Tulsa CASA COVID-19 Response

In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, children and families are struggling to make it through each day, one day at a time. Many of our families, already engaged with the child welfare system prior to COVID-19, will have an even more difficult time than the average family.

Fortunately, CASA volunteers can still be strong supporters and advocates for the children they are appointed to and their families, while still observing social distancing and self-quarantining protocols.

As of March 18, Tulsa CASA, Inc. has suspended all in-person visitations, though virtual visits are encouraged to provide consistency and support to CASA children during this time of uncertainty.

The Tulsa CASA Inc. office and building are closed until further notice. Staff is working remotely from their homes. All forms of communication will be over phone or email until the office is reopened.

We have cancelled all in-service trainings for current advocates through April 30, 2020 and all pre-service training for new volunteers has been moved to a completely online/virtual meeting format.

While advocates are unable to visit with children and families in person, Skype or FaceTime, email, texting or calling are great ways to stay in touch. Volunteers are encouraged to make weekly check-in calls to caregivers and children, and inquire about things such as . . .

  • Health of all household members — physical and mental
  • How are school/distance learning assignments being completed? What was sent by the district/teacher? Is the teacher available via email or help, if needed? How can the CASA assist virtually?
  • What is the family doing to keep busy daily?
  • Is anyone in the household still working outside of the home?
  • Has the child/children had any issues behaviorally since being home from school?
  • If the child’s visitation has been suspended due to COVID-19, have they been able to stay in touch with their parents/sibling(s) by phone?
  • Is the household having any other challenges? (Financial, shortage of food, childcare for healthcare workers/first responders, etc.)
  • Are there upcoming non-urgent medical/dental appointments for the child/children? If so, has DHS been consulted to determine whether these appointments can be postponed?
  • Does the caretaker have supportive individuals they are relying on right now to stay sane and healthy?
Volunteers are also encouraged to make contact with anyone else involved with the child’s care during this time to determine what their status is currently in relation to the child (if services are being suspended, being offered remotely, etc.). This includes contact with the natural parents, even if the child is not currently in their care.

Crisis in health, mental health, domestic violence and child welfare may arise during this stressful time. Some important information and contacts to have on hand:

Oklahoma Child Abuse Hotline
Be alert and keep an eye out for signs of abuse and neglect, even more than usual, because abuse and neglect have been shown to increase during times of crisis/natural disasters. If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect, call the OK Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511 as soon as possible and alert your Advocate Manager.
Domestic Violence Hotline
Being quarantined at home is not always safe. Domestic Violence Intervention Hotline can be reached at 918-7HELP-ME (918-743-2763) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The DVIS hotline can provide help to anyone experiencing domestic violence or if you want to help someone who is.
2-1-1 Hotline
2-1-1 Oklahoma will enable everyone to get help or provide help. 2-1-1 Oklahoma offers information and referral across the spectrum of human need, including but not limited to rental assistance, food pantries, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, caregiver support, financial programs, literacy, and job programs.
And if you have any questions about COVID-19 here are some reliable sources to get updates from:
The World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Because of YOU

Thanks to 201 dedicated CASA volunteers, our program served 446 children on 232 different cases in 2019! We are so proud of all our advocates who ensure children in Tulsa County are safe, have permanent homes, and the opportunity to thrive. #BecauseOfYou #ChangeAChildsStory

35 Years of Advocacy

#FeelGoodFriday 2020 is an anniversary year! For three and a half decades, Tulsa CASA, Inc. has been appointing volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children in foster care. Thank you to everyone in the community who has supported our mission over the years – we can’t wait for 35 more! 🎉 #Birthday #TulsaCASA

Tulsa CASA’s New Executive Director

Exciting news at CASA! We are welcoming our new Executive Director, Elizabeth Fisher!
Elizabeth was our Program Director the last 2 years and previously a CASA volunteer. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and TAUW’s NeXtulsa. Board President Debbie King says,” We can say without hesitation that we’ve found a tremendous person to lead CASA into the future.” Please join us in congratulating Liz!

Oklahoma CASA Association Honored

 

Congratulations to our Oklahoma CASA Association who was honored at the Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) awards this past weekend! Read the full article here:

 

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/readersforum/tim-colwell-nonprofits-help-oklahoma-achieve-excellence-promote-the-oklahoma/article_a8ece6b4-61c5-5697-bd70-601bbae841ec.html#.VTpGLpwZr6w.facebook

2014 CASA Board Member of the Year

Paige was unable to attend our Appreciation Dinner to receive her award, but here is our 2014 CASA Board Member of the Year! As 2014 draws to a close and we prepare ourselves for our 30th year in 2015, we want to reflect on the successes we have had since our beginning. What have been your favorite memories with Tulsa CASA? Feel free to comment and share your stories (keeping confidentiality of course)!