Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings - Oregon

Date:

Making The Appointment

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 419B.112; 419B.195

In every case under chapter 419B, the court shall appoint a court-appointed special advocate (CASA). For the purposes of a Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. § 5101, et seq.) grant to this State under P.L. 93-247, or any related State or Federal legislation, a CASA or other person appointed pursuant to this section is deemed a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child or ward in proceedings before the court.

If the child, parent, or guardian requests counsel for the child but is without sufficient financial means to employ suitable counsel possessing skills and experience commensurate with the nature of the petition and the complexity of the case, the court may appoint suitable counsel to represent the child at State expense if the child is determined to be financially eligible under the policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines of the Public Defense Services Commission. Whenever requested to do so, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the child in a case filed pursuant to § 419B.100. The court may not substitute one appointed counsel for another except pursuant to the policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines of the Public Defense Services Commission.

The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 419B.112

The CASA is deemed a party in these proceedings and may be represented by counsel; file pleadings and request hearings; and subpoena, examine, and cross-examine witnesses.

If a juvenile court does not have a sufficient number of qualified CASAs available to it, the court may, in fulfillment of the requirements of this section, appoint a juvenile department employee or other suitable person to represent the child or ward's interest in court pursuant to § 419A.012 or 419B.195.

Upon presentation of the order of appointment by the CASA, any agency, hospital, school organization, division, office or department of the State, doctor, nurse or other health-care provider, psychologist, psychiatrist, police department, or mental health clinic shall permit the CASA to inspect and copy, and may consult with the CASA regarding, any records relating to the child or ward involved in the case, without the consent of the child, ward, or parents.

Qualifications/Training

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Specific Duties

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 419B.112

Subject to the direction of the court, the duties of the CASA are to do the following:

  • Investigate all relevant information about the case
  • Advocate for the child or ward, ensuring that all relevant facts are brought before the court
  • Facilitate and negotiate to ensure that the court; the Department of Human Services, if applicable; and the child or ward's attorney, if any, fulfill their obligations to the child or ward in a timely fashion
  • Monitor all court orders to ensure compliance and to bring to the court's attention any change in circumstances that may require a modification of an order of the court

How the Representative Is Compensated

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 419B.112

If the CASA is represented by counsel, counsel shall be paid from funds in the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund established under § 5 of 2017 Act 630. Counsel representing a CASA may not be paid from moneys in the Public Defense Services Account, the Public Defense Services Commission, or from Judicial Department operating funds.

Whenever the court appoints a CASA or other person to represent the child, it may require a parent, if able, or guardian of the estate, if the estate is able, to pay, in whole or in part, the reasonable costs of CASA services, including reasonable attorney fees.