More than 40 local CASA program offices across Texas are overcoming distance barriers for the children and families they serve by conducting virtual meetings and facilitating visits through secure online video conferencing.
The Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA) manages a secure video conferencing project (VC) between the courts presiding over child abuse and neglect cases, DFPS/CPS, and the residential placement facilities contracted to DFPS, to facilitate communication between the children placed in these facilities and the judges overseeing their cases. VC calls are conducted over a secure link, which differentiates the OCA’s video conferencing from a public network such as Skype or FaceTime.
While the primary purpose of the VC project was to enable children involved in CPS cases to participate in their court hearings without them being physically present in the courtroom, CASA program offices were added to the list of facilities set up to accommodate private VC calls between children and others. This now allows CASAs to conduct virtual meetings with a child placed outside the child’s home jurisdiction and to facilitate visits with a child’s siblings and parents, when appropriate. With 102 placement facilities, 44 courts, and 42 CASA program offices video enabled around Texas, technology is helping CASA overcome the geographical barriers!
Is your program interested in the Video Conferencing Project? For more information or to register (at no cost), please visit: www.txcourts.gov/programs-services/video-conferencing.