Child advocacy centers provide the following services to children in the child welfare program in West Virginia:
(1) Operation of a child-appropriate or child-friendly facility that provides a comfortable, private setting that is both physically and psychologically safe for clients.
(2) Participation in a multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations.
(3) Operate a legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations that has established and implemented basic sound administrative practices.
(4) Promote policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent and diverse. Cultural competency is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community.
(5) Conduct forensic interviews in a manner which is of a neutral, fact-finding nature and coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.
(6) Provide specialized medical evaluation and treatment made available to clients as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination and referral with other specialized medical providers.
(7) Offer therapeutic intervention through specialized mental health services made available as part of the team response, either at the child advocacy center or through coordination and referral with other appropriate treatment providers.
(8) Victim support and advocacy as part of the team response, either at the child advocacy center or through coordination with other providers, throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings.
(9) Conducting team discussions and providing information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family are to occur on a routine basis.
(10) Developing and implementing a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for team components.
(11) May establish a safe exchange location for children and families who have a parenting agreement or an order providing for visitation or custody of the children that require a safe exchange location.
A court appointed special advocate (CASA) shall operate as follows:
(1) Standards: CASA programs shall be members in good standing with the West Virginia Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Inc., and the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association and adhere to all standards set forth by these entities.
(2) Organizational capacity: A designated legal entity is responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative practice.
(3) Cultural competency and diversity: CASA programs shall promote policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent. "Cultural competency" is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community.
(4) Case management: CASA programs must utilize a uniform case management system to monitor case progress and track outcomes.
(5) Case review: CASA volunteers shall meet with CASA staff on a routine basis to discuss case status and outcomes.
(6) Training: Court appointed special advocates shall serve as volunteers without compensation and shall receive training consistent with state and nationally developed standards.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.