CASA means Court Appointed Special Advocate
Since its creation by a family court judge in Seattle, Washington, CASA has become one of the most effective advocacy programs of its kind. Today there are almost 950 CASA programs in 49 states. With more than 96,000 volunteers across the country, we are all committed to the rights of every child in the foster care and child welfare system.
CASA Volunteers spend significantly more time with children than a paid Guardian ad Litem (GAL).
A Court Appointed Special Advocate is a member of the community. We specially train volunteers to advocate in court for the best interest of abused or neglected children. And, CASA Volunteers are assigned to a child for the duration of a case, usually lasting a year or two. The average time spent in care is two years, during which they may change residences as many as three times — which is why CASA Volunteer work is so important.
The time is now: 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. Our volunteers not only advocate for a safe home, but for educational resources and mental health resources. And because child welfare systems are constantly overloaded, CASA Volunteers are an adult who is part of their life because they want to be. More than 16,000 children in Ohio are currently in foster or kinship care.
Ohio CASA is a 501(c)(3) corporation that provides support to local CASA programs and their volunteers. Ongoing support is training, funding, leadership, quality assurance, and management assistance. Ohio CASA has been working for more than two decades to ensure safety and a permanent home for Ohio’s children in need. Today, 45 CASA programs serve children in 55 Ohio counties.