Connecting with Your CASA Child Remotely

Your CASA kiddos still need connection, relationship, and advocacy. You can still make a difference! To help you show up, virtually and with something to do, here's a list of activities. Take a look, try them out, and let us know what works and what doesn't.

Use Facetime/Tango/Facebook Messenger to video chat with your child

    • Use fun filters and settings to play a game/keep their attention

Play virtual group games on your phone while you video chat

    • Chess, checkers, scrabble, any number of games can be downloaded on your phone/tablet to play while you video chat

Tell a story / Write a story with your child

    • This activity allows them to creatively tell how they’re feeling.
    • Write your story down in a Word document or notebook or use the Story Starter generator to start a story then take turns creating a sentence

Mail a letter or card to your kiddo

    • Include the story you’ve written
    • Send a piece of candy or stickers in the envelope
    • Use your home printer and include a fun picture of you at home, your pet, or an item that connects the two of you

Picture of the day challenge

    • With permission, email or text the foster placement a picture or link to a video. Include a short story or reason about why you thought of your CASA kid when you took the picture/saw the video
    • This reminds your CASA kiddo you’re thinking of them and can start a conversation when you video chat

Read a book together

    • Have your children read books to you! Even board books where a younger child can make a story that goes with the pictures
    • Or try Novel Effect: as you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.

Have a coloring match

    • Use the same color canyon for one minute, then let the other side pick… Go through the whole range of colors.

Get out the joke books!

    • Take time telling riddles and jokes to each other.

Build parts of a Lego city

    • Talk about building a piece of the city at the same time- one builds a barber shop and the other the post office

Share a snack

    • Go through and count those gummy bears while also identifying their colors.
    • Talk about nutrition with older kids.
    • Design a silly veggie face and share!

Challenge yourselves to play a game

    • If each side has the same game, you can move your partner along too.
    • Or try UNO and play together.
    • What about Clue?
    • There’s always a way to play games in a new fashion.
    • Pictionary and Charades are always a hit!

Share music and have a dance off

    • Can you DJ your favorite song and bust out some cool moves? Have fun and laugh while getting some exercise!

Ask them to share their day but use sound effects and different voices.

    • Let them choose to talk like a vampire and discuss their last meal! Done well, this one’s a gut buster!

Try being the BEST listener

    • Lean in, ask open-ended questions (like “Tell me the best part of your day” or Tell me more about that”) and don’t give any advice.
    • They know when you’re really listening.
    • Be excited about what they have to say!

In whatever activity you choose, remember:

1. Remain consistent – this shows you value them

2. Encourage positivity – this shows hope

3. Energize – if you’re excited to video chat they will be too

Sometimes less is more. Instead of planning a 1 hour visit, consider 2 or 3 20 minute video chats a week.

Create a routine and do your best to stick to it

Need help with the technical aspects of FaceTiming, Skyping, Zooming, or Google Hangout-ing? This page is for you.

Ask about these topics when checking in with the children and family

  • Health of all household members – physical and mental
  • How are school/distance learning assignments being completed? What was communicated by the district/teacher? Is the teacher available via email to help, if needed? Could the CASA assist virtually?
  • What is the family doing to keep busy daily?
  • Is anyone in the household still working outside the home?
  • Has the child/children had any issues behaviorally since being home?
  • If the child’s visits with their parents/siblings have been suspended due to COVID-19, have they been able to stay in touch by phone?
  • Is the household having any other challenges? (Financial, shortage of food, childcare for healthcare workers/first responders, etc.)
  • Are there upcoming non-urgent medical/dental appointments for the child/children, and if so, has the Department been consulted to determine whether these appointments can be postponed?
  • Does the caretaker have supportive individuals they are relying on right now to stay healthy?

Fun places to "visit” before or during a video chat

Kansas City Zoo Animal Cams – penguins, otters, and bears, oh my!

Virtual tour of London’s British Museum

Alaskan Wildlife Cams – walrus, bears, fish, and beavers! – the world’s largest network of nature live cams

Resources to share with placements