CASA – A Powerful Voice In A Child’s Life
As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian ad Litem volunteer, your voice can help the Court in finding a safe permanent home for children where they can thrive.
Volunteer Guardians ad Litem for Children
In 2004, Judge Kathleen L. Giesler partnered with Erie County CASA to bring the volunteer program to Ottawa County. In its first year, 7 volunteers advocated for children in more than 30 abuse, neglect, dependency or delinquency cases here in Ottawa County. In January 2008, Ottawa County CASA became it’s own program. There are currently 21 volunteers serving 61 children.
The Volunteer’s Role
As a child advocate the CASA volunteer has three main responsibilities:
- To serve as a fact-finder for the Court by completely researching the background of child abuse and neglect cases. The CASA volunteer may do this by reviewing documents and interviewing the child, parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, and doctors.
- To speak for the child in the courtroom, focusing exclusively on the child’s best interests. A CASA volunteer provides carefully researched information to help the Judge or Magistrate make decisions.
- To continue to monitor the child during the life of the case, helping to insure he or she will be raised in a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
Becoming A Volunteer
CASA volunteers are everyday people who come from all walks of life. They have a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. No special or legal or background is required. Volunteers are screened closely for objectivity, competence, and commitment, and then undergo a thorough training course administered by the CASA staff. Volunteers learn courtroom procedures from Judges, lawyers, social workers, and CASA staff. They also receive training in effective advocacy techniques for children, and other topics such as early child development and adolescent behavior.
Speak Up For A Child
You can help abused and neglected children who are caught up in the complexities of the court system. Volunteer to speak up for a child in court and become a CASA Volunteer.
For more information on volunteer opportunities or the Program, contact:
Connie Cornett, Executive Director
Ottawa County CASA
570 S. McKinley Drive
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
Phone: (419) 301-0225
Fax: (419) 301-0226