I have complained about my CASA before. She seems to be more of an advocate for BM than she is for the child. BM doesn't have 6 of her 7 kids. They are all either in care, residential or with their BD. It seems that no matter what CASA hears about BM she finds a way to defend her. She even went as far as to call me & ask me if my per diem could possibly be given to BM on the days she has her since she knows feeding her causes a hardship. I did not think this was her place & was even advised to complain to her supervisor. I didn't do it but prob should have. I did tell my CW who could not believe she did it. This is her first case & I do think she is doing a good job in a lot of ways. She is very involved & active in this child and her Moms life. She has transported Mom to appts and FTM's. My FD went home last week. No one really feels this will be successful but really didn't have a reason not to send her. One thing that I think Mom will struggle with (among many other things) is appts for this child. She just doesnt keep it together at all. She has already missed numerous family therapy sessions & doesnt call and cancel. She just no shows. After child went home I sent BM a text with all of her upcoming appts. I also sent this to the CW. CASA emailed me asking for all of BM appts. She said she realizes she will struggle with remembering these. I know this means that CASA will remind her & most likely take her. BM can drive but often claims to not have gas but is always driving everywhere else. I saw my CW today & asked if CASA is really suppose to do soooo much for the BM? I also asked if there were any rules as to how much she can be involved with this family after DCS closes the case? She said they were all good questions and she would have to ask CASA supervisor. I don't want to come off like I want this parent to fail. I do not want this child back even if she were to go back into care. It was all I could do to hold out till she went home. I just feel that at some point this Mom needs to make it on her own. Thought? Is this CASA doing too much? Can she be a friend to this family and continue to help so much after DCS leaves? Are there any rules regarding this? Of course I know every state and county is diff. Just curious how things are where you are
Well, firstly, I don't think it was appropriate, in the past, for CASA to take mom's side so strongly. But it happened in the past. Now that RU has happened, we're now in a different situation. So, I think we have to re-evaluate whether CASA's behavior remains inappropriate.
Just from what you've said, I don't think it is. Outside the requirements of her role? Yeah. I think it's more "above and beyond" than inappropriate, though. So often, we expect parents with no social support, no resources, no education, to turn things around in a matter of months...Shockingly they fail. A lot. Especially when they get their kids back and then all the support is pulled out from under them. And this isn't actually good for kids. At all. So, I think it is positive that the CASA is willing to work with the reality--mom isn't ready to do parenting by herself, but legally the child can't stay in care (by order of the judge, not the CASA). So CASA does what she can--continues to support mom, maintaining a relationship, keeping an eye on things so that if it all goes south, well, she can let the right people know.
It's not playing to the letter, but I think it's generally good behavior to see in social services professionals. Admittedly it can't continue forever, but neither does any service provided to parents trying to RU. So, the fact that this one's lasting a little longer... I don't see that as bad.
It's my understanding that a CASA is supposed to be a neutral party looking at ALL angles of a case.
She does sound pretty green in doing this.
Going all out like that will eventually get her burned when she gets one of the really manipulative parents that just want to work the system.
Eventually she will catch on that she is being manipulated too.
Her actions definitely seem outside the scope of her job as a CASA. They seem more appropriate for a casemanager. Those are the kinds of activities I did for/with the clients I've worked with.
CASAs are volunteers. I wonder what her day job is? Maybe she's just doing what she knows to do to help kids.
I agree with loving6 that it only benefits the child at this point. Why does this mom need to make it on her own right now? Seriously legitimate question? The basis of a lot of social services is to support their clients (whether addicts, homeless, families, mentally ill, poor, etc) who can't make it on their own in order to reduce the need for expensive institutional community solutions (jail, prison, hospital, foster care). Obviously that didn't quite work in your FD case as she ended up in foster care, but if intense support for mom can keep her from ending up back in foster care that's a good thing right?
I am a little concerned about that CASA though. Whenever you interact with clients in a professional capacity it's a good idea to have fairly clear boundaries. When you start fudging that line between friend and helping professional you open yourself up to things going sideways. When I drove clients to appointments and helped them access resources for food, called with reminders about their appointments, etc. it was in my job description. Going above and beyond can also be phrased as doing her a favor, and even when you have the best of intentions things can get misconstrued.
"She did these things for me because she wanted me to relinquish my rights, she was trying to bribe me." When the time comes that she cannot honestly say that reunification is in the best interest of a child. A parent might say that out of anger to manipulate her as a previous poster mentioned, or they may honestly feel that way, and interpret her actions that way.
For this reason there are a lot of ethical principles in helping professions like social work and counseling dealing with what is known as "dual relationships."
So I guess bottom line for me - yes it's inappropriate but not because mom should be "on her own," but because the assistance she is providing would be more appropriately provided by a program whose scope is designed to meet those needs.
We had a casa like that who stayed in her car for hours to watch the bp, and wanted to sleep over when they were having trouble. The SW tried to get the casa off the case, but could not. Good Luck!