Ross County CASA swears in large class of volunteers as program continues to grow 

11 community members will soon advocate for local children experiencing abuse and neglect 

A large group of community members were sworn in as the latest class of CASA volunteers with the Ross County CASA program in April. 

At the Ross County Juvenile Court, Judge J. Jeffrey Benson led the swearing in ceremony, thanking each individual for their willingness to become a CASA volunteer. He shared that serving as a CASA volunteer is a direct way to help the community. 

“As you move into different stages in your life, you find yourself wanting to be of service, to find things that matter and are impactful, especially for a community that has been so wonderful to me,” said new CASA volunteer Audrey Holman. “I have loved living here. I love the community and was searching for a way to give back.” 

Volunteers completed at least 30 hours of pre-service training and in-court observation.  

Holman said she liked that the training, a mix of virtual and in-person sessions, gave everyone a realistic look into what a CASA volunteer will likely encounter. 

“If you are a huge advocate for families, whether it be personal venture or just something to get out and do engagement in the community, I would definitely say go for it,” said Myesha Celeski, a new CASA volunteer who shared she was in the child welfare system as a child and wants to make an impact on kids in a similar situation. “Take time for yourself to reflect on other people’s struggles and barriers, especially the children in Ohio.” 

Nine community members were sworn in Friday.  

“This is the largest group we have sworn in as volunteers in recent years. It has been such a rewarding experience to work with them so far,” said Ross County CASA Director Brittni Brown. “It was an exciting and encouraging day for our program, and our community.” 

Brown says two others who completed training will be sworn in at a time more convenient for those individuals. 

They will join the network of CASA volunteers across the state. There are 47 CASA programs in Ohio. These programs serve children in 60 counties. 

CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to advocate in court for children experiencing abuse and neglect.  

“We welcome this latest group of volunteers to the Ohio CASA network,” said Ohio CASA Executive Director Doug Stephens. “This swearing in ceremony demonstrates that there is a need, and a growing interest, in doing this important work in every corner of our state.” 

Volunteers will speak with the child, family members, teachers and other people connected to the case to complete their report. A CASA volunteer shares that background information, including objective recommendations, to assist the court in making the best decision for the child. 

The Ross County CASA program launched in 2017. Follow these links if you would like to volunteer with the Ross County program or any program in Ohio