Making a Difference

Wood County CASA®/GAL Program Receives National Certification Recognizing the Quality of Its Work for Abused and Neglected Children

Judge David Woessner of the Wood County Juvenile Court is proud to announce that the Wood County CASA/GAL Program has been awarded certification on May 2014, by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. This certification recognizes that the Wood County CASA/GAL Program is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality child advocacy.

According to Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association, "The National CASA quality assurance process is very rigorous, and reflects our commitment to ensure every child we serve has the most powerful volunteer advocate working on their behalf. This certification says Wood County CASA/GAL Program has demonstrated to us a strong capacity to provide excellent services to the abused and neglected children within their community.”

"The national certification of Wood County's CASA/GAL Program is a testament to the commitment of the volunteers and supporters of the program" said Wood Co. Juvenile Court Judge David Woessner.

The Wood County CASA/GAL Program was started in 1988. In 2013, the program had 42 volunteers who were appointed to assist 144 children alleged to be abused, neglected or dependent. ”

About the National CASA Association

In 1976, concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information, aSeattlejudge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court, helping to ensure that they will live in a safe and loving environment.So successful was thisSeattleprogram, that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion ofCASA/GAL with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today, there are more then 950 NationalCASAmember programs across the country, with more then 70,000 men and women serving asCASAor Guardian ad Litem volunteers.


Local advocates make the voices of abused and neglected children heard across the community recognizing April 30 as CASA Day in Ohio, as proclaimed by the Ohio General Assembly.

The resolution was sponsored by Representative Taveres, Senator Wagoner and Senator Niehaus.

"CASA Day is an opportunity to recognize the difference that volunteer advocates make in the lives of abused and neglected children and bring attention to the critical needs of these children.”

Children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care. In a recent national study about 13 percent of children who had CASA volunteers were in foster care for more than three years, compared to 27 percent of children who had no CASA volunteer. Additionally, children with CASA volunteers are more likely to receive the services they need and less likely to re-enter the foster care system.

"CASA programs in Woodand across the state call upon all Ohioans to find learn how they can make a difference in the life of an abused and neglected child in their community.”