(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Advocate” or “C.A.S.A.” means a Court-Appointed Special Advocate.
(3) “Program” means a Court-Appointed Special Advocate service that is created in a county with the support of the court for that county to provide trained volunteers whom the court may appoint to:
(i) Provide the court with background information to aid it in making decisions in the child's best interest; and
(ii) Ensure that the child is provided appropriate case planning and services.
(b)(1) There is a Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program.
(2) The purpose of the Program is to provide volunteers whose primary purpose is to ensure the provision of appropriate service and case planning consistent with the best interests of a child who is the subject of:
(i) A CINA proceeding;
(ii) A custody and guardianship proceeding under § 3-819.2 of this subtitle; or
(iii) A guardianship review proceeding under Title 5, Subtitle 3 of the Family Law Article.
(3) The Administrative Office of the Courts:
(i) Shall administer the Program;
(ii) Shall report annually to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and, subject to § 2-1246 of the State Government Article , to the General Assembly regarding the operation of the Program; and
(iii) May adopt rules governing the implementation and operation of the Program including funding, training, selection, and supervision of volunteers.
(c) The Governor may include funds in the budget to carry out the provisions of this section.
(d) An advocate or a member of the administrative staff of the Program is not liable for an act or omission in providing services or performing a duty on behalf of the Program, unless the act or omission constitutes reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct or intentionally tortious conduct.
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