November 14, 2023
Study reveals the positive impact CASA volunteers have on Ohio children
A new report is highlighting the impact Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are having on Ohio children in need, following months of research and data gathering.
The Ohio CASA Association, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Medicaid, commissioned an independent evaluation led by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC), located at The Ohio State University.
The GRC research team focused on the impact appointing a CASA volunteer had on stability, health and well-being for children who had been removed from their home because of abuse or neglect. This study controlled for a range of other factors which could confound results. An effort of this scope has not been attempted previously.
Certain findings stand out. For example, in the within-county comparison, researchers tracked data which suggest that young people who were appointed a CASA volunteer:
- Spent less time in an out-of-home placement
- Were less likely to re-enter an out-of-home placement following discharge
- Were more likely to be reunified with family
- Were more likely to enter a permanent placement
“This study is both encouraging and gives us goals to strive for,” said Ohio CASA Director of Development Kristin Gilbert. “We have seen the positive work of CASA volunteers in Ohio for decades. This identifies the next level of questions we should be asking to improve programming and the training on which to focus. It also shows us the importance of partnerships and working together.”