CASA means “Court Appointed Special Advocate”
Since its creation by a family court judge in Seattle, Court Appointed Special Advocates has become one of the most effective programs of its kind. Today there are almost 1,000 CASA programs around the country. With a unique blend of private support, public need, and the kind of people power that comes from more than 93,000 volunteers across the country, we are all committed to the rights of every child impacted by the foster care and child welfare system.
CASA Volunteers spend significantly more time with children than a paid Guardian ad Litem (GAL).
All CASAs are volunteers and are members of the community who have been specially trained to advocate in court for the best interest of an abused or neglected child. They are assigned to a child for the duration of a case, usually lasting a year or two. The average child in care spends approximately two years in the system, during which they may change residences as many as three times — which is why CASA Volunteer work is so important.
Because each move means new foster parents or a new kinship placement, and often a new school, CASA volunteers frequently become the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.
The Ohio CASA/GAL Association is a 501(c)(3) corporation that provides local CASA programs and their volunteers with training, funding, leadership, quality assurance, and management assistance. Ohio CASA has been working for more than two decades to guarantee a volunteer advocate for every child victimized by abuse and neglect in every Ohio county. Today, 45 CASA programs serve children in 55 Ohio counties.