Volunteers, lawmakers, community members gather at Statehouse for “CASA Day in Ohio” 2024 

A record number of people attend annual event highlighting the work of CASA volunteers in Ohio 

A large group of CASA volunteers, local program supporters and Ohio CASA staff were joined by lawmakers, community members and state leaders at the Ohio Statehouse for “CASA Day in Ohio” April 30.  

CASA programs from every corner of the state were represented. A record number of supporters attended this annual event. 

“We are honored that so many CASA volunteers, Ohio lawmakers and state leaders showed their support for CASA programs in Ohio,” said Ohio CASA Executive Director Doug Stephens. “This support underscores how important CASA volunteers are in our state. Their work gives children experiencing abuse and neglect a needed voice in court.” 

Stephens addressed the crowd, as well as Ohio CASA Board Member and Ohio’s Second Lady Tina Husted. She welcomed supporters to CASA Day in Ohio, thanking volunteers for their dedication. 

Resolutions from both federal and state lawmakers, noting the importance of CASA programs in Ohio, were presented. 

Ohio Senator Stephanie Kunze, Ohio Representative Melanie Miller and a representative for U.S. Senator J.D. Vance all shared resolutions and encouraging remarks. 

Ohio Representative Melanie Miller presents a resolution for CASA Day in Ohio 2024.

“As we observe CASA Day in Ohio, we celebrate the impact of court appointed special advocates and guardians ad litem and encourage others to get involved and support the CASA program,” said the resolution from Senator Kunze. 

Ohio Senator Stephanie Kunze presents a resolution for CASA Day in Ohio 2024.

CASA of Franklin County volunteer and Friends of CASA of Franklin County President Bill Payne shared his volunteer perspective. 

“Being a CASA/GAL volunteer is a responsibility and a joy,” Payne told the crowd. “It is a responsibility to know that child and be a stable and consistent presence in their life. But, being a CASA/GAL is a tremendous joy.” 

CASA of Franklin County volunteer and President of the Friends of CASA of Franklin County Board Bill Payne talks about his volunteer experience.

Madison County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Christopher J. Brown shared his court’s experience becoming the latest CASA program in Ohio. He told the crowd that CASA programs are critical to the administration of justice in Ohio. 

Madison County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Christopher J. Brown talks about swearing in the first class of Madison County CASA volunteers.

There are now 47 CASA programs serving children in 60 Ohio counties. 

“This successful event gives the Ohio CASA Network motivation for the future. Our goal is to have a CASA program in every county in Ohio,” said Stephens. “This will take dedication, funding and planning. But it is a journey I am confident we can navigate successfully with the support of our lawmakers, state partners and community.” 

The first CASA program in Ohio was launched in Lucas County in 1980. Ohio CASA was established by local program directors in 1989. 

If you would like to learn more about CASA in Ohio or support our work, read more here

You can see even more photos from CASA Day in Ohio 2024 here.