Huron County
Common Pleas Court
Probate and Juvenile Divisions

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

SPEAK POWERFULLY FOR THE CHILDREN

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. 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 ChildrenCASA logo

How it all began…

In 1977, Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington, first recruited community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in court. Currently, there are more than 937 CASA programs in all 50 states with 50,801 volunteers working on behalf of more than 188,620 children.

 

In Ohio…

Since 1980, more than 30 counties have initiated CASA programs, making a dramatic impact on Ohio’s Juvenile Court system.

 

In Huron County…

1989, Judge Thomas E. Heydinger initiated the volunteer program.  In 2005, 19 volunteers advocated for children in more than 100 abuse, neglect, or dependency cases here in Huron County.

 

THE VOLUNTEER’S ROLE

As a child advocate the CASA volunteer has three main responsibilities:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ordinary citizens.  No special legal or social work background is required.  CASA volunteers in Huron County agree to a criminal background check and are screened closely for objectivity, competence, and commitment, and then undergo a thorough training course administered by the Program Director.  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 by taking an interest in the lives of children in Huron County and becoming a volunteer advocate. 

CASA Volunteer Application

 

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the application.  Free Adobe Acrobat Reader Download

 

For more information on volunteer opportunities or the Program, contact:

Mary Ann Lamb, Program Director for CASA of Huron County

Huron County Common Pleas Court

Court Services

2 East Main Street, Room 102

Norwalk, OH  44857-1534

Phone: (419) 663-2525 ext. 1720

Fax:     (419) 663-0944

Email address: casa@hcjpc.com

 

Hours:  Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

 

National CASA Organization