLearning.htm
A Road Map for Learning shows how to integrate the predictors of academic success into
an educational plan and encourages letting youth in out-of-home care be the primary
voice in their own decision-making.
NOTES PAGE
Advocacy Academy Manual
Revised 9/09
Section Five
CASA VOLUNTEER WORK—PART 1
Page
o  Planning the Investigation…………….………………………….….   1
a.  Investigation Plan Worksheet…………………….…………..    2
b.  Sources of Information Chart.………………………..……....  3
o  Gathering Information…..……………….………………………….     6
o  Documenting Information...................................................................  7
a. CASA Contact Log template………………………………….. 9
o  Interviewing…………..…………………………………...…...…….. 11
a.  Interview Questions Template………..……………………….  13
o  Court Report Overview………………………..……………………..  14
a.  CASA Court Report Template…..………………….…….......  16
b.  Keys to a Successful Report………………………….………..  20
o  CASA Volunteer Responsibilities Checklist..….…………………...    21
o  Resources………………………………………………………………  23

Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 1 ~
Revised 9/09
Planning the Investigation
Each case is unique and unfolds in its own way, requiring different information in order
to meet the needs of a particular child. Your work as a CASA volunteer—conducting
interviews, gathering facts, writing reports, testifying in court, advocating for the child,
monitoring the case—has a significant impact on the case outcome. Each piece of the
work is important and will help you fulfill the mission of finding a safe, permanent home
for the child, respecting the child’s sense of time.
Once assigned to a case, it is important for CASA volunteers to create an initial
investigation plan that outlines the approach they would like to take. Information to
outline includes:
  The questions you would like answered during the initial investigation.
  The possible sources of information needed (both people and documents).
  The priority of each question based on what you need to know first.
On the following pages, you will find an example of an initial investigation plan  and an
outline of possible sources of information. You are encouraged to adapt these resources
to suit your needs in each case.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 2 ~
Revised 9/09
Investigation Plan
This worksheet is a tool for creating your investigation plan. Remember, the plan for your
investigation will be different in each case because each child’s situation is unique.
Date of Next Court Hearing:
Type/Purpose of Hearing:
Court Report is Due:
Questions I would like answered  Possible Sources of Information
Priority
Level
A.  
B.  
C.  
D.  
E.  
F.  
G.  
H.  
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 3 ~
Revised 9/09
Sources of Information
CHILD
Child Interviews
(Please note that it is not your role as a CASA volunteer
to interview a child about the allegations; many of the
children have been interviewed many times and
additional interviews may be harmful to the child and to
any potential criminal prosecution.)
Type of Information/Assistance
If the child is verbal:
  History of the family situation
  Information about relationships (parents, families,
foster families)
  Wishes and desires for the future
  Challenges or areas in need of help
  Likes/dislikes
  Information regarding visits with parents,
siblings, other family
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Child Observations
(Visits with parents, visits with siblings, child in
current setting, child at school or daycare, etc.)
Type of Information/Assistance
  Affect
  Moods, mood changes
  Developmental stages
  Verbal ability
  Relationships, interactions with others
  Intellectual ability
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to arrange observation:
PARENTS & FAMILY
Parents
(When parents are represented by an attorney, follow
program protocol before speaking with the parents.)
Type of Information/Assistance
  Their version of the events stated on the petition
  Omissions or extenuating circumstances they feel
are important
  Their child’s developmental milestones, joys,
fears, etc.
  Specific information about the child’s behavior
related to:
o  Visitations with parents and siblings
o  Adjustments in school
o  Behavior problems and strengths
o  Medical concerns
  Adjustment to separation/loss
  Their background
  Other: _______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Family
Type of Information/Assistance
  What they’ve seen happening as it relates to
the life of the child
  Potential resources for the child and family
  Other:
_______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 4 ~
Revised 9/09
PROFESSIONALS & PROVIDERS
Child Protection Agency Caseworkers
Type of Information/Assistance
  Where the child is placed
  Documentation, case record
  Case plan within 30 days of placement
  Names, addresses, and phone numbers of other
principals in the case
  Contact information (e.g., for foster parents,
parents, etc.)
  Response to your observations
  Community or educational resources
  Progress of case plan
  Safety issues, if any
  Medical status of child
  Educational status of child
  Anything else the CASA volunteer should
know
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Child’s Teacher or Childcare Provider
Type of Information/Assistance
  Child’s behavior at school
  Educational problems or delays, strengths
  Changes in behavior
  Child’s appearance
  Peer relationships
  Grades
  Parental involvement
  Likes/dislikes
  Attendance prior to/post removal
  School nurse reports
  School counselor reports
  Other: _____________________________
Best way to contact source:
Legal Personnel
Type of Information/Assistance
  Criminal records, other court records
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Child Protection Agency Attorney/Prosecutor
Type of Information/Assistance
  Progress report
  Other: ________________________________
Best way to contact source:
Attorney for the Child
Type of Information/Assistance
  Assistance with the legalities of the case
  Assistance with complex legal situations
particular to the case
  Assistance in negotiating settlements in
preparation for trial
  Filing of legal documents
  Subpoenas of witnesses
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Attorneys for the Parents
Type of Information/Assistance
  Arrangements to talk to his/her clients
  Anything the CASA volunteer should know
about the client
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 5 ~
Revised 9/09
PROFESSIONALS AND PROVIDERS (CONT.)
Medical Personnel
Type of Information/Assistance
  Child’s medical condition as related to the
abuse and/or neglect
  Past medical history, medical records
  Follow-up services that may be required to
address medical conditions resulting from abuse
and/or neglect
  A particular medical condition that should come
to the attention of the caseworker, foster
parents, courts, etc.
  Contact with parent(s), if any
  Other: _______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Psychological/Psychiatric Professionals
Type of Information/Assistance
  Nature of referral information they received
  How they came to a particular conclusion
  What the diagnosis means in practical terms and
how progress is measured
  Discrepancies in opinion
  Possible counseling or therapeutic models being
recommended for the child, parents, family, etc.
  Other: _________________________________
Best way to contact source:
Foster Parents & Independent Living Coordinators
Type of Information/Assistance
  Specific information about the child’s daily life and about the child’s behavior related to:
o  Visits with parents and siblings
o  Adjustments in school
o  Behavior problems and strengths
o  Medical concerns
o  Contacts made by parents through letters, phone calls, etc.
o  Child’s daily functioning
o  Adjustment to separation/loss
  Other: ______________________________
Best way to contact source:
TRIBE
(Applies only if you are working with an Indian child as defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act.)
Type of Information/Assistance
  Potential service resources
  Tribal enrollment issues
  Potential transfer of jurisdiction
  Information regarding whether anyone is going to appear in court for the tribe and whether the tribe is
going to formally intervene, send a representative, or make a written recommendation
  Potential cultural responses to the current family problem
  Extended family or members of the tribe who may be a potential placement alternative for the Indian
child
  Other: _______________________________
Best way to contact source:
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 6 ~
Revised 9/09
Gathering Information
A CASA volunteer gathers information so that the best possible decisions can be made by
the court. This requires the ability to ask questions, persistence in pursuing verifiable
facts and statements, a common sense view of information presented, and perceptiveness
in recognizing human behavior patterns. The most important quality the CASA  volunteer
must have is the ability to listen and hear objectively.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
A CASA volunteer is appointed to a case by the presiding juvenile court judge. Through
a court order, the juvenile court authorizes the CASA to conduct research on its behalf.
The court order states in part:
ORDERED all public and private agencies and individuals, without limitation, who
possess records and information about any child herein and the extended family of
any such child, shall allow this CASA volunteer access to the child and such records
and information, including the copying thereof, without consent of the child, parents
or extended family thereof.
The court order is a powerful tool for the CASA volunteer. As such, it should be used
with discretion. While it is important to have on hand if someone the CASA is
interviewing is not willing to share information, or does not understand where the CASA
volunteer’s authority to have the information comes from, CASAs should be judicious in
their use of that authority. Approaching a party by waving the court order and demanding
information can damage relationships that might otherwise be very productive for the
CASA volunteer. Walls and barriers can be put up when a CASA ―charges into‖ a case
without regard for the individual hesitations and uncertainties about what a CASA
volunteer is. Most often, it takes just a little education for the person to feel comfortable
with releasing information to the CASA. In the event that hesitation or barriers still exist
after an explanation is provided, the CASA volunteer could share the court order and a
copy of the CASA Duties and Responsibilities, and explain that the court has an
expectation that the CASA volunteer will provide objective information to the judge. If
difficulties still exist, the CASA should work with their county coordinator to obtain the
information needed.
Remember: All information that a CASA volunteer receives is confidential and may be
shared only with the legal parties and ―team‖ members on the case. This may include the
case manager, attorneys, participants at staffings or Child and Family Team meetings,
and Foster Care Review Board members.
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Documenting Information
As a CASA volunteer, you will gather information from many different sources during
the course of your investigation and monitoring of a case. People and their stories run
together. Facts can become cloudy, especially if the case is not heard in court
immediately. It is vital that you keep accurate and thorough notes about the date and
content of each case contact, whether it is a planned interview, an impromptu visit to a
school, a phone call, or a review of a record. Following are important elements to include
in your notes about each case contact:
  Person contacted
  Type of contact (telephone call, email, in-person conversation, review of record,
etc.)
  Date and time
  Place (parent’s home, job, jail, etc.)
  Factual observations
  Feelings expressed by those interviewed
  Facts gathered
  Summary of what happened
  Your plan of action
  Other person’s plan of action
  Decisions
Ultimately, you will use your notes about information you gather to formulate
recommendations regarding the child’s best interest. Your written court report and
testimony are the vehicles by which these recommendations are presented to the court.
Clear, fact-based reports and recommendations will enhance the judge’s ability to make
good decisions about the child you represent.
CONTACT LOGS/JOURNALS
CASA volunteers in Arizona are required to keep a monthly contact log/journal to
record contacts made with parties to the case. If a CASA is assigned to more than one
case, a separate contact log/ journal must be kept for each case.
Contact logs/journals are documents that record vital information to be used in a number
of ways. First, the information is used to accurately summarize what occurred, was
observed, or was said during each contact regarding the case. This information will be
used to refresh the CASA volunteer’s memory when compiling the report to the court or
testifying. Dates, direct quotes, and accurate information document the events and
conversations that occurred. This specific, well-written journal, along with your
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recommendations, can increase your confidence level about the case and will enhance
your credibility in the eyes of the court.
It is also important that the CASA volunteer document in a contact log all activities
related to their service, even if little activity has occurred on the case. Appropriate contact
log documentation records the time spent and/or mileage driven when performing CASA
activities. Activities include:
  Reading and understanding the case file.
  Visits with appropriate people regarding the assigned case, such as the case
manager, child, parents, relatives, teachers, and counselors.
  Telephone conversations with parties to the case.
  Consultations about the case with the county coordinator.
  Research, reading, or specific training attended that provided special information
or knowledge relevant to the assigned case and case dynamics (e.g., specialized
training on attention deficit disorder, incest, adolescent suicide, etc.).
  Traveling time to and from visits, court hearings, staffings, etc.
  Other activities appropriate to the case.
Documenting the hours and miles of service on the assigned case is one way of
measuring the value of the service the CASA volunteer performs. This data helps support
funding requests to increase the number of children served. Contact logs also provide a
simple, accurate method to document travel and expenditures made.
A contact log template is provided on the next page.
To download an electronic contact log, go to:
www.supreme.state.az.us/casa/advocate/forms.html
Section Five
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Revised 9/09
Month    Year    CASA Name    Case Name and Number
CASA Contact Log
Date
Person
Contacted
Relationship to
Child
Contact Type  Hours  Miles
Dollars
Spent
1
Summary of
Conversation with Parties
2
ENTER TOTAL OF THIS PAGE
ENTER TOTAL OF ALL PAGES FOR MONTH
NUMBER OF CONTACTS WITH CHILD(REN)  ________    NUMBER OF CONTACTS WITH OTHER PARTIES  ________
How many sibling visits did you coordinate?  ________    How many sibling visits did you provide transportation?  _________
1
May be used for income tax purposes (check with your tax accountant)
2
May be used to complete lines for summary and additional journal information may be attached.
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Section Five
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Revised 9/09
Interviewing
As a CASA volunteer, you make initial contacts with the child, the parents, and the foster
parents—in whatever order is most relevant to the case. In almost every case, the CPS
caseworker will be one of the first people you interview. You will also often include the
child’s teacher or childcare provider and the child’s therapist (although this resource may
not be part of your initial plan if the child has not been in therapy prior to coming into
care). In cases involving an Indian child, you will also interview the tribal representative.
Each of these people may be an information source for more than one question.
PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW
In planning your interviews, it is helpful to write down your questions so that you cover
all of the topics that seem important for your investigation.
  Broad, general, open-ended questions to facilitate participation and responses. An
example of an open-ended question would be
o  ―How would you describe your family?‖ or
o  ―Tell me about the day your children were taken into care.‖
Such questions don’t have a right or wrong answer and encourage open sharing of
information—perhaps very different information than the interviewer anticipates.
  Move to more specific, closed questions to sort and refine information and zero in
on a topic. An example of a closed question would be, ―Is your aunt still living
nearby?‖ or ―When was the last time you saw your child?‖
  Avoid ―why‖ questions, which tend to sound judgmental.
  Ask questions even if you think you know the answer. People’s responses may
confirm what you already know or may reveal a different perspective.
THE FOUR STAGES OF INTERVIEWING
1.  Greeting
  Identify yourself and clarify or confirm the role of the CASA volunteer.
  Create a cooperative, respectful, and professional climate.
  Have your goals clearly in mind.
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2.  Opening
  In the opening, you provide the interviewee with a clear understanding of what to
expect and set the context for the interview.
  Explain the reason for the interview.
  Agree with the interviewee how much time will be allotted to the interview.
  Summarize what you hope to learn during the interview.
3.  Body
In this stage, you explore for information and responses related to your goal for the
interview. The interview develops through dialogue and questioning:
  Begin with broad, general, open-ended questions to facilitate participation and
responses.
  Move to more specific, closed questions to sort and refine information and zero in
on a topic.
  Ask questions even if you think you know the answer. People’s responses may
confirm what you already know or may reveal a different perspective.
4.  Closing
  Recap information learned and review any agreements you have made with the
interviewee.
  Let them know if and when they may expect to hear from you again, when
requested.
INTERVIEWING TIPS
When planning an interview…
  Remember the age, maturity, and/or intellectual level of the person being
interviewed.
  Use language that is clear and nonjudgmental.
  Avoid asking leading questions (e.g., ―You wouldn’t leave your child alone,
would you?‖).
  Keep as natural an interchange as possible when speaking with parents, extended
families, and children, and do not take notes during the interview. Instead,
descriptively enter into the journal each contact made as soon as possible.
Section Five
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Interview Questions
This interviewing template has been provided to help you brainstorm questions for each
interview you conduct. As you write down your questions, keep in mind the interviewing
stages and address everything you hope each person can answer for you.
Person to be interviewed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
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Court Report Overview
The CASA court report is the most essential aspect of your work as a CASA volunteer. It
is the vehicle through which you present the information you have gathered about a
child’s situation and your recommendations about what services will meet the child’s
needs. Judges rely on the information in CASA court reports as they make their
decisions. The court report becomes part of the official court record and may be
introduced and considered as evidence.
The overall effectiveness as a credible CASA volunteer depends on the quality of
information gathered, how objectively the information is processed, and if the
recommendations and advocacy on behalf of the child are well-reasoned. The court report
becomes the official document representing the hard work and effort the CASA  volunteer
has made. Remember, if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.
CASA volunteers submit child-focused and fact-based written reports to the court for
most hearings. (Your county coordinator will let you know if there are hearings in your
jurisdiction that do not require a written report.) CASA court reports are shared with legal
parties to a case and any other individuals who are authorized by law to receive them.
FORMAT
The CASA Court Report is divided into six sections:
  Brief History
  Assessment
  Reasonable Efforts
  Opinions and/or Concerns
  Recommendations
  Persons Interviewed and Records Reviewed
The template on the following pages offers suggested topics under each section and is a
good resource to use when preparing for and drafting each court report.
The average length of a court report may be three to four pages; sometimes it may be
shorter or longer, depending on the activity of the case since the last report.
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TIMELINE
CASA volunteers need to submit a draft of the court report to the county CASA office at
least two weeks before the court hearing. This will allow time for the report to be
reviewed, sent to the court, and distributed to other parties to the case. Some county
offices need the draft earlier than two weeks because of the volume of reports to be
processed. Ask your county coordinator for specific deadlines.
REVIEW PROCESS
County coordinators review all CASA court reports to ensure the recommendations are
supported by facts and all relevant information and documentation has been included.
County coordinators may make suggestions about wording to make your report clearer.
The county coordinator is responsible for editing the report. Please do not take editing
personally. Editing is not to change the intent, but simply to make the report more
concise.
ADDENDUMS
If a change in status or new and important information becomes available after the report
has been written, submit an addendum to the court report as soon as possible. This
addendum will be given to all parties. Check with your county coordinator about how to
proceed when addressing new and important information impacting the case.
Section Five
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CASA Court Report Template
Court Hearing Date:         CASA Volunteer:
County:            Date Submitted:
J# or Dep. #:  
Child’s Name Age
# of Placements
(since removal)
# of Contacts
(since last report)
BRIEF HISTORY
This section is to include a brief description of child and CASA volunteer information.
Child
Why the child came into care.
CASA Volunteer
1.  Provide the date of appointment or how long the CASA volunteer has been appointed
to the case.
2.  Give the number of hours spent on the case since the appointment date as well as from
the last court report.
ASSESSMENTS
(Be brief and objective, using descriptive language: who, what, when, where, how)
This section is used to relay factual information that will be used to support information
in the Opinions/Concerns and Recommendations sections. Describe what was observed,
situations, and behaviors (state only facts and objective information). Use quotes where
appropriate. If there is more than one child, it may be more effective to list the individual
child and give the child’s own information separately from other siblings.
1.  Placement
  Include information on the child’s placement, interaction with foster family or
other children in the placement.
  If there was a placement change, include whether the change was to a less
restrictive placement or to a more restrictive placement.
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2.  Visitations
  Describe visits with the child. How many visits has the CASA volunteer had with
the child since the last review?
  Describe the visits the child had with parents or care givers. How many visits
since the last review?
  Describe the visits the child had with other siblings, if appropriate.
  Describe the child’s behavior during visits.
  If visitation is not allowed, explain why.
3.  Services
  Is the child receiving services? Why/Why not? Describe behaviors which indicate
the success, or obstacles to success, of the services.
  Are the parents receiving services? Why/Why not? Describe behaviors which
indicate the success, or obstacles to success, of the services.
  Reference documents which report attendance at required services (e.g., AA
meetings, therapy, drug testing, etc.).
4.  Physical and Social Development
  Describe the physical and social development of the child.
  Is the child bonding with other children? With foster parents?
  Is the child small for the child’s age group?
  How is the child doing medically?
5.  Education
  Describe how the child is doing in school (behavior, grades, etc.).
  Describe any barriers to education.
REASONABLE EFFORTS
1.  Case plan
  Give a brief description of the case plan.
  State what DES was ordered by the court to provide to the child and family.
  State whether or not DES provided that service to the child and family.
2.  Reasonable Efforts
  Have reasonable efforts been made to fulfill the case plan (i.e., reunification,
permanency, etc.)?
  Provide information to support why it is believed reasonable efforts have, or have
not, been made.
Section Five
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Revised 9/09
OPINIONS AND/OR CONCERNS
This section is an open forum to discuss personal opinions and concerns about the case
based on the Assessments already presented. Some suggested areas to consider
addressing in this section are:
  The case and/or permanency plan, including obstacles to its implementation.
  Current or continuing problems in the case.
  Participation in and progress of provided services; services needed for the child or
family.
  The child’s current placement; is the placement meeting the child’s needs?
  Visitation or lack of visitation.
  Any other matters needing the attention of the court.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations should be specific and based on information previously documented.
They should include, but not be limited to:
1.  Whether the child should remain a ward of the court
Example: That (child‘s name) remain a Ward of the Court, committed to the care,
custody and control of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
2.  The child’s current placement
a)  Continue with (current location)
Example: That (child‘s name) remain in the current foster care placement.
OR
b)  Be changed to (new location).
Example: That if (child‘s name) is moved from the current placement, a
placement be located within the current school district.
3.  Services for the child/parent(s)
Example: That (child‘s name) continue counseling sessions four times per month
with the current therapist.
4.  Visitation
Example: That (child‘s name) be able to visit with other siblings at least once a
month and with maternal grandmother twice a month.
5.  Education
Example: That (child‘s name) be evaluated for special education services.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 19 ~
Revised 9/09
RESOURCES
Persons interviewed since the last report:
  List names and credentials; e.g., M.ED., Ph.D., M.S., M.A., Esq.
Child:
Biological mother:
Biological father:
Current Foster parent(s):
Former Foster parent(s):
CPS Case Manager:
CPS Parent Aide:
Therapist for child:
Probation officer for child:
CASA Coordinator:
Records reviewed since the last report:
  List date, title and author or material
  List most recent first
  Include author and dates of any reports or records received
Note: A CASA volunteer does not need to answer all questions specifically, and may
tailor each section in a way that most effectively conveys the CASA’s information.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 20 ~
Revised 9/09
Keys to a Successful Report
1.  Pay attention to detail.
  Use exact titles, dates and relationships.
  Use sentences that are complete and grammatically correct.
  Proof and spell check all work.
2.  Be thorough and specific.
  Use words that are descriptive and provide examples.
o  ―The mother would hug Sarah at the beginning and at the end of each of
her weekly visits. Both the mother and daughter appeared to be
genuinely glad to see one another and reluctant to leave one another’s
company.‖
  Use direct quotes.
  Be aware that legal parties in the case, including all attorneys, the case
manager and the Foster Care Review Board will receive your report.
3.  Distinguish subjective information (interpretation and judgment) from objective
information (fact).
  Report only facts in the Assessment section: who, what, when, where, why.
  Save all opinions for the Opinion and/or Concerns section.
4.  Be clear and concise.
  Avoid providing a ―he said, she said‖ account of events.
  Sort for themes and consistent patterns.
  Summarize as much as possible.
5.  Connect all parts of the report.
  Follow the guidelines for each section and include necessary information.
  Create assessments that lead to clearly reasoned opinions and concerns.
  Share opinions and concerns that lead to solid recommendations.
  Ensure recommendations flow from the facts.
6.  Include pictures to make the child ―real.‖
7.  Submit your report on time.
  Consult with your county coordinator on any questions.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 21 ~
Revised 9/09
CASA Volunteer Responsibilities Checklist
In Progress  Completed
1.  Review the petition with CASA program staff.
2.  Meet with the CPS caseworker and carefully review all CPS
records—be sure to ask for past or closed records.
3.  Request other records as needed: hospital records, police reports,
photos, protective services investigations, or other documentation.
4.  Check to see that there has been a physical examination of the child
by a physician upon placement.
5.  Meet with the child at least once per month—no matter how old or
young—to determine how the child feels about what is going on in
his/her life, in order to determine best interest and whether the child
can and should be in the courtroom.
6.  Meet with the parents—get permission from each parent’s attorney.
7.  Meet with the teacher, daycare worker, babysitter, or any person
who has had substantial contact with the child on a frequent basis.
8.  Appear at all hearings.
9.  Talk with psychologists and medical caregivers involved with the
child and obtain their written reports, if needed. If there has been no
psychological evaluation of the child or the parents, and one is
warranted, request one.
10.  Attend all staffings and child and family team (CFT) meetings (e.g.,
meetings about the situation at school, Child Protective Services,
mental health) related to the child.
11.  Determine what, if any, special problems or unmet needs the child
has (e.g., counseling, a special school program, transportation,
after-school care, medical treatment, etc.).
12.  Assist in developing resources for the child that meet his/her needs,
and contact appropriate agencies or persons. This might be for
special educational needs (e.g., tutoring), social needs (e.g., a
mentor, a sports team, or a scouting opportunity), placement needs,
medical or psychological treatment needs, or resources for any
other identified need.
13.  Speak with the attorney for the child to discuss the case and your
recommendations for the hearing as well as to learn whether or not
the child will be present in the courtroom.
14.  Draft and review written recommendations for court through a
CASA Court Report.
15.  Inform the child about the outcome of all court hearings and keep
the child updated about other aspects of the case, as appropriate to
their age and ability to understand.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 22 ~
Revised 9/09
CASA Volunteer Responsibilities Checklist (cont.)
In Progress  Completed
16.  Continually monitor the case, repeating the above activities to
ensure orders of the court are being followed by all parties and
current needs of the child are being met. Make a determination as to
whether the parents are correcting the situation that led to the
petition and/or removal, simply ―going through the motions,‖ or
ignoring the requirements for reunification.
17.  Contact the attorney for the child if the child needs an early review.
18.  Appear at all subsequent hearings.
19.  Review the permanent plan to ensure that it complies with ASFA
guidelines and is in the best interest of the child.
20.  Keep in touch with your county coordinator for guidance and
support.
21.  If parental rights have been terminated, review plans for permanent
placement, requesting information and consulting with Child
Protective Services so that appropriate placement occurs without
delay.
Section Five
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 23 ~
Revised 9/09
Resources
Arizona CASA Program
  Court Report Instructions and Templates
www.supreme.state.az.us/casa/advocate/forms.html
The instructions document explains how to organize and submit a child-focused,
fact-based court report. Four different templates are available for download.
  Court Report Writing online training module
www.supreme.state.az.us/casa/prepare/training.html
This module focuses on the correct format of a court report for CASA volunteers
in Arizona. Each required section is broken down and explained, with examples.
  Interviewing Children online training module
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/casa/prepare/training.html
This module focuses on the uniqueness of interviewing children, emphasizing the
important developmental considerations in planning the child interview, and
delineating some age-appropriate interviewing techniques.
How to Write a Report
www.howtobooks.co.uk/business/reports/
Just the Facts—Writing a Report You Can Defend
http://www.nationalcasa.org/download/volunteer/0608_report_writing_handout_0036.pdf
NOTES PAGE

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION 1—ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
Definitions  ..............................................................................................................................................  1
Applicability ..........................................................................................................................................  1
Purpose  ...................................................................................................................................................  1
General Administration  ..........................................................................................................................  2
Budget Request Preparation  ...................................................................................................................  3
Program Plan and Financial Management  .............................................................................................  3
County Program Operations ..................................................................................................................  4
Initial Certification and Application Process  .........................................................................................  6
Denial of Certification  ...........................................................................................................................  8
Volunteer Status  ...................................................................................................................................  11
Volunteer Minimum Performance Standards ......................................................................................  12
Recertification Process  .........................................................................................................................  13
Ongoing Requirements for Continuing Certification...........................................................................  13
Complaint Process ...............................................................................................................................  14
Dismissal from Case or Termination of a Volunteer from Program  ....................................................  15
Volunteer Code of Conduct  .................................................................................................................  16
SECTION 2—PROGRAM POLICIES
Preface  ..................................................................................................................................................  18
General Administration  ........................................................................................................................  19
Human Resources Management...........................................................................................................  21
Program Plan and Financial Management  ...........................................................................................  22
County Program Operations ................................................................................................................  23
County Staff Qualifications  .................................................................................................................  24
Volunteer Recruitment and Retention..................................................................................................  26
Public Relations  ...................................................................................................................................  27
Volunteer Minimum Performance Standards ......................................................................................  28
Personal Liability  .................................................................................................................................  33
Training  ................................................................................................................................................  34
File Management .................................................................................................................................  36
Page 1
ARIZONA CODE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION
Part 7: Administrative Office of the Court Programs
Chapter 1: Dependent Children’s Services
Section 7-101: Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
A.  Definitions. In this section, the following definitions apply:
―Assigned judge‖ means the judge who hears a particular dependency case to which a CASA
volunteer is appointed.
―CASA‖ means Court Appointed Special Advocate.
―County program staff‖ means all county coordinators and county support staff of the CASA
program.
―DCATS‖ means Dependent Children Automated Tracking System, a database system.
―Disposition‖ means the final outcome of a criminal charge.
―Director‖ means the administrative director of the Administrative Office of the Court and the
director’s designee.
―In camera inspection‖ means a judge’s inspection in chambers of a document which is the
subject of a request for disclosure before ruling on its release.
―Manager‖ means the program manager of the CASA program administered by the
Administrative Office of the Courts.
―State program office‖@ means the office responsible to administer the CASA program
statewide.
B.  Applicability.
1.  The CASA program is established in the Administrative Office of the Court. Pursuant to
A.R.S. § 8-523 the program shall establish local CASA programs in each county. The
supreme court is to adopt rules prescribing the establishment of local programs and the
minimum performance standards of these programs.
2.  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-522(B) the supreme court shall certify special advocates pursuant to
rules adopted by the court. Court rules for certification shall include compliance with
qualification standards prescribed by the court.
C.  Purpose. The purpose of the CASA program is to administer and provide oversight to a
community-based volunteer advocacy program in the juvenile court for abused and neglected
children.
Page 2
D.  General Administration.
1.  The supreme court shall administer and maintain the CASA program. The court shall adopt
rules and procedures necessary to implement the program, including qualification standards.
2.  The director shall prepare fiscal projections, create a budget, allocate and expend funds for
administrative costs and projects associated with the CASA program. The director is
authorized to execute funding agreements and approve distribution to local programs.
3.  The director shall appoint a manager. The manager shall oversee the implementation and
administration of the CASA program which includes the daily management and supervision
of state program office staff. The manager shall oversee the development and maintenance of
all program performance criteria to include policies, procedures, recommended job
descriptions, manuals, and other necessary materials.
4.  The manager shall oversee training for all staff to include state program office staff, county
program staff, and volunteers.
5.  The state program office shall obtain and review all applicant criminal history records from
the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Based upon this review the state program office
shall:
a.  Indicate the applicant has successfully completed this aspect of the screening process;
b.  Forward the information to the county program office where the applicant is required to
provide additional information before continuing the screening process;
c.  Recommend denial of certification of the applicant if the applicant has not successfully
completed this aspect of the screening process.
6.  The state program office shall obtain, review, and make recommendations to the county
program office regarding all applicant Department of Motor Vehicle (MVD) record
information.
7.  The state program office obtains, reviews, and makes recommendations regarding
certification based on the review of the Department of Economic Security (DES) central
registry.
8.  The manager shall maintain a central list of all certified volunteers and issue them
identification badges.
9.  The manager may conduct investigations as specified in 7-101(N) of this code section.
Page 3
10. The manager shall review all county programs. At a minimum the review shall assess each
program’s compliance with:
a.  Arizona statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, administrative orders, rules,
this code, and program policies and procedures; and
b.  Case and volunteer file standards.
11.  The state and county program staff shall not solicit donations.
12.  All state and county program staff and volunteers shall comply with applicable statutes
described in A.R.S. § 8-807, § 41-1959, Arizona Rules of Court, including, but not limited to
Rule 123, Rules of the Supreme Court, and administrative rules regarding confidentiality.
E.  Budget Request Preparation. The presiding judge or designee shall submit in writing to the
director or designee a budget request and program plan to establish and maintain a county
program. The manager shall annually supply each presiding judge or designee a budget request
and program plan together with instructions for applying for funds appropriated to the supreme
court pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-524. To the extent funds are available, the director shall allocate
funds to meet the need for certifying volunteers pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-522(B).
F.  Program Plan and Financial Management.
1.  The county program shall:
a.  Provide to the manager an annual budget request and program plan;
b.  Submit quarterly progress reports to the state program office by the 5th day of the new
quarter (October, January, April, and July);
c.  Submit quarterly financial statements to the state program office by the 30th day of the
new quarter (October, January, and April);
d.  Submit a closing financial statement (year-end) to the state program office by August 15.
Revertment shall be received annually at the state program office by August 31; and
e.  Provide additional financial reports as directed by the manager (for example, ―mid-year
vacancy savings report‖).
2.  The county program staff shall enter all DCATS statistical information on cases and
volunteers on at least a monthly basis.
3.  The county program staff shall reimburse volunteers for per diem and mileage costs for
attending the mandatory initial orientation training, to the extent funds are available and
according to state travel policies. The county coordinator may authorize reimbursement for
volunteer training and extraordinary travel expenditures if funds are available, and according
to state travel policies.
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G.  County Program Operations.
1.  The county program shall give priority to appointment of volunteers in dependency matters
over delinquency or incorrigibility matters.
2.  The program shall screen every dependency case, and any delinquency case if referred, to
determine if the case is appropriate for appointment to a volunteer and to make effective
matches of volunteers to cases.
3.  An outside individual or agency (for example: DES, attorneys, private parties, law
enforcement, etc.) shall not review any volunteer or case files unless a subpoena and an order
of the presiding judge or designee has been issued.
4.  Upon receipt of a subpoena, the county coordinator shall deliver a complete duplicate of the
file to the presiding judge or designee for in camera inspection. The county coordinator shall
not permit a file to be viewed without an order.
5.  If a CASA volunteer testifies at a hearing before a judge or at a jury trial and uses contact
logs or any portion of the volunteer’s file that have not been the subject of a subpoena, any
disclosure to the parties shall be ordered by the court.
6.  If county staff or volunteers suspect the safety and well-being of a child is at risk, they shall
report that information immediately to CPS as mandated in A.R.S. § 13-3620.
7.  The county coordinator shall ensure that upon voluntarily or involuntarily leaving the
program, volunteers return identification badges and all case-related materials.
8.  The county coordinator shall not accept appointment as a CASA volunteer.
9.  The county program shall review, maintain, and take action regarding MVD records as
required by the state program office.
10.  The county program shall submit completed applicant fingerprint cards to the DPS for a
criminal history records check, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1750, 28 CFR, Part 20, and any other
applicable federal laws.
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11.  In the event that definitive fingerprints are not obtainable, the county coordinator shall
require the applicant to make a written statement, under oath, that the applicant has not been
arrested, charged, indicted, convicted of or pled guilty to any felony or misdemeanor, other
than as disclosed on the application, through the interview process, or polygraph exam. The
county coordinator has the option to recommend that certification of a volunteer be granted
or denied, even if this statement is provided.
12.  If a volunteer has a record of conviction of a violation of A.R.S. § 28-1381, § 28-1382, or §
28-1383 driving under the influence (DUI), the county program shall prohibit the volunteer
from driving any vehicle to transport children, staff, or any other indivi duals in the course
and scope of CASA duties for a period of no less than five (5) years.
13.  All county program staff and volunteers shall adhere to the ACJA § 7-101, the CASA code of
conduct attached hereto and incorporated herein as Appendix A, and the program policies.
a.  All county program staff and volunteers shall receive a copy of this code section and
CASA program policies and procedures. Each county program staff and volunteer shall
sign and date an acknowledgment of receipt and agreement to comply with these
documents. The signed acknowledgment shall be placed in the staff member or
volunteer’s file.
b.  All county program staff and volunteers shall avoid any action which could adversely
affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of the CASA program. They shall not
conduct themselves in a manner that would reflect adversely on the judiciary, the courts,
or other agencies involved in the administration of justice.
14.  All county program staff shall immediately notify the county coordinator or supervisor and
volunteers shall immediately notify the county coordinator if:
a.  They are the subject of an allegation or investigation in any criminal matter;
b.  They have been arrested or charged in any criminal matter;
c.  It is alleged in a civil, probate, domestic relations, or dependency matter or other court
case that they have sexually assaulted, exploited, or physically abused any child or
vulnerable adult;
d.  They have been found in any professional licensing disciplinary board’s final decision to
have sexually or physically abused or exploited any minor, developmentally disabled
person, or vulnerable adult;
e.  They have engaged in an act listed in I(2)(a)(d);
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f.  They are currently awaiting trial for criminal offenses listed in I(1)(e)(f)(g)(h) and
I(2)(b)(c)(e) in this state or in another state or jurisdiction; and
g.  They have been convicted of a criminal offense listed in I(e)(f)(g)(h). They have engaged
in any behavior listed in I(1)(h)(i)(j)(k)(l)(m)(n) and (o).
15.  Either the county coordinator or supervisor shall immediately notify the state program office
if:
a.  They are the subject of any action listed in 14 (a-g) above; and
b.  County program staff or volunteers have reported to the county coordinator that they are
the subject of an action listed in 14 (a-g) above.
16.  County program staff using county computers shall adhere to the ACJA § 1-503; Electronic
Communications. CASA volunteers shall not transmit confidential information via home
computers unless transmission is through the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)
secure web server.
H.  Initial Certification and Application Process.
1.  Qualifications of the Volunteer. A volunteer shall meet the following qualifications:
a.  U.S. citizen or legal resident;
b.  Not employed by DES, the juvenile court, or child welfare agencies, unless specifically
authorized by the juvenile court judge; and
c.  At least twenty-one years of age.
2.  Volunteer Application Process. A volunteer shall complete the following application process
within ninety (90) days of the application date unless a good cause extension is obtained from
the county coordinator:
a.  Complete an application;
b.  Provide the program with a readable fingerprint card or a notarized criminal disclosure
statement as provided in subsection (G)(11) if definitive fingerprints are not obtainable. If
the criminal history results do not show a disposition, it is the applicant’s obligation to
obtain documentation regarding the disposition which is acceptable to the program;
c.  Complete a personal interview with the county coordinator;
d.  Provide three non-relative personal references;
e.  Complete a polygraph examination;
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f.  Sign and date a statement indicating the volunteer has read, understands, and shall
comply with all statutes, Arizona Rules of Court, this code, administrative orders, and
policies and procedures of the CASA program;
g.  Sign and date a pre-screening criteria form;
h.  Attend 30 hours of initial Orientation Training (OT); and
i.  Authorize the CASA program to secure a criminal history record check, MVD record
check, and DES central registry information check as permitted by state and federal laws.
3.  The CASA program shall reject the applicant if the applicant refuses to authorize a release of
information to complete background checks.
4.  Notification of Certification. The county coordinator shall promptly notify the applicant
accepted for certification in accordance with this code section.
5.  Volunteers who have been certified to enter the program and who transport children shall at
all times maintain current automobile coverage. Volunteers shall provide proof of automobile
insurance and any additional requirements set by the AOC to the county program office on an
annual basis.
6.  Access to records of applicants and volunteers. Unless otherwise provided by law, the
following shall apply to applicant and volunteer records:
a.  Program records regarding applicants and volunteers shall not be open to applicants,
volunteers, or the public. This includes, but is not limited to, the application, polygraph
examination, interview notes, criminal history record information, DES central registry
information check, personal references, and MVD record check.
b.  Upon request, the county program shall provide an applicant or volunteer with a copy of
the applicant’s or volunteer’s individual application. Notes or work product of county
staff shall be redacted.
c.  The county coordinator shall notify applicants or volunteers of the general facts regarding
a finding without providing specific information on the following:
1.  Criminal record;
2.  Negative MVD record; or
3.  Record in the DES central registry.
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I.  Denial of Certification.
1.  The county coordinator shall deny certification if any of the following conditions exist:
a.  The applicant has not completed any aspect of the application process;
b.  The applicant has not been fingerprinted, the county coordinator has not received the
criminal background check, MVD records check, or the DES central registry information
check;
c.  The applicant has not completed the training requirements;
d.  The applicant materially misrepresented facts or committed fraud in the application
process;
e.  The applicant has been convicted of any of the following criminal offenses as an adult:
(1)  Sexual abuse of a minor
(2)    Incest
(3)    First or second degree murder
(4)    Kidnapping
(5)    Arson
(6)    Sexual assault
(7)    Sexual exploitation of a minor
(8)    Felony offenses involving contributing to the delinquency of a
minor
(9)    Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
(10)  Felony offenses involving sale, distribution or transportation of, offer to sell,
transport or distribute or conspiracy to sell, transport or distribute marijuana,
dangerous drugs or narcotic drugs
(11)  Felony offenses involving the possession or use of marijuana, dangerous drugs, or
narcotic drugs
(12)  Burglary
(13)  Aggravated or armed robbery
(14)  Robbery
(15)  A dangerous crime against children as defined in § 13-604.01
(16)  Child abuse
(17)  Sexual conduct with a minor
(18)  Molestation of a child
(19)  Manslaughter
(20)  Assault or aggravated assault
(21)  Exploitation of minors involving drug offenses
(22)  Offenses involving domestic violence
(23)  Sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult
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f.  The applicant has charges pending for a felony or misdemeanor involving a sex
offense, child abuse or neglect, or related acts that would pose risks to children served
by the CASA program and the program’s credibility.
g.  The applicant has been found to have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor
involving a sex offense, child abuse, neglect, related acts or any other crimes against
children.
h.  The applicant has been found in any civil probate, domestic relations, dependency or
other court matter to have:
(1)  Sexually abused or assaulted;
(2)  Physically abused or assaulted; or
(3)  Financially exploited any child or vulnerable adult.
i.  The applicant has been found in any professional licensing disciplinary board’s final
decision to have:
(1)  Sexually abused or assaulted;
(2)  Physically abused or assaulted; or
(3)  Financially exploited any child or vulnerable adult.
j.  The applicant is currently a waiting trial for criminal offenses in this state or in another
state or jurisdiction as listed in subsections I(1)(e)(f)(g)(h) and I(2)(b)(c)(e).
k.  The applicant is currently using or has used within the past two (2) years any non-prescribed controlled substances and/or illegal drugs, including marijuana.
l.  The applicant is the parent or guardian of a child currently in the dependency process or
adjudicated to be dependent.
m.  The applicant or volunteer has a record in the DES central registry of substantiated acts
of abuse or neglect.
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2.  The county coordinator may deny or recommend denial of certification if one or more of the
following is found:
a.  The applicant has a record of any act constituting dishonesty or fraud;
b.  The applicant has a record of conviction by final judgment of any felony;
c.  The applicant has a record of conviction by final judgment of a misdemeanor involving
moral turpitude;
d.  The applicant has been found civilly liable in an action involving fraud,
misrepresentation, material omission, misappropriation, or conversion;
e.  Applicant has been convicted of a violation of A.R.S. § 28-1381, § 28-1382, § 28-1383;
and
f.  In determining whether to allow an applicant with the conduct or convictions listed in
subsections (I)(2)(a-e) above to be certified, the county coordinator shall consider the
following:
(1)  The extent of the person’s criminal or conduct record;
(2)  The length of time that has elapsed since the offense or conduct was committed;
(3)  The nature of the offense or conduct;
(4)  Any applicable mitigating circumstances;
(5)  The degree to which the person participated in the offense or conduct;
(6)  The extent of the person’s rehabilitation, including:
(a)  Completion of probation, parole or community supervision;
(b)  Whether the person paid restitution or other compensation for the offense or
conduct;
(c)  Evidence of positive action to change the conduct or criminal behavior, such as
completion of a drug treatment program or counseling; and
(d)  Personal references attesting to the person’s rehabilitation.
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3.  Notification of Denial.
a.  The county coordinator shall promptly notify the applicant denied certification in
accordance with this code section. If the applicant is denied, only general reasons shall be
given for the denial. If denial is due to a positive criminal history, that general fact may
be disclosed.
b.  The applicant shall be advised that if the volunteer application is denied, the applicant
may have the decision reviewed by the presiding juvenile court judge upon request.
J.  Volunteer Status.
1.  A volunteer serves at the pleasure of the court. The court may terminate the services of a
volunteer without cause. The county coordinator shall take action toward any volunteer not
adhering to the minimum performance standards of the CASA program, which may include
limitations on types of cases, suspension, or termination.
2.  A volunteer shall have access to documents and information pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-522(F):
A special advocate shall have access to all documents and information
regarding the child and the child’s family without obtaining prior approval of
the child, the child’s family or the court. All records and information the
special advocate acquires, reviews or products may only be disclosed as
provided for in § 41-1959.
3.  A.R.S. § 8-522(G) provides for notice to the CASA volunteer as follows:
The special advocate shall receive notice of all hearings, staffings,
investigations and other matters concerning the child. The special advocate
shall have a right to participate in the formulation of any agreement,
stipulation or case plan entered into regarding the child.
4.  A volunteer shall be on active status if the volunteer engages in any of the following
activities:
a.  Appointed to a dependency or juvenile probation case;
b.  Involved in the administrative aspect of the county program office;
c.  Serving as a mentor to other volunteers; or
d.  Otherwise regularly involved with the county program.
5.  Volunteers who are active but not assigned cases, shall provide a minimum of three hours per
month in organized program activities and shall document those activities monthly.
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6.  A volunteer may be placed on inactive status if all of the following conditions are met:
a.  Approved by the county coordinator, for no longer than six months;
b.  Not currently appointed to a dependency or juvenile probation case;
c.  Not involved in the administrative aspect of the county program office;
d.  Not a mentor to other volunteers; and
e.  Not otherwise regularly involved with the county program.
7.  While on inactive status, the volunteer shall:
a.  Provide performance-based assessment reviews.
b.  Comply with the required in-service training each calendar year.
K.  Volunteer Minimum Performance Standards.
1.  The volunteer shall perform functions set out in A.R.S. § 8-522(E) and in state and local
policies. A.R.S. § 8-522(E) provides:
A special advocate shall:
a.  Meet with the child.
b.  Advocate for the child’s safety as the first priority
c.  Gather and provide independent, factual information to aid the court in
making its decision regarding what is in the child’s best interest and in
determining if reasonable efforts have been made to prevent removal of the
child from the child's home or to reunite the child with the child’s family.
d.  Provide advocacy to ensure that appropriate case planning and services are
provided for the child.
e.  Perform other duties prescribed by the supreme court by rule.
2.  A volunteer shall accept appointments in dependency, guardianship, termination,
delinquency, and incorrigibility actions pursuant to Rule 3, Rules of Procedure for the
Juvenile Court and A.R.S. § 8-522(A).
3.  A volunteer shall accept appointments as guardians ad litem pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-221(I)
and Rule 40, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court and A.R.S. § 8-522(A).
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4.  A volunteer shall comply with Arizona statutes, Arizona Rules of Court, Rules of Procedure
for the Juvenile Court, administrative orders, rules, this code, and program policies and
procedures.
5.  A.R.S. § 8-522(H) provides: ―A special advocate is immune from civil or criminal liability
for the advocate’s acts or omissions in connection with the authorized responsibilities the
special advocate performs in good faith.‖
6.  A volunteer shall comply with state program policies regarding training requirements.
7.  A volunteer shall comply with state program policies regarding performance-based
assessment reviews.
L.  Recertification Process. If a volunteer leaves the CASA program for up to one year and is
eligible for return, the volunteer shall, at a minimum, attend the initial orientation training. If a
volunteer leaves the program for more than one year and is eligible for return, the volunteer shall
repeat the application process.
M.  Ongoing Requirements for Continuing Certification.
1.  By December 31st every other calendar year starting with 2005 volunteers shall:
a.  Sign a statement under oath that the volunteer has not been arrested, charged, indicted,
convicted of, or pled guilty to, any felony or misdemeanor since the volunteer’s last
certification;
b.  Sign a statement that the volunteer has not engaged in any conduct that would be grounds
to deny certification.
c.  Authorize the CASA program to secure a criminal history records check, MVD records
check, and DES central registry information check as permitted by state and federal laws;
and
d.  Provide proof of automobile insurance and any additional requirements set by the AOC if
the volunteer is driving any vehicle to transport children, staff, or any other individuals in
the course and scope of CASA duties.
2.  The county coordinator may recommend that the volunteer’s certification continue based on
the volunteer statement provided in compliance with M(1)(a–d).
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N.  Complaint Process.
1.  The structure of the CASA program allows complaints to come in at three different levels.
Complaints may be made to the manager, presiding judge or designee, or the county
coordinator.
2.  All judicial officers and state and county program staff shall, and any person may, notify the
county coordinator if it appears that a volunteer has violated Arizona statutes, Rules of Court,
including Rules of Procedure of the Juvenile Court, this code, administrative orders, rules, or
program policies.
3.  All complaints shall be in writing with sufficient specificity to warrant further investigation.
The name and telephone number of the complainant shall also be provided.
4.  Investigations may be conducted at any of the three levels designated in N(1) and may be for
the following purposes:
a.  To determine whether a volunteer has violated this code section or other applicable
statutes, rules, and policies;
b.  To determine whether a complaint is valid; or
c.  To secure information useful in the administration of the program or this code section.
5.  While an investigation is pending, the county coordinator may seek a temporary order from
the assigned judge, the presiding juvenile court judge, or designee, suspending the volunteer
from duties as a CASA volunteer.
6.  Any investigation under this provision shall be reported to all three levels designated in N(1).
7.  Upon review of all evidence, the investigator shall make a report and recommendation to the
presiding judge or designee for resolution of the complaint. The investigator, upon receiving
judicial resolution of the complaint, shall inform the parties designated in N(1).
8.  The county coordinator shall document any complaints in the volunteer’s file and send a copy
to the state program office. Information and documentation shall be confidential and
available only for use in considering volunteer’s continuing certification for review by the
manager.
9.  If the complaint involves alleged criminal activity as listed in, but not limited to, this code
section, or immediate or potential danger to a child, the investigator shall promptly forward
the written complaint and all other investigative progress reports to the parties designated in
N(1).
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O.  Dismissal from Case or Termination of a Volunteer from Program.
1.  Upon completion of the complaint process, the county coordinator shall refer any
recommendation regarding discipline to the presiding judge or designee. The presiding judge
or designee shall take action up to and including dismissal from the program.
2.  Grounds for dismissal or termination of a volunteer from the program include but are not
limited to:
a.  Taking action that endangers the child or is outside the role of the statutory authority of
the CASA program;
b.  Failing to adhere to Arizona statutes, Rules of Court including the Procedures of the
Juvenile Court, ACJA, administrative orders, rules, and program policies;
c.  Failing to demonstrate an ability to effectively carry out assigned duties;
d.  Falsifying the application or misrepresenting facts during the screening process;
e.  A finding against the volunteer of child abuse or neglect by a court or any authorized
governmental agency;
f.  Existing conflict of interest which cannot be resolved;
g.  Allowing the appointed child to visit the volunteer’s home or stay overnight with the
volunteer unless specifically ordered by the court; and
h.  Any action that would have required initial denial of certification as a CASA volunteer.
3.  A volunteer shall be suspended immediately following an allegation of existing child abuse
and neglect against the volunteer.
a.  A volunteer shall be suspended immediately pending a determination of alleged child
abuse or neglect;
b.  A volunteer shall be suspended immediately pending an investigation of an allegation of
conduct that would be grounds for mandatory or discretionary denial of certification.
4.  A volunteer shall be dismissed immediately if there has been a judicial or administrative
determination of abuse or neglect.
5.  A volunteer shall be dismissed immediately if the volunteer uses illegal drugs or alcohol
while performing CASA duties.
Adopted by Administrative Order 2000-85 effective November 28, 2000. Amended by Administrative
Order 2001-108 effective October 31, 2001. Amended by Administrative Order 2005-13 effective
February 3, 2005.
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Section 7-101: Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
Appendix A
Volunteer Code of Conduct
Preamble.    This Code of Conduct is adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court to apply to all
certified Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers in the state of
Arizona. The purpose of this code is to establish minimum standards for performance
by certified CASA volunteers.
1.  The volunteer shall perform only authorized responsibilities pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-522(e). Those
responsibilities include:
a.  Meet with the child;
b.  Advocate for the child’s safety as the first priority;
c.  Gather and provide independent, factual information to aid the court in making its decision
regarding what is in the child’s best interest and in determining if reasonable efforts have
been made to prevent removal of the child from the child’s home or to reunite the child with
the child’s family;
d.  Provide advocacy to ensure that appropriate case planning and services are provided for the
child.
2.  The volunteer who performs activities other than those authorized in (1)(a-d) above, shall only do
so pursuant to supreme court rule.
3.  The volunteer shall consult with the county coordinator to resolve any ethical issues that arise.
4.  The volunteer shall serve and respond to requests without bias of race, religion, sex, age, national
origin, or physical impairment.
5.  Before appointment to a case the volunteer shall disclose to the county coordinator or court any
pre-existing relationship with a child or the child’s family that could be perceived as a conflict of
interest.
6.  The volunteer shall, at all times, perform authorized functions in a professional and impartial
manner.
7.  The volunteer shall not use or attempt to use the volunteer’s official position to secure
unwarranted privileges or exemptions.
8.  The volunteer shall not request or accept any fee or compensation in the course of CASA
volunteer service.
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9.  The volunteer shall use public resources, property, and funds under the volunteer’s control
responsibly and for the purpose intended by law and not for any private use.
10.  The volunteer shall comply with applicable statutes described in A.R.S. § 8-707. § 41-1959,
Arizona Rules of Court; including, but not limited to Rule 123, Rules of the Supreme Court, and
Administrative Rules regarding confidentiality.
11.  The volunteer shall not allow the appointed child to visit the volunteer’s home or stay overnight
with the volunteer unless specifically ordered by the court with prior approval of the CPS
supervisor, CPS case manager, and county coordinator.
12.  The volunteer shall not be related to any parties involved in the case or be employed in a
position/or agency that might result in a conflict of interest.
13.  The volunteer shall not engage in the following activities:
a.  Give legal or medical advice;
b.  Provide therapeutic counseling;
c.  Provide health care services;
d.  Make placement arrangements for the child;
e.  Give money or gifts of value over $10 to the child or family;
f.  Solitary excursions to isolated places involving only the CASA volunteer and the appointed
child; and
g.  Perform home studies for out-of-state or in-state agencies.
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PREFACE FOR PROGRAM POLICIES
The Arizona Supreme Court CASA Program is very pleased to provide these policies and procedures
to juvenile court judges, supervisors of CASA county programs, county program staff, and CASA
volunteers.
Initially, when the first program was established in 1985 under the auspices of the Arizona Supreme
Court, the Maricopa CASA Program and those that followed, operated with the guidelines set forth
by the National CASA Association (NCASAA).
In May 1994, policies and procedures were adopted incorporating those NCASAA operational
guidelines as well as Arizona statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Administrative
Orders, Rules, Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA), and program policies and
procedures.
The Arizona CASA Program adheres to the standards set by the National CASA Association and
continues to be in good standing with that organization. The state program office provides all county
programs with a membership in the National CASA Association.
MISSION
Our mission is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are involved in
the juvenile courts.
We promote and support community-based volunteers, certified by the Supreme Court, who provide
quality advocacy to help assure each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
VISION
Change the world…Invest in the future…Bring the gift of hope
to all abused and neglected children—one child at a time.
VALUES
   We will provide independent, objective, factual information to the juvenile court through quality
court reports.
   We will be an active participant in the child’s case management team.
   We will keep our commitment to the children.
   We will conduct ourselves and our work with competency and professionalism.
   We will be persistent in our work.
   We will continue to improve ourselves through education and experience in order to improve the
lives of the children we serve.
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General Administration
1.  The state program manager (Manager) shall oversee training for all staff to include state
program office, county program staff, and volunteers.
a.  The Manager shall review the training and its ongoing development at least annually and
shall revise the trainings offered based on the Arizona CASA Program’s assessment of its
training needs.
b.  The Manager shall use a variety of instructors, including, but not limited to program staff,
attorneys, judges, agency representatives, and volunteers.
2.  Pursuant to (A.R.S.) § 8-523, the Manager shall review all county programs. At a minimum the
review shall assess each program’s compliance with:
a.  Arizona statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Administrative Orders,
Rules, Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA), and program policies,
procedures, and performance standards.
b.  Case and volunteer file standards.
c.  There will be a periodic review that shall include, but not be limited to:
(1)  A site visit to each county program office to review specific program files.
(2)  A summary report evaluating minimum performance standards which shall be
given to all appropriate judicial officers, administrators, and county program staff.
(3)  A response by the county program staff with corrective action plans and time
frames for compliance shall be required in the final written report.
3.  As funding allows, the state program office shall provide a statewide conference or regional
training to county program staff and volunteers.
4.  The state program office shall provide New Staff Orientation Training, as stated in the Training
chapter of this manual, to all new county program staff.
5.  As funding allows and program needs require, the state program office shall conduct quarterly
administrative meetings for county coordinators. One county coordinator per county shall
attend administrative meetings. Of these administrative meetings, at least one shall include
training for county coordinators and one for all state and county program staff. Brief records of
meetings shall be completed after each meeting. Meeting records shall be maintained according
to Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) records retention policies and code.
6.  The state program office shall provide Dependent Children Automated Tracking System
(DCATS) training to all designated program staff.
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7.  The state program office shall provide Orientation Training (OT) to volunteers. OT shall meet
the required volunteer in-service training hours for the first calendar year.
8.  The state program office shall provide specialized mentor training to new mentor volunteers.
Training shall meet some of the requirements of the annual in-service training hours per
calendar year.
9.  The state program office shall develop and provide standardized and required forms to all
county programs.
10.  The Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, Part 7, Chapter 1, Section 7-101 states that
―…All state and county program staff and volunteers shall comply with applicable statutes
described in A.R.S. § 8-807, § 41-1959, Arizona Rules of Court, including, but not limited to
Rule 123, Rules of the Supreme Court and administrative rules regarding confidentiality.‖
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Human Resources Management
1.  Policies and procedures shall be established to address personnel issues. In the absence of
county standards, the state standards shall apply.
2.  The Arizona CASA Program complies with applicable laws and regulations governing fair
employment practices.
3.  Personnel records of county program staff shall be maintained by the county jurisdiction
according to local court or county personnel policies.
2.  The CASA Program shall make an effort to ensure that its facility is free of barriers that restrict
the employment of or use by physically challenged employees.
5.  At least annually, using a standardized evaluation form, the performance of the county program
staff shall be evaluated by the designated supervisor. The evaluation shall review performance
against established criteria with the county program staff being an active participant.
Evaluations shall be consistent with local court and county personnel policies. Evaluations
shall include, but are not limited to:
a.  An assessment of job performance in relation to the quality and quantity of work defined
in the job description and to the performance objectives established in the most recen t
evaluation.
b.  Clearly stated objectives for future performance.
c.  Recommendations for further training and skill-building, if applicable.
d.  An opportunity for county program staff self-evaluation.
6.  The county program staff is given the opportunity to sign the evaluation report, obtain a copy,
and include written comments before the report is entered into the personnel record.
7.  All employment concerns shall be referred to the county program staff’s immediate supervisor
or the appointing authority.
8.  Personnel issues involving county program staff shall follow applicable disciplinary
procedures, with the ultimate decision made by the presiding juvenile court judge, or
designee, and notification made to the state program office.
Page 22
Program Plan and Financial Management
1.  The county program shall provide to the Manager an annual Budget Request and Program Plan
(Plan) pursuant to the schedule established by the state program office.
2.  The director shall review the Plan. Upon approval and availability of funds, the director shall
enter into a funding agreement with the submitting court for distribution of the allocated funds
and operation of the program as set forth in the Plan.
3.  Funding
a.  County program staff shall reimburse volunteers for per diem and mileage costs for
attending the mandatory initial Orientation Training, to the extent funds are available and
according to state travel policies. The county coordinator may authorize reimbursement
for volunteer training and extraordinary travel expenditures if funds are available, and
according to state travel policies.
b.  Funding will be provided on a ratio of 1 supervisor for every 10 county coordinators; 1
county coordinator for 40 volunteers; 1 county support staff for no less than 2 FTE
county coordinator positions. The ratio shall be pro-rated for all FTEs lower than one.
Distances and multiple offices in a county may be considered for exceptions to this ratio.
The total county coordinator FTE shall not exceed 1.0 until the 40 volunteers to 1 county
coordinator position ratio is met.
The number of volunteers who are active but who are not appointed to cases shall not
exceed 10% of the total number of volunteers.
c.  The supervisor position is responsible for direct reporting of 15 staff (10 county
coordinators, 5 county support staff, and 400 volunteers) and shall not be held to the
county coordinator to volunteer ratio.
d.  The supervisor position shall manage at least 15 volunteers until the county program has
10 county coordinators and 5 county support staff.
e.  The county program shall ensure funds disbursed from the manager are held in a separate
revenue account.
Page 23
County Program Operations
1.  All screening criteria shall be completed before the applicant is certified as a volunteer in the
program, appointed a case, or involved in the program in any way except as allowed in the
Arizona Code of Judicial administration, Part 7, Chapter 1, Section 7-101. If any criminal
history discloses an offense with no disposition, it shall be the obligation of the county program
staff to follow up with the applicant. It is the applicant’s obligation to obtain documentation
regarding the disposition which is acceptable to the program.
2.  Within 30 days after completion of certification, the county coordinator shall assign a new
volunteer either specific duties within the program or to serve in a judicial appointment to a
case.
3.  The county coordinator, or the mentor under the supervision of the county coordinator, shall be
responsible for conducting Pre- and Post-Orientation Training to all new volunteers as provided
in the statewide training curriculum.
4.  A volunteer shall be appointed no more than 2 cases at one time in which to advocate.
Additional case assignments shall be at the discretion of the county coordinator.
5.  County program staff shall maintain and keep current all program performance manuals.
6.  County program staff shall provide ongoing recognition of volunteers. As funding allows,
county program staff shall provide at least one annual volunteer recognition event.
7.  The county program staff shall enter all DCATS statistical information on cases and volunteers
on at least a monthly basis.
8.  County program staff and volunteers may accept referral cases over non-referral cases.
9.  The CASA Program reflects the community and client interests and advocates for culturally
competent service delivery.
Page 24
County Staff Qualifications
1.  County Coordinator Supervisor Qualifications
The presiding judge or designee shall employ a county program supervisor who possesses, at a
minimum, specific qualifications:
a.  A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with an
emphasis in social work, counseling, or a related field. In an exceptional case, four years’
equivalent work experience in a related field with demonstrated ability may be
considered.
b.  Two years’ experience in the juvenile court and/or child welfare systems.
c.  Two years’ experience as a county coordinator.
d.  One year’s experience desired using computer software programs including word
processing and spreadsheets.
e.  Satisfactory completion of a security clearance, which includes fingerprinting, and the
signing of any state required certification and pre-employment affidavit per county
requirements.
2.  County Coordinator Qualifications
The presiding judge or designee shall employ a county coordinator who possesses, at a
minimum, specific qualifications including but not limited to:
a.  A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with an
emphasis in social work, counseling, or a related field. In an exceptional case, four years’
equivalent work experience in a related field with demonstrated ability may be
considered.
b.  One year’s experience in the juvenile court and/or child welfare systems.
c.  One year’s experience desired using computer software programs including word
processing and spreadsheets.
d.  Satisfactory completion of a security clearance, which includes fingerprinting, and the
signing of any state required certification and pre-employment affidavit per county
requirements.
Page 25
3.  County Support Staff Qualifications
The presiding judge or designee shall employ a county support staff who possesses at a
minimum, specific qualifications.
a.  One year’s experience in a clerical support capacity.
b.  One year’s experience desired using computer software programs including word
processing and spreadsheets.
c.  The ability to type at least 55 words per minute with minimal errors.
d.  Satisfactory completion of a security clearance, which includes fingerprinting, and the
signing of any state required certification and pre-employment affidavit per county
requirements.
Page 26
Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
1.  The county program shall have written plans for recruiting and selecting volunteers. A
standardized packet of information shall be given to each applicant which contains, but is not
limited to:
a.  The purpose and role of the CASA volunteer;
b.  Details about the qualifications for becoming a volunteer; and
c.  Minimum time commitment requirement.
2.  The county program’s recruitment plan shall include targeted strategies to attract volunteers
from diverse cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. The program shall also seek
age diversity.
3.  The county program’s strategies for recruitment of volunteers shall include but not be limited
to community outreach.
Page 27
Public Relations
1.  The state program office shall provide and inform county program staff prior to distribution of
marketing materials (i.e., news clipping services, developing marketing materials, coordinating
marketing plans statewide, etc.).
2.  The county program shall:
a.  Conduct an ongoing public information and educational program;
b.  Disseminate public information for the purpose of broadcasting awareness of the needs
and problems of the children that it serves; and
c.  Make known its role, functions, and capabilities to other agencies, community
organizations, government bodies, and corporations, as appropriate to its mission.
3.  The CASA Program shall work closely with organizations such as local bar associations, other
child advocacy programs, community service and civic groups, and businesses to accomplish
its mission.
4.  County program staff shall inform the state program office of any recruitment or marketing
information not previously approved or prepared by the state program office or the National
CASA Association they wish to prepare for distribution in their communities.
a.  The county program office staff shall give the state program office a sample of such
material before being distributed.
b.  The state program office shall take no longer than 30 business days to review and
approve or disapprove such material.
c.  Once approved, either the state or county program office may produce the material for
distribution. If disapproved, appropriate changes shall be made and resubmitted for
review.
Page 28
Volunteer Minimum Performance Standards
1.  Volunteers shall maintain the following minimum performance standards:
A.  Perform only authorized responsibilities pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-522(E). Those
responsibilities include:
(1)  Meet with the child;
(2)  Advocate for the child’s safety as the first priority;
(3)  Gather and provide independent, factual information to aid the court in making its
decision regarding what is in the child’s best interest and in determining if reasonable
efforts have been made to prevent removal of the child from the child’s home or to
reunite the child with the child’s family;
(4)  Provide advocacy to ensure that appropriate case planning and services are provided for
the child;
B.  Maintain confidentiality in handling program issues, case, and volunteer information.
C.  Review case records and interview the child and other appropriate parties involved in the
case.
D.  Develop and maintain a relationship with the appointed child including contact with the child
on at least a monthly basis.
E.  Maintain an accurate and complete Contact Log/Journal on the case and provide the
documentation on at least a monthly basis to the county program office. Maintain records
about the case, including appointments, interviews, and information gathered about the child
and the child’s life circumstances.
F.  Communicate with caregivers about the child’s behavior and relationships.
G.  Participate as a member of the case management team.
H.  Participate in the formulation of any agreement, stipulation, or case plan entered into
regarding the child and provide input to subsequent revisions.
I.  Advocate for the best interest of the child, identify service needs, and make recommendations
to the court regarding timely placement of the child.
J.  Monitor the child’s placement to observe the child’s behavior in the home and to assess
problems or the child’s needs.
Page 29
K.  Assist the responsible parties to ensure that the child’s educational needs are being met.
L.  Report to the appropriate authority’s significant changes in family situations or violations of
court orders.
M.  Consult at least monthly with the county coordinator in case/program discussion, and
document the discussion in the Contact Log/Journal.
N.  Discuss all recommendations concerning the case with the county coordinator prior to
submitting recommendations to the court.
O.  Submit a written, objective, and concise court report with recommendations to the court on
what placement and services are best for the child. The volunteer shall also gather and
provide information to aid the court in determining if reasonable efforts have been made to
prevent removal of the child from the child’s home or to reunite the child with the child’s
family. The volunteer shall deliver the court report to the county program office two weeks
prior to the court hearing.
P.  Submit court reports at review and permanency hearings unless required otherwise.
Q.  Submit addenda at all other hearings not listed in item #P as determined by the volunteer in
consultation with the county coordinator.
R.  Attend all court hearings pertaining to the appointed case and provide oral testimony to the
court when requested. Attend a jury trial if one is requested, and provide oral testimony to the
court and jury if called as a witness. If unable to attend a court hearing, the volunteer shall
inform the county coordinator who will attend for the volunteer. If the volunteer and
coordinator are not available, a volunteer mentor may attend.
S.  Assist the court in exploring alternative placements for the child.
T.  Make recommendations at Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) meetings.
U.  Remain appointed to the dependency case through all phases of the court process up to the
time of permanent guardianship or adoption, unless otherwise directed by the court.
V.  Provide and document an annual performance-based assessment of the Arizona CASA
Program.
W.  Maintain contact with the county coordinator to alert or to discuss high profile cases or
problems as they arise. Report developments as directed by the county coordinator.
Page 30
X.  Provide to the county program office all case-related correspondence as directed by the
county coordinator.
Y.  Comply with Arizona statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Administrative
Order, Rules, ACJA, and policies and procedures. A special advocate is immune from civil or
criminal liability for the advocate’s acts or omissions in connection with the authorized
responsibilities the special advocate performs in good faith.
Z.  Comply with the state program training requirements.
AA.  Volunteers shall notify insurance carriers that their CASA volunteer work may involve
transporting children.
2.  Volunteers shall consult with their insurance providers to determine the minimum liability
coverage under Arizona law and the recommended coverage for volunteers and their family in
light of the fact that they may be transporting children.
3.  Volunteers who transport children shall at all times maintain current automobile insurance
coverage.
4.  Volunteers shall provide proof of insurance to the county program office on an annual basis.
5.  A volunteer may receive authority for additional responsibilities set forth below.
a.  With prior approval by the county coordinator, the volunteer may observe visits between
the appointed child and the parent, and/or assist in arranging visits with siblings and other
relatives.
b.  Allowing the appointed child to visit the volunteer’s home or stay overnight with the
volunteer unless specifically ordered by the court with prior approval by the CPS
supervisor, CPS case manager, and county coordinator.
c.  A volunteer may be appointed as a Courtesy CASA.
d.  A volunteer may be given additional or other assigned duties such as a mentor volunteer,
recruiting assistant, and office worker.
Page 31
6.  A volunteer shall not:
a.  Allow the appointed child to visit the volunteer’s home or stay overnight with the
volunteer unless specifically ordered by the court with prior approval of the CPS
supervisor, CPS case manager, and county coordinator.
7.  Volunteer Mentor Qualifications
The county coordinator may assign a volunteer to the role of a volunteer mentor who possesses,
at a minimum, specific qualifications.
a.  At least one year’s experience as a CASA volunteer and been appointed to at least one
dependency case.
b.  A working knowledge of CPS and juvenile court proceedings including, but not limited
to dependency, delinquency, severance, and adoption.
c.  Meeting and/or exceeding minimum performance standards.
d.  Effective skills in organization, oral and written communication, leadership, and
advocacy.
e.  Received additional mentor training required by the state program office.
8.  Volunteer Mentor Minimum Performance Standards
The volunteer mentor shall maintain the following minimum performance standards:
a.  Comply with Arizona Statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Administrative
Order, Rules, Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, and policies and procedures.
b.  Assist the county coordinator by providing ongoing support to volunteers.
c.  Assist volunteers in the development of advocacy skills; e.g., negotiation, interviewing
parties to the case, conflict resolution, effective communication, and providing court
testimony to a judge or jury.
d.  Provide ongoing assistance to volunteers regarding documentation (Contact Log/Journal),
report writing, and case management.
Page 32
e.  Maintain contact with assigned volunteers as directed by the county coordinator.
f.  Maintain contact with the county coordinator to alert or to discuss high profile cases or
problems as they arise. Report developments as directed by the county coordinator.
g.  Educate assigned volunteers on how to establish working relationships with parties to the
case.
h.  Provide additional information to assigned volunteers regarding available community
resources.
i.  Attend staffings, FCRB meetings, and court hearings at the direction and supervision of
the county coordinator.
j.  Facilitate volunteer support groups at the direction and supervision of the county
coordinator.
k.  Consult at least monthly with the county coordinator regarding case activity and assigned
volunteers.
l.  Under the supervision of the county coordinator, may screen dependency cases for
appropriateness of assignment, and organize and/or facilitate Pre- and Post-Orientation
Training.
Page 33
Personal Liability
1.  Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §§ 8-522(H), 8-523 (C), address liability for the Arizona
CASA Program.
2.  County coordinators shall ensure that applicants and volunteers:
a.  Are made aware of liability and risk management laws and regulations including those
pertaining to automobile usage;
b.  Are provided the Arizona Code Of Judicial Administration (ACJA) and program policies
pertaining to liability and risk management; and
c.  Provide proof of insurance to the county program office on an annual basis.
Page 34
Training
1.  New county program staff shall:
a.  Attend New Staff Orientation Training provided by the state program office.
b.  Attend the initial volunteer Orientation Training.
c.  Observe a Pre-hearing Conference, Preliminary Protective Hearing, and a Review
Hearing.
d.  Observe a Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) meeting unless one is not scheduled during
the training period.
e.  Attend a case management staffing with CPS (county coordinator position only).
f.  Attend a Pre- and Post-OT unless one is not scheduled during the training period.
g.  Receive the training required by the state program office for handling ethical issues and
confidential material.
h.  Complete Committee on Judicial Education and Training (COJET) requirements
annually. Credit for training hours shall be consistent with COJET guidelines.
i.  Complete the Arizona Criminal Justice Information Systems (ACJIS) training video.
2.  Before appointment to a dependency case, a volunteer shall complete 30 hours of training.
Training shall include, but not be limited to:
a.  Reading designated Resource Guide materials to include program policies and
procedures.
b.  Attending the initial Orientation Training.
c.  Attending Pre- and Post-Orientation Training.
d.  Observing a dependency hearing unless one is not scheduled during the training period
prior to case assignment.
e.  Observing a Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) meeting unless one is not scheduled
during the training period prior to case assignment.
f.  Discussing the case with the county coordinator before appointment.
g.  Reviewing case files to become familiar with file contents.
Page 35
h.  Attending support group meetings unless one is not scheduled during the training period
prior to case appointment.
i.  Attending additional applicable training as designated by the county coordinator.
3.  Volunteers shall participate in and document 12 hours of in-service training per calendar year.
The first year, Orientation Training shall fulfill the requirement for that calendar year.
4.  All requests by volunteers for training not provided or organized by county program staff must
be pre-approved by the county coordinator before training hours are credited.
5.  County program staff shall organize or provide sufficient in-service training to allow volunteers
to complete the required 12 hours of in-service training per calendar year.
Page 36
File Management
1.  The county program office shall maintain copies of all volunteer reports, correspondence, and
notes from telephone or in-person consultations concerning the case.
2.  Cases
a.  The county coordinator, or volunteer mentor under the county coordinator’s supervision,
shall initially screen and periodically review any referred dependency, guardianship,
termination, delinquency, or incorrigibility cases to determine if they are appropriate for
volunteer appointments.
b.  Information about cases shall be shared only with parties designated by the court.
c.  County program staff shall develop and maintain duplicate case files; one shall be given
to the appointed volunteer and another shall be located in the county program office so
staff has access to files whenever needed.
d.  The following documents shall be maintained and kept current in case files or in the
county program office:
(1)  Court Order of Appointment, the Rescinding Order of Appointment, and/or the
minute entry dismissing all parties involved in the case.
(2)  A copy of the Legal Party Memorandum advising parties of volunteer
appointment.
(3)  Pertinent court documents, such as the CPS Initial Report and any prior reports,
psychological reports, FCRB reports, court orders/minute entries,
correspondence, etc.
(4)  The volunteer’s Contact Logs/Journals.
(5)  Volunteer reports to the court.
(6)  Documentation of the returned program files and/or noted items not returned.
e.  After a case has been dismissed, the volunteer’s appointment is rescinded, or the
volunteer is dismissed from a case, all CASA-related documentation from the case file
shall be retained for a period of five years from the date of dismissal and shall be
maintained in a confidential and secure area. All other information in the case file shall
be shredded by the county program office staff.
f.  Required case file information on cases established before May 1994 shall be waived
from program compliance.
Page 37
3.  Volunteer files
The following documents shall be maintained and kept current in the county program office:
a.  A completed, signed, and dated volunteer application.
b.  Identifying information and emergency contacts.
c.  A signed and dated acknowledgment of volunteer compliance with all appropriate
Arizona statutes, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Administrative Order, Rules,
ACJA, and policies and procedures.
d.  A signed and dated Pre-screening Criteria form.
e.  Documentation of a personal interview with the county coordinator.
f.  Three personal non-relative character references.
g.  Results of the state and national background checks.
h.  Written statement under oath if definitive fingerprints are unobtainable.
i.  Volunteer performance assessment.
j.  In-service training documentation.
k.  Polygraph examination.
l.  When a volunteer leaves the program, the file shall be retained for a period of five years
from the volunteer’s exit date and shall be maintained in a confidential and secure area.
m.  Required volunteer information on files established before May 1994 shall be waived
from program compliance
Page 38
Advocacy Academy Manual
Revised 9/09
Section Seven
GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS
Page
o  Glossary…………………..…………….………………………….….   1
o  Acronyms……………..…..……………….………………………….    26

Section Seven
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 1 ~
Revised 9/09
Glossary
Abandonment  The failure of a parent to provide reasonable support and to
maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal
supervision, when such failure is accompanied by an intention on
the part of the parent to permit such conditions to continue for any
indefinite period of time in the future. Abandonment includes a
judicial finding that a parent has made only minimal efforts to
support and communicate with the child. Failure to maintain a
normal parental relationship with the child without just cause for a
period of six months constitutes a legal evidence of abandonment
(ARS § 8-201(I)).
Abuse  Infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily
function or disfigurement, or the infliction of or allowing another
person to cause serious emotional damage as evidenced by severe
anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior and which
emotional damage is diagnosed by a medical doctor or
psychologist pursuant to ARS § 8-821, and which is caused by the
acts or omission of an individual having care, custody, and control
of a child.
Active Volunteer  A CASA volunteer who is appointed to a case or active in the
program in other ways.
Addendum  A report or information that is added to an initial report or
information; a list or section consisting of added material.
Addict  Any person who regularly uses any habit-forming narcotic drug so
as to endanger the public morality, health, safety, or welfare, or
who is or has been addicted to the use of such habit-forming drugs
as to have lost the power of self-control with reference to the
addiction.
Addiction  A state of utter dependence on a drug or alcohol for a sense of
physical and mental well-being. Addiction includes habituation.
Adjudicated      A determination of legal status by the juvenile court.
Adjudication Hearing  The trial stage at which the court determines whether allegations of
dependency, abuse, or neglect concerning a child are sustained by
the evidence and, if so, are legally sufficient to support state
intervention on behalf of the child. It provides the basis for state
intervention into a family, as opposed to the disposition hearing
which concerns the nature of such intervention. This also applies to
the delinquency case process.
Section Seven
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 2 ~
Revised 9/09
Administration for  (ACYF) is a part of the Department of Economic Security (DES)
Children, Youth and  Child Protective Services (CPS) is one of the programs under
Families (ACYF)  ACYF.
Administrative Office  The administrative arm of the Arizona Supreme Court.
of the Courts (AOC)
Adoption Hearings  Judicial proceedings in which a relationship is legally established
between adult individuals and a dependent child.
Adoptive Parent  The adult person with whom a relationship is legally established to
a child. Under the adoptive relationship, the child becomes the heir
and is entitled to all other privileges belonging to a natural child of
the adoptive parent.
Advocacy Academy  The second of three training modules that is part of the required
30-hour pre-service training for Arizona CASA volunteers.
Aged Out  The term used to describe a youth who reaches 18 years of age and
is no longer considered a Ward of the Court.
Aid to Families with  AFDC provides assistance to parents or specified relatives in
Dependent Children   providing proper care for minor children when it is impossible
(AFDC)  for the family to do so by its own efforts. The assistance is
considered a temporary means of support until the family can
become self-supporting.
AKA (Also Known As)  A name used for an official purpose that is different from a
Or Alias  person’s legal name. The word Alias is also used in the same
manner.
Allegation  An assertion, declaration, or statement of a party to an action,
made in a pleading, setting out what he/she expects to prove.
Alternative Residential  Facilities licensed by DHS with 16 or fewer beds. They include
Care Facilities  crisis stabilization facilities, psychiatric health facilities, residential
detoxification facilities, therapeutic group homes, and therapeutic
foster homes. Services provided may be eligible for Title XIX
reimbursement; room and board fees are not reimbursable by Title
XIX.
Appeals  A legal proceeding by which a case is brought from a lower to a
higher court for review.
Section Seven
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 3 ~
Revised 9/09
Appellate  A judicial tribunal that reviews cases from lower tribunals, acting
without a jury and is primarily interested in correcting errors in
procedures or in the interpretation of law by the lower courts.
Applicant  An individual in the community who has submitted to the county
program office a completed application. This starts the screening
process to become a volunteer with the Arizona CASA Program.
Applicant Exit  A status used to designate any applicant who leaves the program
before completing all screening, pre-service training requirements
and assignment to a case.
Applicant Screening  The process to determine eligibility for becoming a CASA
volunteer.
Arizona Department of  See Department of Corrections.
Corrections
(ADC or DOC)
Arizona Department of  The state agency that oversees special education  programs and
Education/Exceptional  issues special education vouchers.
Student Services
(ADE/ESS)
Arizona Health Care    Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is Arizona’s
Cost Containment    version of the national Medicaid program. Medical services for
System (AHCCCS)    the poor or near poor (indigent) can be obtained through a formal
application process.
Assault  A demonstration of an unlawful attempt by one person to inflict
immediate injury on the person of another.
Assault and Battery  The unlawful touching of a person with the intent and purpose of
actually doing physical injury, with a reasonable ability to carry
the intention into execution.
Assigned Counsel  An attorney, not regularly employed by a government agency,
assigned by the court to represent a particular person in a particular
judicial proceeding.
Attorney  An individual trained in the law, admitted to practice before the bar
of a given jurisdiction, and authorized to advise, represent, and act
for the other persons in legal proceedings.
Attorney for Child  The attorney who presents to the judge the stated wishes of the
child client.
Section Seven
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 4 ~
Revised 9/09
Attorney General (AG)  Attorney and legal counsel for the Department of Economic
Security and Child Protective Services.
Award Amount  The dollar amount awarded by the state program office to fund the
county program office for the year.
Bailiff  A court attendant entrusted with a variety of duties, such as the
custody of prisoners under arraignment, the protection of jurors,
and the maintenance of order in the courtroom during a trial.
Bankruptcy Court  A Federal Court capable of hearing bankruptcy cases within a
state.
Bench        Judge or judges composing a court.
Beyond the Basics  The third of three training modules that is part of the required 30-hour pre-service training for Arizona CASA volunteers.
CASA Volunteer  A specially screened and trained community volunteer who is
appointed by a judge to advocate for and represent the best
interests of an abused/neglected child. The CASA volunteer
submits a formal report offering objective and factual information
with specific recommendations to the court.
Case Closed  When a CASA volunteer is dismissed from a case, the case is
closed from the program’s perspective. As long as one child in the
case remains connected to the Arizona CASA Program, the case
remains open. However, the dependency might still be open as far
as the local court is concerned, even though it is no longer a part of
the CASA Program.
Case Conference  A documented meeting between a DES employee and at least one
other person. Case conferences may be more frequent and informal
than case plan staffings.
Case Flow Management  Administrative and Judicial processes designed to reduce delays in
litigation; processes that assist the court in monitoring child
welfare agencies to make sure dependency cases are moved
diligently and decisively toward completion.
Case Management  The planning and coordination of all services to a client by an
individual who, working with members of a service team, provides
assessment, identifies and obtains services, monitors, evaluates,
records progress and terminates services in accordance with
established time frames.
Section Seven
Advocacy Academy Manual  ~ 5 ~
Revised 9/09
Case Manager/  A trained professional employed by DES or by an agency under
Caseworker  contract with the DES. The case manager manages the
development of the plan for services for the child and the family,
and arranges for and monitors services to see that the needs of the
child and/or family are met.
Case Plan  A plan developed by the case manager regarding placement of a
child including services, placement, and visitation for the child and
to include the requirements of the parents with deadlines for
completion and case plan goal of adoption, family reunification,
guardianship, or independent living.
Case Plan Goal  Team objective for the family including family reunification,
adoption by a relative or non-relative, guardianship, or independent
living.
Case Plan Staffing  A planned, scheduled, and documented meeting arranged to share
information, develop and/or review the case plan, and evaluate
services and case progress. The staffing includes the case manager,
the family, service providers, attorneys, and CASA volunteers.
Case Screening  The process used by county coordinators to determine the
appropriateness of assignment of a CASA volunteer to a
dependency or delinquency case.
Case/Child  A case is made up of all children in a family. Some county
program office staff assigns the same court number to every child
in the case, while others assign a different court number to each
child in the case.
Chambers  A judge’s office where he/she conducts business.
Child Abuse  To hurt or injure a child by maltreatment. As defined by statutes in
the majority of states, generally limited to maltreatment that causes
or threatens to cause lasting harm to a child.
Child Custody  Legal authority to determine the care, supervision, and discipline
of a child; when assigned to an individual or couple, includes
physical care and supervision. Includes guardianship of the person
of a minor such as may be awarded by a probate court.
Child and Family Team  Child and family team meetings are structured, facilitated meetings
Meeting (CFT)  that bring family members together so that, with the support of
professionals and community resources, they can create a plan that
ensures child safety and meets the family’s needs.
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Child Molesting  The handling, fondling, or other contacts of a sexual nature with a
child.
Child Neglect  Failure to give proper attention to a child; to deprive a child; to
allow a lapse in care and supervision that causes or threatens to
cause lasting harm to a child.
Child Protective    The division of Administration for Children, Youth
Services (CPS)  and Family Services that accepts and investigates referrals about
child abuse or neglect.
Child, Youth, Minor,   Any person under 18 years of age.
or Juvenile
Children’s Information  The automated child welfare record keeping database
Library and Data  system used by the Administration for Children, Youth and Family
Source (CHILDS)  Services.
Chronic Offender  A juvenile who on at least two prior separate occasions has been
adjudicated delinquent for conduct that would constitute a criminal
act if the juvenile had been tried as an adult.
Clerk of the Court  An elected or appointed court officer responsible for maintaining
the written records of the court and supervising or performing the
clerical tasks necessary for conducting judicial business; also, any
employee of a court whose principle duties are to assist the court
clerk.
Clerk’s Office  The office having the responsibility of maintaining court records
and seals, and certifying the accuracy of those records.
Co-CASA Volunteer  A CASA volunteer who is appointed to a case with another CASA.
Commissioner  A judicial officer who is responsible to hear juvenile matters
except contested issues.
Compliance; Volunteer  CASA volunteers are required to comply with policies and
Procedures  procedures or the program will be considered out of compliance by
the state program office.
Comprehensive Medical  CMDP is the basic medical insurance provided to all children
and Dental Plan  under DES supervision and officially placed outside of their home.
(CMDP)  Physical exams, medications, surgery, supplies, and baby formula
can be obtained for foster children through CMDP. The case
manager obtains a CMDP card for the child to be used throughout
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the duration of time in foster care, residential treatment, or other
placement.
Confidentiality  All county coordinators, program staff, and CASA volunteers are
required to keep confidential all information obtained concerning
any child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court in order to
maintain the integrity, standards, and credibility of the Arizona
CASA Program. For more information, refer to Arizona Revised
Statutes § 41-1959.
Contested  A position taken on a case that implies a disagreement on relevant
issues.
Continuation  A hearing that is re-scheduled to a later date. Any party in the case
can request a continuance, but only the court may grant such a
request.
Contracted Provider  The State of Arizona and its Department of Economic Security
cannot provide all types of services to all of the citizens in need of
them. Therefore, the state contracts with private agencies and
individuals to provide a needed service (e.g., counseling). The
employees of the provider agency are not state employees, but
their work must fall within the guidelines of the formal contract.
All contracted providers are required to report progress of the
client family to the case manager.
County Attorney  The legal representative responsible for prosecuting criminal cases
within a county.
County Budget Request  A form supplied by the state program office to all county office
programs for use in requesting annual funding.
County Coordinator  A person hired at the county level to coordinate the activities of the
county CASA program.
County of Jurisdiction  The county where the child has been adjudicated dependent,
delinquent, or incorrigible.
Court  An officially designated place where justice is administered. A
court is presided over by a judge.
Court Calendar  List of cases for trial or appellate argument, prepared for a given
period of time such as a week, month, or even the term of the
sitting court.
Court Case Number  The number assigned by the juvenile court to a case/child.
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Court Improvement    An Arizona initiative funded by the Federal Department of
Program (CIP)  Health and Human Services designed to re-engineer the handling
of dependency cases in Arizona. Project aspects include
implementation of dependency laws and processes;
implementation of a statewide dependency data tracking system;
training of new Judicial Officers; and an operational review.
Court Order  A legal document signed by a judicial officer ordering something
to occur on a case.
Court Report  A formal document written by a CASA volunteer on an appointed
case, to give the judge objective information and recommendations
about the case.
Courtesy CASA   If a child is placed outside the county of jurisdiction, the county
Volunteer  program where the child resides may appoint a ―Courtesy‖ CASA
volunteer. The Courtesy CASA gathers information, visits the
child, and reports to the primary CASA volunteer. The primary
CASA continues to be appointed to the case and has the
responsibility of providing the court report.
Criminal Court  The criminal division of the Superior Court when exercising its
jurisdiction over criminal matters.
Custody  The full authority to determine care, supervision, and discipline of
a child.
Default  The failure of a party to appear in court after proper service,
resulting in a ruling against the party.
Delinquent  The term used to describe the legal status of a child who has
committed an offense that is unlawful and would be punishable by
law if the child were an adult.
Delinquent Act or    An act by a child that, if committed by an adult, would be
Offense      considered a criminal offense.
Department of    The state organization whose mission is to serve and protect the
Corrections (DOC)  people of the state by imprisoning offenders legally committed to
DOC.
Division of      A division within DES that provides services for adults and
Developmental    children who have certain developmental limitations. These
Disabilities (DDD)  services are provided only after formal application and assessment
is obtained.
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Department of    The state agency that provides integrated direct services to
Economic Security    people to promote safety, well being, and self sufficiency of
(DES)  children, adults, and families. The agency includes other divisions
such as Adult and Aging, Arizona Industries for the Blind, Child
Support Enforcement, and Unemployment Benefits.
Department of Health  The state agency that assesses and assures the physical and
Services (DHS)    behavioral health of all Arizonans through education, intervention,
prevention, delivery of services, and the advancement of public
policies. It also addresses current and emerging health issues in a
manner that demonstrates efficiency, effectiveness, integrity, and
leadership.
Dependency Petition  A formal notice to a court that a child is in need of proper parental
care/control and there is no parent willing or able to care for the
child. The petition contains allegations about why a child is
believed to be dependent. It is the formal written pleading that asks
the court to find a child dependent and enter appropriate orders.
Dependency Review    See Review Hearing.
Dependency Screening  The process of assessing whether or not a dependency case is
appropriate for a CASA volunteer assignment. See ―Case
Screening‖
Dependent Child  A person under 18 years of age subject to the jurisdiction of the
court because of child abuse or neglect.
Dependent Children    A statewide database used by the Arizona CASA Program to
Automated Tracking  track information on children in out-of-home care, and the CASA
System (DCATS)  volunteers assigned to cases.
Detention  The legally authorized temporary holding in confinement of a
person subject to criminal or juvenile family court proceedings.
The legally authorized temporary holding of children in
confinement while awaiting completion of juvenile or family court
action. This includes custody while awaiting execution of a court
order.
Diagnosis  The determination by qualified professionals (usually medical
doctors or certified psychologists) that a person displays symptoms
that fit a known condition. The diagnosis allows professionals to
communicate more effectively with others in the treatment or
documentation of many problems or conditions. The diagnosis
may change over time or from doctor to doctor.
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Dismissal; Case/Child  A dismissal means that the court no longer has jurisdiction over a
case. However, an individual child in a case may be dismissed
without the case being closed by the juvenile court. A child may be
dismissed from the CASA program without the case being closed
by the juvenile court.
Disposition Hearing  The stage of the juvenile court process in which, after finding that
a child is within jurisdiction of the court, the court determines who
shall have custody and control of a child; elicits judicial decision
as to whether to continue out-of-home placement or to remove a
child from home.
Dispute Resolution  A legal process available when disagreements cannot be resolved.
Diversion Programs  Community-based services designed to prevent the necessity of
matters coming before the court. It is a method of avoiding
prosecution of a juvenile offender, and a way to avoid a formal
court process allowing the juvenile to admit to the allegations and
receive a consequence for their actions.
Dually Adjudicated  A child who is found to be dependent or temporarily subject to
court jurisdiction pending an adjudication of a dependency petition
and who is alleged or found to have committed a delinquent or
incorrigible act.
Drug Court  A means by which a judge can monitor substance abuse offenders
in a hands-on, therapeutic fashion. This is done in cooperation with
an established team of providers reporting the progress of the
offender in becoming a substance-free individual.
Educable Mentally    Term used by many schools to describe a child who may not learn
Handicapped (EMH)  at the same pace as others due to any number of conditions that
impair learning. However, these children can still learn if given
special educational supports.
Educationally Disabled  A child, age 3 through 21, who due to a disability, is unable
or Impaired Child  to benefit from regular education without special education
services. A child may have a disability but not be in need of special
education services.
Eligibility  The requirements that an individual must meet to receive services.
Employment Related  Expenses that are associated with social security, state and federal
Expenses (ERE)  taxes, and retirement benefits, etc. Benefits affect employees who
work at least 20 or more hours per week.
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Exit  The status used in DCATS to indicate a CASA volunteer has left
the program.
Extension in Receiving  A hearing called by the court whenever a child under the court’s
Home Placement  supervision has remained in a shelter or receiving home for longer
than three weeks. The purpose of the hearing is to explain why the
child has remained in the shelter, and to help speed the process of
finding placement.
Facilitator  A person who is responsible for conducting a meeting of the
courts. Responsible for assuring appropriate issues are addressed.
Failure to Thrive (FTT)  A child whose weight and development is significantly below that
of peers.
Family  Persons, including at least one child, related by blood or law, or
who are legal guardians of a child, or who reside in the same
household. Where persons related by blood or law do not reside in
the same household and where adults other than spouses reside
together, each may be considered a separate family when it is to
the benefit of the child.
Family Foster Home  This includes a home having the care of children less that 21 years
old for whom the cost of care is provided pursuant to Arizona
Revised Statutes § 46-134(14). See also Foster Care Facility.
First Offense  An action by an individual violating the law for the first time.
Fiscal Year (FY)  The time period for which the Legislature provides funding. In
Arizona, the fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.
Foster Care  Temporary residential care provided to a child placed pursuant to a
dependency hearing; can include care by a non-biological foster
family, group care, residential care, or institutional care.
Foster Care Facility  A setting licensed to provide out-of-home care to children,
including licensed relative placements, foster homes, group homes,
and child welfare agencies.
Foster Care Provider  Any person or agency licensed to provide out-of-home care for
children.
Foster Care Review    A panel of specially trained volunteers appointed by the presiding
Board (FCRB)  juvenile judge to review every six months the case of each
dependent child in out-of-home placement. The Board hears from
parties to the case to determine progress and applicability of the
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case plan toward the case plan goal. The Board submits a report to
the court making recommendations to further assist the court in the
decision-making process.
Foster Parent      An individual maintaining a licensed foster home.
Full-time Equivalency  Staff is paid on whether they are full time (1 FTE=40
(FTE)  per week), part time (.5 FTE=20 hours a week), or any mixture of
hours in between.
Garnishment  A proceeding whereby property, money, or credits of a debtor in
possession of another (the garnishee) are applied to the payment.
Getting Started  The first of three training modules that is part of the required 30-hour pre-service training for Arizona CASA volunteers.
Group Home  A foster home specially licensed for more than five but not more
than 10 children. Group homes may look like any other house, or
they may be incorporated into a larger treatment facility’s program.
The children may be under the supervision of staff or counselors
assigned to a particular shift during the day or night.
Guardian ad Litem  In certain dependency matters, a person with formal legal training
is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of an
allegedly abused or neglected child; differs from the child’s
attorney who specifically represents the child’s wishes before the
court. Guardians ad Litem are sometimes appointed to parents with
serious mental illness or limited capacities.
Guardianship  A relationship between a child and an adult who is appointed to
provide for the child and exercise the rights of the legal custodian.
A legally established relationship between a child and adult who is
appointed to protect the child’s best interests and to provide the
child’s care, welfare, education, discipline, maintenance, and
support. Where guardianship is awarded to an individual or couple,
it includes that right to physical possession of the child.
Halfway House  A residential facility for adjudicated adults or juveniles, or those
subject to criminal or juvenile proceedings, intended to provide an
alternative to confinement for persons not suitable for probation, or
needing a period of readjustment to the community after
confinement.
Health Service Provider  A practitioner licensed by the State of Arizona to provide physical
or mental health services.
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Home Resource Aide  An employee of the Department of Economic Security assigned
(HRA)  to assist in certain cases in which the family needs direct assistance
in the home or community with the maintenance of basic daily
functions. These workers are prepared to go into the home and
assist with a variety of needs, such as meal planning, basic
hygiene, locating suitable housing, and follow-up on medical care.
The HRA worker is obtained through the case manager and is
usually referred to as a Parent Aide.
Home School District  The local school district, also called the Local Educational Agency
(LEA), where the parent resides. For adjudicated children, it is the
school district where the child last attended, or, if there is no
identifiable school, the school district where the child is physically
located.
Inactive Volunteer  A CASA volunteer who is not appointed to a case and is not active
in any other way with the program.
Incarceration  The term used for the confinement in prison, penitentiary, or jail of
a defendant or probationer.
Incorrigible  Unmanageable; uncontrollable, such as a perpetual criminal or a
habitually delinquent minor.
Indian Child Welfare  A Federal law that returns to Native Americans the primary
Act (ICWA)      responsibility or opportunity for involvement for any Indian child
who comes to the attention of an Arizona social service agency.
Indigent      The inability to support oneself; poor.
Individual Education  A written statement for providing special education services
Program (IEP)  to a child with a disability under IDEA and is required for
initiation of special education services. It includes the child’s
present levels of educational performance, annual goals, short-term
measurable objectives for evaluation, progress toward those goals,
specific special education and related services to be provided in the
least restrictive environment, and exit criteria. It must be
developed by a team of persons, including the parent, who are
knowledgeable about the child.
Individuals with    A federal law which mandates a free public education in the least
Disabilities Education  restrictive environment for children with disabilities. It outlines
Act (IDEA)  services (including IEPs) and procedural safeguards for children
needing special education.
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Initial Dependency    This hearing is held for parents or guardians who did not appear
Hearing      at the preliminary protective hearing, and must be held within
21 days after service, of a Temporary Custody Notice.
In-Patient  A term referring to the treatment, evaluation, or placement of a
person at a facility for periods of time greater than 24 hours.
Usually used in the context of hospital treatment, including
psychiatric evaluation.
In-Patient      Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
Psychiatric Facilities  (JCAHO) accredited psychiatric facilities, RTC, or hospital
settings, providing structured treatment with 24-hour supervision
and intensive treatment programs for the most severely impaired
persons. These are reimbursable by Title XIX funds.
In-service Training  Ongoing training hours that CASA volunteers are required to
complete each calendar year. This training must be pre-approved
by the county coordinator.
Interstate Compact on  A department that facilitates the interstate movement or placement
the Placement of    of children involved with court and social service agencies. Its
Children (ICPC)  purpose is to ensure that a child is not moved out of one setting and
into another that may not be appropriate or adequate (e.g., a
sending state has a child in foster care and wants to place the child
with grandparents in another state). Before any such move can take
place, the receiving state must agree with the plan. Typically,
home visits and evaluations take place with a compact
administrator either approving or rejecting the move. If the move is
approved, a child can remain a ward of the court in the sending
state, even though he/she resides elsewhere. The state agencies
must have agreed upon supervision/treatment services for the
child.
Judge  One who conducts or presides over a court of justice and resolves
controversies between parties. The term also encompasses persons
serving in an appointive capacity whose decisions are subject to
review by a judge, including associative judges, magistrates,
referees, special masters, hearing officers, and commissioners.
Justice of the Peace (JP)  A judicial officer presiding over limited jurisdiction courts in a
specified geographic area.
Juvenile Court  The Juvenile Division of the Superior Court which has jurisdiction
over proceeding relating to delinquency, dependency, or
incorrigibility involving children under the age of 18.
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Juvenile Dependency  Number issued by the Juvenile Courts when a dependency case
Number (JD#)    is opened.
Juvenile Intensive    Probation department that monitors seriously delinquent minors
Probation Supervision  The minors are monitored 24-hours per day, 7 days per week and
(JIPS)  must perform 32 hours a week of community service, work, or
education.
Juvenile Judge  A judge of the Superior Court authorized to preside over and
determine all cases in a court of law involving juvenile court
matters.
Juvenile Justice System  A network of services related to the apprehension, investigation,
supervision, adjudication, care or confinement of juveniles whose
conduct or condition has brought or could bring them within the
jurisdiction of a family court or the criminal justice system.
Juvenile On-Line    A statewide database used by juvenile court staff to track
Tracking System (JOLTS)  information on dependency and delinquency cases of juveniles.
Juvenile Probation    An office established within the juvenile court to supervise
Office (JPO)  juveniles who have been referred for delinquent or incorrigible
offenses.
Least Restrictive    A setting that offers the least restrictive atmosphere to a child that
Environment (LRE)    is compatible with the needs of the child.
Legal Custody  The legal authority to have physical possession of a child; to
determine the care, supervision, and discipline of the child; the
responsibility to provide the child with adequate food, clothing,
shelter, education and medical care, provided that such
responsibilities shall be exercised subject to the powers, rights,
duties, and responsibilities of the guardian and subject to the
residual parental rights and responsibilities if they have not been
terminated by judicial decree. Includes guardianship of the person
of a minor such as may be awarded by a probate court.
Legal File  File maintained in the Office of the Clerk of the Court that contains
all original or certified copies of original documents. All
documents will contain an official Clerk of the Court stamp.
Legal Parent  The parent who is entitled to have legal custody of the child.
Legal Party  Parties involved in a dependency case who have defined legal
standing on a case and are listed in the court’s minute entry. Parties
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include CPS case managers and all attorneys. These parties shall
legally receive copies of CASA court reports and minute entries.
Legal Status  The court’s definition of adjudication of a child. A status could be
dependent, delinquent, incorrigible, or dependent-delinquent
(dually adjudicated).
Licensing Specialist  A person designated by the department or outside agency to
perform specific work activities and functions related to licensing,
supervision, support, and monitoring of foster or group homes.
Mediation  A process by which a neutral mediator assists all of the parties in
voluntarily reaching consensual agreements; a process of
facilitated communication between parties designed to resolve
issues and agree upon a plan of action.
Mediator  A neutral person who conducts the mediation designed to bring
agreement to the parties of record.
Mental Health Specialist  A district level mental health coordinator who works as a liaison to
the DHS Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHA) for
mental health and substance abuse services.
Mentor  Experienced CASA volunteers who assist in the training, guidance,
and support of other CASAs. With supervision by the county
coordinator, mentors may also screen cases for appropriateness of
CASA volunteer assignment.
Minute Entry  The official summary of the activity and court decisions that took
place on a particular date, at a particular time, concerning a
particular case. The document will detail any orders of the court
and describe what is to happen next regarding the case (e.g., when
the next court hearing is to take place, by what date certain tasks
are to be accomplished, etc.).
Misdemeanor  An offense, other than a traffic infraction, for which a sentence to a
term of imprisonment not to exceed one year is imposed.
Motion  A request for action of the court.
Municipal Court  Courts of limited jurisdiction, usually within a municipality,
presided over by municipal judges.
Neglect  The inability or unwillingness of a parent, guardian, or custodian
of a child to provide that child with supervision, food, clothing,
shelter, or medical care if that inability or unwillingness causes
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substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare, unless that
inability of a parent or guardian to provide services to meet the
needs of a child with a disability or chronic illness is solely the
result of the unavailability of reasonable services (Arizona Revised
Statutes §§ 8- 201(21); 8-531(11)).
Non-Custodial Parent  With respect to a dependent child, a parent who does not reside
with that child and, if there has been a determination of legal
custody with respect to the dependent child, does not have legal
custody of the child.
Office of Court    An office that provides legal representation to indigent defendants
Appointed Counsel    (usually parents). May also be counsel for the child when the
(OCAC)  Legal/Public Defender’s Offices are unable.
Office of the Legal    Generally provides legal representation to the custodial parent as
Defender      identified in dependency petition.
Operational Review  A comprehensive audit of all Juvenile Courts based on statutes,
juvenile court rules, administrative orders, program policies and
procedures. The Operational Review includes the CASA program.
Order of Appointment  A legal document created by the county program office, signed by
a judicial officer, appointing a CASA volunteer to a specific
case/child. A copy of this order is given to all legal parties in the
case. This is also referred to as a Court Order.
Out-of-Home     The placement of a child with an individual or agency other
Placement/Care    than the child’s parent or legal guardian.
Parent        The birth, putative, or adoptive parent of a child.
Parent Aide  A person either employed by DES or by a DES contracted agency
who at the case manager’s request, assists families. This assistance
includes, but is not limited to, transporting to various
appointments, and monitoring visits with a child and family. See
―Home Resource Aide‖
Parent Therapist Foster  A foster family-based model that provides an intensive system
Home Care  of supportive and clinical services to special needs children/youth
for which a family environment is the appropriate placement
setting. Therapeutic foster homes licensed by DHS as alternative
care facilities may receive Title XIX reimbursement for therapeutic
services.
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Parole  A method of prisoner release on the basis of individual response
and progress within the correctional institution, providing the
necessary controls and guidance while serving the remainder of
their sentences within the free community.
Permanency Planning  A special type of post-dispositional proceeding designed to reach
Hearing  a decision concerning the permanent placement of a child; the time
of the hearing represents a deadline within which the final
direction of a case is to be determined. It’s to be held no more than
12 months after removal.
Perpetrator  The chief actor in the commission of a crime; i.e., the person who
directly commits the criminal act.
Petition/Pleading  A formal, written request to the court for a specific thing to be
done.
Physical Abuse  Infliction of non-accidental physical injury, impairment of bodily
functions, or disfigurement by another person.
Physical Custody    The physical care and supervision of a child.
Placement  A facility or location where a child resides while living away from
home.
Pre-hearing Conference  A conference held before a Preliminary Protective Hearing (PPH)
to maximize the opportunity for non-adversarial resolution of
issues. It is facilitated by a person designated by the court. Primary
issues discussed at this conference are temporary custody and
placement, visitation, if appropriate, and the provision of services
to the child and family. Agreements reached by the parties at the
PHC are presented to the court at the PPH.
Preliminary Protective  A hearing scheduled within five to seven days of the child’s
Hearing (PPH)  removal from home. The issues required to be addressed are
placement, services, and visitation.
Presiding Judge  A judge of the superior court, appointed by the Chief Justice of the
Arizona Supreme Court, responsible for county administrative
duties as well as court actions.
Pro Tempore  A judicial officer assigned to perform the duties of a judge on a
temporary basis. This officer hears all juvenile matters except
contested issues.
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Probable Cause  A set of facts and circumstances that would induce a reasonably
intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person
had committed a specific crime.
Probate Court  Various state courts having jurisdiction in the matter of proving
wills, appointing executors and administrators, and supervising the
administration of estates.
Prospective Applicant  A person who requests information about the Arizona CASA
Program. When the application is returned to the county program
office, the person is considered an applicant and the screening
process may begin.
Psychiatrist  A physician (M.D.) who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis,
and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists must receive
additional training and serve a supervised residency in their
specialty. They can prescribe medication, which psychologists
cannot do.
Psycho-Educational    A psychological evaluation with an educational component
Evaluation  performed by a psychologist with specialized training. It is a part
of the comprehensive evaluation required for determining special
education eligibility and is acceptable for up to three years.
Psychological Evaluation  A specific assessment conducted by a licensed psychologist to
determine and address behavioral health problems, and may
include treatment recommendations or advice for certain
interventions. Psychological assessments shall include a review of
referral materials, assessment of the individual’s readiness for
testing, a clinical interview, and may include intellectual testing,
personality testing, educational testing, projective testing, and
specialized testing for specific disabilities. Neuropsychological
assessments will also delineate between the neurologically-based
causes for behavior and an emotional dysfunction.
Psychologist  A professional trained in the assessment, evaluation, and treatment
of various social/emotional dysfunctions. Psychologists are not
medical doctors and cannot hospitalize or prescribe medications.
Many psychologists are skilled in the administration and
interpretation of various ―instruments‖ and tests with which a
person may be evaluated.
Public Defender  A lawyer appointed by the court to defend, advise, and counsel an
individual who is not financially able to pay for the services.
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Putative Father  The alleged or supposed male parent; the person alleged to have
fathered a child whose parentage is at issue.
Reasonable Doubt  The standard used to determine the guilt or innocence of a person
criminally charged. Reasonable doubt, which will justify acquittal,
is doubt based on reason and arising from evidence or lack of
evidence, and it is that which a reasonable person might entertain.
Reasonable Efforts  Public Law 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare
Act of 1980, requires that ―reasonable efforts‖ be made to prevent
or eliminate the need for the removal of a dependent, neglected, or
abused child from the child’s home and to reunify the family if the
child is removed. The reasonable efforts requirement of the federal
law is designed to ensure that families are provided with services
to prevent their disruption and to respond to the problems of
unnecessary disruption of families and foster care drift. To enforce
this provision, the juvenile court must determine, in each case
where federal reimbursement is sought, whether the agency has
made the required reasonable efforts.
Receiving Foster Home  Another name for a shelter home, emergency shelter home, etc.
Usually a receiving home is a private residence located in the
community. These homes are licensed and prepared on a 24-hour
basis to receive children needing immediate placement and care.
Recidivism  In its broadest context, recidivism refers to the multiple
occurrences of any of the following key events in the overall
criminal justice process: commission of a crime, arrest, charge,
conviction, sentencing, and incarceration.
Recommendation  A written statement advising a course of action, submitted as part
of a verbal or written report.
Regional Behavioral    Separate organizations under contract with DHS to implement,
Health Authority    coordinate, maintain, and monitor the delivery of a unified system
(RBHA)  of mental health and substance abuse services for a geographic
area.
Rehabilitation  An approach to punishment that attempts to change the offender’s
criminal behavior through appropriate treatment.
Relative  The child’s grandparent, great grandparent, brother, or sister of
whole or half blood, aunt, uncle, or first cousin for purposes of
placement pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 8-514.02.(A) as
provided in DES 5-55-21.
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Remanded  Returned to custody, or sent back to court (or agency) for further
action.
Rescinding Order    The legal document that dismisses a CASA volunteer from the
of Appointment    assigned dependency or delinquency case.
Residential Care  Placement in group or congregate care.
Residential Treatment  A licensed treatment facility where children receive care,
Center (RTC)  treatment, and supervision on a 24-hour basis. The child actually
lives in residence at the center where a treatment team assists the
child and family in working through difficult behavioral,
emotional, social, or psychological problems.
Resource  Any service within the department or the community that is
available and of potential benefit to the client.
Resource Unit  A special unit of DES to help case managers locate appropriate
placements for children in need of out-of-home care. This unit also
tracks the various openings in the foster care system.
Respite Foster Care  The provision of substitute care to a foster child to relieve the
foster family of the child’s care for short, specified periods of time.
Respite care is a type of foster care and is provided by a licensed
provider.
Restitution  A requirement by the court as a condition of a revocable sentence,
or earlier in the criminal justice process, that the offender replaces
the loss imposed by his/her offenses; money received from a
probationer for payment of damages.
Review Hearing or    Court hearings that take place after disposition in which the
Report and Review    court comprehensively reviews the status of a case, examines
Hearing  progress made by the parties since the conclusion of the disposition
hearing, provides for correction and revision of the case plan, and
makes sure that cases progress and children spend as short a time
as possible in temporary placement.
Rules of Court  Various orders established by a court for the purpose of regulating
the conduct of business of the court such as civil, criminal, or
appellate procedures.
Screening Process  All applicants must complete screening requirements such as an
interview, polygraph exam, criminal background check, DES
Central Registry, and MVD check, before being certified as a
CASA volunteer.
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Self-Contained    Any child who cannot be maintained in a regular school
Classroom  classroom setting due various problems may be placed into a self-contained class. Such classes are set up so the child remains in the
same room throughout the day, without rotating through teachers
or locations. Such placements usually require that an Individual
Educational Program (IEP) be completed by the school.
Service Plan/      A specific written plan developed by an RBHA, in concert with a
Individual Service    DES case manager, describing specific services to address mental
Plan (ISP)  health or substance abuse needs of a specific client.
Service Team  Individuals directly involved in the provision of services to a
family that may include the case manager and respective
supervisor, other department staff, foster parents, and contract
personnel. Provision of services may also include others involved
with the family, such as physicians, psychologists, school
personnel, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and CASA
volunteers.
Settlement Conference  A judicially-mandated meeting in which a judge is present,
involving all attorneys and parties to a proceeding, to resolve
contested issues without a trial.
Severance  The termination of a parent-child relationship. The statutes set out
a limited number of grounds (reasons) for a severance action.
Shelter or Shelter Home  A receiving home or group shelter, contracted to provide
temporary, non-secure emergency care for juveniles pending
hearing.
Special Education  The adjusting of environmental factors, modifying of the course of
study, and adapting of teaching methods, materials, and techniques
to provide education for children who are unable to benefit from
regular education without specially-designed instruction to meet
their individual and unique learning needs.
Staffing  This term refers to a case manager bringing together the treatment
team and any other person with relevant information about a
family’s status. The agenda at a staffing may vary, but the usual
outcome is a plan or special guidance concerning a particular case
situation. CASA volunteers should be involved with staffings.
State Program Office  By statute the state office is responsible for administering the
Arizona CASA Program statewide.
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Status Offender  A juvenile charged with an act or action which would not be
considered unlawful if the juvenile was an adult. Examples would
be: incorrigibility, runaway, truancy, drinking under age, or curfew
violations, etc.
Statute      A law enacted by a legislative branch of government.
Stipulation  An agreement, admission, or concession made by parties in
judicial proceedings or by their attorneys, relating to business
before the court.
Subpoena  A written order issued by a judicial officer requiring a specified
person to appear at a designated court at a specified time in order
to serve as a witness in a case under the jurisdiction of that court,
or to bring material to that court.
Summons  A written order issued by a judicial officer requiring a person
accused of a criminal offense to appear in a designated court at a
specified time to answer the charge(s).
Superior Court  The court of general jurisdiction, usually geographically associated
with counties, which can be divided in different divisions.
Supreme Court  The court of highest jurisdiction in the state, hears all appeals of
lower courts, all sentences where capital punishment is imposed,
and has administrative responsibility.
Surrogate Parent  A qualified, trained person who is appointed by a juvenile court
judge. The parent substitute is to represent the interests of a child
requiring special education services on behalf of the parent
unwilling or unable to do so. By law, DES case managers and
other DES employees and subcontractors cannot be surrogate
parents.
Teen Court  A program by which juveniles who admit delinquent/incorrigible
acts are given consequences by their specially-trained peers in a
court-like setting.
Temporary Custody    A written notice by the DES/CPS or law enforcement to parents,
Notice (TCN)   guardians, or custodians outlining reasons why the child has been
taken into temporary custody, and advising them of their rights to
petition the court within 72 hours (excluding weekends and
holidays) of receipt of the written notice, for a hearing.
Temporary Orders  A dependency petition will usually request that the court issue
temporary orders regarding the placement and care of the child.
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Before issuing such orders, the court must review the petition and
the affidavit to determine if the facts alleged support a finding that
―reasonable grounds exist to believe that temporary custody is
clearly necessary to protect the child from suffering abuse or
neglect.‖
Temporary Ward    Legal status of a child after a dependency petition has been made
of the Court  to the court, but prior to an adjudication of dependency where they
are made ―Wards of the Court.‖
Terminated Volunteer  A CASA volunteer who has left the Arizona CASA Program.
Termination of Parental  A formal proceeding usually sought by a state agency at the
Rights Hearing  conclusion of dependency proceedings, in which severance of all
legal ties between child and parents is sought against the will of
one or both parents, and in which the burden of proof must be by
clear and convincing evidence; the most heavily litigated and
appealed stage of dependency proceedings.
Therapeutic Foster    Specially-trained family foster placement that provides care
Placement  for children with emotional/behavioral needs that are greater than
what can be met in a regular foster placement. Most children
eventually leave a therapeutic placement and are placed in a
regular foster placement or are returned home. Some children may
require an even more restricted living environment than a
therapeutic foster placement can provide.
Therapist  A designated professional who is responsible to do some type of
therapy with parents and/or children.
Title XIX  The Medicaid section of the federal Social Security Act that
includes the provision of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis,
and Treatment (EPSDT) of the physical and mental health status of
Title XIX eligible children.
Title XIX Eligible Child  An individual under the age of 21 determined eligible for
AHCCCS/Medicaid services.
Title XIX Provider/    A person, clinic, or residential facility licensed by DHS that
Facility  meets the AHCCCS requirements for receiving federal Title XIX
reimbursement.
Transitional Short-term  A placement that is temporary in nature and occurs between
Out-of-Home Care    ongoing out-of-home placements.
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Unassigned Volunteer  A CASA volunteer who is temporarily not assigned to a case.
Unit  The location where the DES case manager, worker, or social
worker is assigned. Usually five to seven workers are assigned to a
unit.
Urine Analysis (UA)  Drug testing from a person’s urine for the presence of alcohol or
illegal substances.
Vacate  To annul, to set aside, to cancel or rescind, to render an act void; as
to vacate an entry of record, a judgment, or a hearing date.
Victim  A person who has suffered death, physical or mental suffering, or
loss of property, as the result of an actual or attempted criminal
offense committed by another person.
Visitation  Face-to-face contact between a child in out-of-home care and the
parent/caretaker, significant family member, or sibling.
Visitation Facilitator  Any person who is designated by the case manager to monitor a
visit between a child in out-of-home placement and the
parent/caretaker, sibling, or other relative. This may include a
parent aide, transportation worker, psychologist, therapist, out-of-home care provider, extended family member, or other party.
CASA volunteers are not allowed to supervise or facilitate court-ordered visits.
Voluntary Agreement  Arrangement with a public protection agency (CPS) for
for Care/Voluntary  the temporary placement of a child into foster care, entered
Placement  into prior to court involvement, and typically used in cases in
which short-term placement is necessary for a defined purpose
such as when a parent enters in-patient hospital care; a method of
immediately placing a child in foster care with parental consent
prior to initiating court involvement, thereby avoiding the need to
petition the court for emergency removal. It is valid for 90 days.
Ward/Ward of the Court  This term applies to a child determined by the court to be
dependent or delinquent. It is the formal declaration that the child’s
welfare is now under the direct supervision of the court. To be a
ward of the court means that the court determines where the child
will live, who will care for the child, and directs any other special
services the child or family may need. The parental rights are not
severed or taken away by wardship.
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ACRONYMS
A
ACJA  Arizona Code of Judicial Administration
ACYF  Administration for Children, Youth, and Families
ADC  Arizona Department of Corrections
ADE  Arizona Department of Education
AFDC  Aid to Families with Dependent Children
AG  Attorney General
AHCCCS  Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
AJC  Arizona Judicial Council
AKA  Alias or Also Known As
AOC  Administrative Office of the Courts
ARS  Arizona Revised Statutes
ASFA  Adoption and Safe Families Act
C
CASA  Court Appointed Special Advocate
CFT  Child and Family Team Meeting
CHILDS  Children’s Information Library and Data Source
CIP  Court Improvement Program
CMDP  Comprehensive Medical and Dental Plan
CPS  Child Protective Services
D
DCATS  Dependent Children Automated Tracking System
DDD  Division of Developmental Disabilities
DES  Department of Economic Security
DHS  Department of Health Services
DJC  Department of Juvenile Corrections
DOC  Department of Corrections
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E
EMH  Educable Mentally Handicapped
EPSDT  Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment
ERE  Employment Related Expenses
F
FCRB  Foster Care Review Board
FTE  Full-time Equivalency
FTT  Failure to Thrive
FY  Fiscal Year
G
GAL  Guardian ad Litem
H
HRA  Home Resource Aide
I
ICPC  Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
ICWA  Indian Child Welfare Act
IDEA  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP  Individualized Education Program
IPRT  Independent Professional Review Team
ISP  Individual Service Plan
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J
JAA  Judicial Administrative Assistant
JCAHO  Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
JD#  Juvenile Dependency Number
JIPS  Juvenile Intensive Probation Supervision
JOLTS  Juvenile On-line Tracking System
JP  Justice of the Peace
JPO  Juvenile Probation Office
L
LEA  Local Educational Agency
LRE  Least Restrictive Environment
M
M & IE  Meals and Incidental Expenses
MDT  Multi-disciplinary Team
O
OCAC  Office of Court Appointed Counsel
P
PHC  Pre-hearing Conference
PPH  Preliminary Protective Hearing
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R
R & R  Report and Review
RBHA  Regional Behavioral Health Authority
RCPC  Report to the Court on Placement of Child
RTC  Residential Treatment Center
T
TDM  Team Decision Making
TCN  Temporary Custody Notice
U
UA  Urine Analysis
ADDITIONAL ACRONYMS