PICKAWAY COUNTY JUVENILE COURT CASA/GAL
The Pickaway Coutny CASA/GAL program has been in effect since 1990. We serve many children locally and have a volunteer force that continues to grow each year. We strongly advocate for all children within the Juvenile Court System that need CAS/GAL service. Services are coordinated for children and their families who are involved in the Juvenile Court system. We participate in annual conferences pertinent to child welfare, the legal system, volunteerism, and the CASA/GAL program. The highest professional standard possible is maintained with our families and community agencies.
All children have the right to a home with people loving them. But each year in Ohio thousands of children are abused or neglected. To protect these children Juvenile Judges must determine what is in their best interest. Should the children remain in foster care, be reunited with parent or be adopted?
These children need an advocate, “a voice in Court” that can pay close attention to each of them. Sometimes, the child can remain in foster care for months, even years. That’s where CASA comes in.
CASA/GAL stand for Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem. These volunteers help thousands of Ohio’s children who are victims of abuse and neglect. The trained volunteers represent the child’s best interest before the Court. They bring an independent assessment of the case, giving the children a change to grow up in a safe, permanent home.
Link to National CASA: www.casaforchildren.org
To Become a CASA/GAL Volunteer
Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age.
Volunteers must complete a written application process including a background check.
Volunteers complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-servicing training. In addition to this, CASA/GAL volunteers are required to complete at least 12 hours of continuing education per year.
CASA/GAL volunteers must be COMMITTED. When a case is taken on, CASA/GAL volunteers are expected to stay with the case until it is resolved. This may take a year or even longer. The time spent on each case may vary, but usually averages out to about 10-15 hours per month.
Volunteers must be OBJECTIVE. As a CASA/GAL volunteer, you work to represent the best interests of the child, and that is not always what the child wants.
Volunteers work as a FACT FINDER, an INTERVIEWER, and an INVESTIGATOR. Volunteers gather pertinent information relative tot he child’s case and report on these findings in Court. Their goal is to gather as much information as possible to help the Court make the best decision regarding the child’s future. They also monitor the case to endure the child’s needs are being met.
The CASA/GAL volunteer must possess good COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Volunteers talk to a wide variety of people and are asked to present written reports to the Court and speak in the Courtroom on behalf of the child’s best interest.