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(a) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Appointments. At any stage of the proceedings conducted under this title, the Tribal Court may appoint a CASA for the child when, in the opinion of the judge, a child requires services which can be provided by the CASA, consistent with the Rules of Court.

(b) CASA Qualifications and Duties.

(1) A “CASA” is a person who has been recruited, screened, selected, and trained, in accordance with National CASA Association Standards who is being supervised and supported by the Tribal CASA program, and who has been appointed by the court as a sworn officer of the court to help define the best interests of a child or children in juvenile and ward ship proceedings

(2) The duty of the CASA is to represent the interests of the child, and he or she shall be a party to the proceedings. A child 14 years of age or older is presumed capable of determining what is in his or her best interests. It is the duty of the CASA to represent the child’s wishes in such cases. For children under 14 years of age, the CASA shall make a determination as to the best interests of the child regardless of whether that determination reflects the wishes of the child. However, the wishes of the child are always relevant to the determination of best interests and shall be weighed according to the competence and maturity of the child.

(3) Tribal CASAs must be duly qualified and appointed pursuant to the Tribal CASA program guidelines and policies prior to working on any case and receiving confidential information.

(4) The Tribal Council through its CASA Advisory committee shall adopt guidelines for the screening of CASA volunteers, which shall include personal interviews, reference checks, check of records of sex offenses and other criminal records, information from the Department of Motor Vehicle, and other information as the Tribal Council deems appropriate.

(5) Each CASA is an officer of the Court, with the relevant rights and responsibilities that pertain to that role and shall act consistently with the rules of court pertaining to CASA’s.

(6) Each CASA shall be sworn in by a court judge, associate, or commissioner before beginning his or her duties. [Ord. 46A § 1807, adopted, 3/24/2016.]