COVID-19 forced us to alter some of our practices. But we never stopped speaking up for the safety and best interests of vulnerable children, and we've now returned to near-normal advocacy practices.

CASA's volunteers see the children they serve at least once a month -- to observe them and hear what's on their minds. During the height of COVID, most visits took place outdoors or by video, with indoor visits permitted only under certain circumstances. But since June 2021, fully-vaccinated volunteers have been able to resume indoor visits. Fully-vaccinated volunteers also can attend indoor meetings and court hearings regarding the children.

Unvaccinated volunteers meet with children and others outdoors or by video, and they attend court hearings/meetings by phone or video. (Or, CASA staff attend in their place.)

All staff and volunteers continue to adhere to the safety-minded protocols outlined in Rappahannock CASA's COVID-related policies, which our Board of Directors periodically review and update.

Clearly, families have been under increased stress because of the pandemic, and traumatized children especially may struggle with the emotional strain and disruptions to their usual routines. We encourage our advocates to offer a listening ear to children and caregivers, and to provide opportunities to hear about and help solve challenges.

Also important to know:
  • COVID policy: This policy explains CASA's ground rules for safe visits and attendance at CASA-related activities. Volunteers, the policy has been emailed to you. Please carefully review, sign and follow the policy.
  • Office hours: The CASA office remains closed to visitors except by appointment. Staff work in the office on a rotating schedule. Normal office hours will resume on August 1, 2021. Email remains the best way to reach us (rappcasa@gmail.com). Volunteers, don't hesitate to call staff's cell phones. 
Helpful resources for CASAs and families:
 
  • The Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With The Coronavirus Disease 2019, from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.  Click here
  • CDC Coronavirus site. Click here.
  • Kids Health: How to Talk to Your Child about Coronavirus. Click here.
  • Khan Academy: Free online educational resources and daily schedules. Click here.  
  • School lunch programs:
    • Fredericksburg Public Schools Mobile Feeding Program. Click here
    • Spotsylvania County Public Schools food distribution plan. Click here
    • King George County Public Schools "grab and go" meals info. Click here
  • Local Departments of Social Services:
    • Fredericksburg: 540-372-1032
    • King George: 540-775-3544
    • Spotsylvania: 540-507-7898
    • Stafford: 540-658-8720
  • Virginia Child Protective Services hotline: 800-552-7096