Become a Volunteer

Becoming a Mahoning County CASA/GAL Volunteer

When a court must intervene to help a child, someone should be there to tell the child's story and protect their future. CASA/GAL volunteers are trained to serve as an informed, independent and objective voice in court for abused and neglected children. The volunteer focuses on, and advocates for, the child's best interests and their need for a safe, permanent home. CASA/GAL volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary work for abused and neglected children.

On average, there are over 400 filings of abuse, neglect and dependency cases in the Mahoning County Juvenile Court system in a given year. As these numbers rise, so does the need for trained CASA/GAL volunteer advocates. CASA/GAL volunteers give their time and talent to "make a difference in the life of a child". Mahoning County CASA/GAL volunteer, John Theodore read an article in the newspaper about CASA and felt it was a worthwhile cause. Sara Rossler heard about CASA through another volunteer and wanted to help kids. Please consider joining these volunteers and others by lending your time, talent and voice to become a CASA/GAL volunteer!

To become a CASA/GAL Volunteer

  • Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Volunteers must complete a written application with three references.
  • Volunteers submit to a screening process including a background check with finger printing.
  • Volunteers complete 34 hours of pre-service training. In addition to this, CASA/GAL volunteers are required to complete at least 12 hours of continuing education a year.
  • Minimum 1 year commitment - CASA/GAL volunteers must be committed. When a case is assigned, CASA/GAL volunteers are expected to stay with the case until it is resolved to ensure there is at least one consistent person there to advocate for the child's best interests. 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 to the 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 ensure 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 requests to the court and speak in the courtroom on behalf of the child's best interests.

For information on becoming a volunteer, please contact the Mahoning County CASA/GAL Program at 330-740-2239.

Contact Mahoning County CASA at 330.740.2239