Welcome to Mahoning County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Mission and Vision Statements

Mission Statement

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.

Vision Statement

  • 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.


In 2012, there were 686,000 children who were abused or neglected in the United States. Of those children, 1640 died as a result of abuse or neglect. 70 of those children lived in Ohio.

Local program stats:

In 2013, 90 children were served by a CASA volunteer in the Mahoning County Juvenile Court.
In March, 2016, there were 26 CASAs advocating for 44 children.
Since 1989, the program has trained 290 CASA/GALs.

How you can help

Request a Speaker

A representative from the Mahoning County CASA/GAL Program would be pleased to come to your association, group, or business to discuss the role played by the CASA/GAL volunteer in the court system and the positive impact volunteers make on the lives of abused and neglected children.

Please contact Mahoning County CASA to request a speaker and learn how you too can "speak up for a child".

The Mahoning County CASA/GAL Program needs your help to make sure that each and every abused and neglected child is given the advantage of a trained CASA/GAL volunteer so that their voice is heard. If you are unable to become a CASA volunteer, please consider helping with a fundraising event or making a donation to the program.

CASA demonstrates the power of volunteers to change the lives of children!

*Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Child Maltreatment 2012. (Washington, DC, Government Printing Office, 2012).

Composite Report form for the Entire State, Ohio Court of Common Pleas - Juvenile Division.


Cathy Kristan, Executive Director

Cathy was a CASA volunteer for a year before she became the Assistant Director in 2013. As the Assistant Director, Cathy scheduled volunteer in-service training sessions, entered data into the CASA computer program and helped with fundraising events. Cathy is a member of Ohio CASA and National CASA. Cathy Kristan is married, has four boys and is a member of a local Christian church.

Cathy became the Interim Executive Director in December, 2016.  To stay current with trends in foster care and changes in the laws that affect abused and neglected children, she regularly attends directors' meetings and the annual Ohio CASA conference in Columbus. She also attended the National CASA Conference in Washington D.C. in June, 2016.  She will attend the National CASA Conference in Seattle in March, 2017.

Former Executive Directors include Renee Battafarano, Patti Fisher, and Dawn Daugherty. 

Contact Mahoning County CASA at 330.740.2239