The Mission of the Mahoning County Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Program is:
To provide a volunteer’s voice for abused and neglected children in juvenile dependency proceedings.
To advocate for the best interests of the children regarding their placement, care, protection and development in a safe, secure and caring environment.
To have every abused and neglected child in association with the Mahoning County Juvenile Court receive a CASA volunteer to ensure that the best interests of the child are met and to increase public awareness of CASA and its mission.
We are the CASA movement
We are ordinary people who come from all walks of life, from all over Mahoning County. We are trained volunteers who step up to assist the judge and serve our community’s most vulnerable children as court-appointed special advocates (CASA) or guardians ad litem (GAL).
We believe in the rights and dignity of children. We are committed to putting that belief to work for children who have been abused or neglected. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of excellence in service.
Neglected and abused children in Mahoning County need our help.
We are there for the child
Whatever their age, children removed from home because of abuse or neglect face a frighteningly profound unknown.
We make sure they don’t face it alone. We stand by them. We are there whenever they need us, for as long as it takes to reach a safe, permanent home. We are strong compassionate adults who are a consistent presence, who care, who listen, and who put the child’s interests before all others. We give children a say in what is happening to them.
We speak for them when they cannot speak for themselves. We help them heal and thrive. We give them the support they need to become happy, successful adults. We help them find the road home, wherever it lies.
We are there for the Judge
To make decisions that affect the rest of a child’s life, judges need to know the child. We help them do that. We take the time to get to know the child at the heart of each case. We go where they go. We talk to the people who touch their lives-parents and foster parents, family members, teachers, doctors, neighbors, friends, social workers, attorneys, and therapists.
We are there to change lives
Children who have a CASA volunteer receive more of the services that are critical to their well-being than children who don’t. They are more likely to succeed in school. And, while their cases are among the most difficult and heartbreaking, children with court-appointed volunteers cycle through fewer foster placements and spend less time in foster care. They reach safe, permanent homes and loving families more quickly.
We are not there alone
Our work with children is one-on-one, but we do not work alone. We are a movement, a group of people who have come together to advance a shared goal. Our movement includes nearly 1,000 state organizations and local CASA and GAL programs that currently support nearly 77,000 volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
It includes the National CASA Association, which delivers state-of-the-art, rigorous training programs and tools, provides quality assurance support, and raises public awareness about the needs of the children we serve. And it includes judges, attorneys, policymakers, donors, and friends.
Together, we are a powerful voice for children.