It has been a little over one year since the first case of COVID-19 here in Texas, which brought the start of physical distancing and virtual advocacy. CASA volunteers of all ages, skills and circumstances are using technology to stay connected with children and families, and some find they stay closer with more frequent contact.
Whether your CASA program continues to require virtual visits or not, videoconferencing remains a powerful tool to check in with children and families. With this in mind, we’re sharing a few resources and reminders to help you make the most of virtual visits.
When not visiting a child in person, it is even more vital to be vigilant, intentional and perceptive to ensure the child’s safety. In addition to tips on engaging children virtually, this document from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services offers critical information to help CASA volunteers and others identify suspected signs of abuse and/or neglect during visits.
From virtual scavenger hunts, to story time, to job interview practice, to yoga, this article has ideas for fun and useful activities to engage children and youth of all ages. It also has a great list of websites with free activities, including live zoo and aquarium webcams and astronauts reading stories from space!
Wisconsin CASA has compiled a list of 30 questions to help you keep your conversations fresh. Some are silly (“If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, where would you go to get it and what would it be?”) and some are more serious (“What is something you never thought you could tell me but maybe want to tell me now?”).
This master document contains, as the creator aptly puts it, “all the free browser-based games [they] could find”! Keep in mind that it contains games for adults as well as kids; most games have a suggested age noted next to them. You can also skip to the For the Kids section for kid-friendly escape rooms.
Thank you, as always, for your commitment to the health and safety of the children and families you serve, and for growing and innovating with us over the past year.
Visit our COVID-19 page for more resources on engaging with children virtually.