Volunteer Overview

WHAT CASA/GAL VOLUNTEERS DO

CASA volunteers work by judicial appointment. They are assigned to a child who is the subject of a court case alleging abuse or neglect and are asked to help determine the living arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. In this role, the CASA volunteer has four primary duties:

  1. INVESTIGATE: CASA volunteers research the child’s circumstances; determine relevant facts in a child’s case; and report this information to the court
  2. FACILITATE: The CASA volunteer identifies resources and services for the child and facilitates a collaborative relationship between all parties involved in the case, helping to create a situation where the child’s needs can be met.
  3. ADVOCATE: The CASA volunteer speaks up for the child by making recommendations regarding the child’s best interest.
  4. MONITOR: The CASA volunteer will monitor a case-making sure that services are provided for the child; court orders are carried out; and that the court is informed of any new developments.

POSITION: Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad litem (CASA/GAL) volunteer.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: Reports to assigned CASA staff.

JOB LOCATION: Mahoning County CASA/GAL Program; 300 East Scott Street, Youngstown, OH  44505; (330) 740-2239; FAX: (330)740-2272.

TIME COMMITMENT: 34 hours pre-service training; 12 hours of annual in-service training; other flexible hours as necessary for the assigned case (on average, 10-15 hours per month).

POSITION PURPOSE: To serve as Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad litem (CASA/GAL) volunteer, working independently to investigate and monitor cases of juvenile abuse, neglect and/or dependency in the Mahoning County Juvenile Court.

Duties and responsibilities:

  1. Attend screening interview, court observation, pre-service and in-service training sessions.

  2. Serve on at least one case annually by investigating and monitoring the situation while the child is under court jurisdiction to ensure that the child’s best interests are being served.

  3. Conduct an independent investigation to gain a thorough understanding of the assigned case.

  4. Determine if a permanent plan has been created for the child and whether appropriate services, including reasonable efforts, are being provided to the child and family.

  5. Conduct interviews with the child, Mahoning County Children’s Services caseworker, parent/guardians, relatives, friends, attorneys, teachers, neighbors, foster parents and/or any person with relevant information about the child; review files at appropriate agencies relative to the child’s case.

  6. Consult with the CASA staff as to preliminary findings and to review progress of the case.

  7. Maintain and provide to the CASA office, as required, accurate and timely forms and case records, including monthly office updates and submit a signed report with recommendations to the court on placement and services best for the child.

  8. Attend all pertinent hearings, reviews and/or meetings necessary for each case assigned.

  9. Maintain up-to-date and complete file records on each case assigned.

  10. Maintain mandated standard of confidentiality on information pertaining to each case.