(a) Program Standards. A local court-appointed special advocate (CASA) program must follow standards adopted by the Supreme Court. The standards include the following:
(1) requirements for certification of a local program by the Office of Judicial Administration; and
(2) requirements for certification and training of a CASA volunteer by the local program.
(b) Written Agreement. A district court must have a written agreement with the person or group managing the local program. The term of the written agreement must not exceed two years. The agreement governs operation of the program and must accomplish the following:
(1) require the program to meet the standards for CASA programs;
(2) state the court’s and the program’s responsibilities to each other;
(3) require that volunteers be certified by the local program;
(4) specify procedures for assigning the program to a case and removing the program from a case;
(5) establish procedures for resolving grievances and conflicts for both the program and a volunteer; and
(6) state the requirements the program must meet to be eligible to renew the agreement.
(c) Local Rules. A district court must adopt a local court rule governing operation of a local program administered by the court. The rule must include the items specified in subsection (b)(1) through (5).
(d) CASA Volunteer Duties and Prerequisites.
(1) Duties. The primary duties of a volunteer are to investigate and become acquainted with the facts, conditions, and circumstances affecting a child’s welfare; to advocate for the best interests of the child; and to assist the court in obtaining the most permanent, safe, and homelike placement possible. A volunteer should engage in the following activities:
(A) visit the child as often as necessary to monitor the child’s safety and observe whether the child’s essential needs are being met;
(B) attend court hearings involving the child or, if not excused from attendance by the court, arrange for attendance of a qualified substitute approved by the court;
(C) participate in staffings and, to the extent possible, other meetings about the child’s welfare;
(D) participate in the development of a written reintegration plan and any modification of an existing plan;
(E) submit a written report to the court before each regularly scheduled court hearing involving the child; and
(F) act on the child’s behalf as directed by the local program director and the standards adopted by the Supreme Court under subsection (a).
(2) Prerequisites. A volunteer must meet the following prerequisites:
(A) be at least 21 years old;
(B) submit a written application to the local program; and
(C) successfully complete screening procedures and a review by the local program.
(e) CASA Volunteer Notice and Access. A volunteer is entitled to the following:
(1) notice of a court hearing involving the child; and
(2) access to any district court record within the state pertaining to the child.
(f) Reporting Requirements. The district court or local program, as applicable, must provide statistical and other information required by the Office of Judicial Administration.
[History: New rule effective January 1, 1986; Restyled rule and amended effective July 1, 2012; Am. effective January 1, 2023.]