A Refresher on Court Reports In-Service Training Chris Brown Joe Kernan Sarah Noviks Summit County Juvenile Courthouse CASA/GAL Program of Summit County 650 Dan St. Akron OH 44310 33-643-2928 Tips to Remember Please submit reports 7 days prior to your court hearing to your Volunteer Coordinator – We must file 7 days before a hearing (originally 3) With a Permanent Custody report, it must be filed 7 days prior as well Tips to Remember This is a court document – – – – – – – NO slang NO foul language Do not abbreviate NO “I” (This CASA/GAL) NO initials anywhere NO opinions…just the facts! DO use Arial or Times New Roman font Tips to Remember Start your report right after your last hearing and add to it as you go. – – Only include information from one hearing to the next Put a reminder on your calendar every few weeks to update your report Heading To save yourself time: – – Since the information is the same, copy and paste from your last report into the new document Be sure to change the date, time, and hearing type Case Contacts Use Mr. Ms. Mrs., this is a court document Do NOT use foster parents’ names Do NOT use the child(ren)’s school names Tab the contacts so they line up Foster parents/kinship providers can be listed here, visits remain in the visit section Attempted Contacts Unsuccessful This section is for unsuccessful contacts If you call someone and leave a message, and they call you back within a day or two it is not considered unsuccessful If you call someone and they never call you back….. If you go to a scheduled visit and no one is present….. Reading of Records Use SCCS instead of CSB Counseling Drug screen results Online criminal checks Medical Education Visits In the child’s placement, parent’s home, or SCCS If visit is at foster parent’s home, include foster parent under the visit If visit is at kinship placement, include kinship provider If visit is at parent’s home or SCCS, include individuals present who are a party to the case (parents, kinship provider) Case History Only use the ORIGINAL complaint Do NOT use ongoing history of what has happened on the case Use past tense Summary of Activities Summarize in a few paragraphs about each child – – Only list parties to the case – Do not list what you saw/what happened on each visit (on the 3/15/12 visit the CASA saw….) Limit physical characteristics of children Children, parents, temporary or legal custodians Always list children first! This is our focus Summary of Activities: Children In the children’s section make sure to cover: – – – – – – Placement Adjustment to placement Services School Medical/development Visits with parents/siblings Summary of Activities: Parents In the parents’ section be sure to include: – – – Case plan goals (also can copy and paste from previous reports) Case plan compliance List the fathers EVEN if they are not participating in case plan goals *NEW* Wishes of Each Child Similar to the summary of activities, there is a heading, and each child is listed with DOB and age Include 1-2 sentences per child in regards to their wishes – – For example: “Chris consistently expresses that he does not want to be in the custody of SCCS because he feels as if he is unable to lead a normal life. He wants to be at home with his father” If the child is too young to express a wish: “Chris is an infant; therefore, he is too young to express his wishes.” Assessments Try to write recommendations first, then come back to assessments to explain WHY you want to make those recommendations There should be a short summary about all the children and all parents Recommendations ON A SEPARATE PAGE! Use bullet points Only use a sentence or two per bullet Custody Placement Any motions Visitation Services for children Services for parents QUESTIONS???