Resolution Would Officially Recognize May 18th as “CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day”
WASHINGTON, DC – May 18, 2021 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize specially trained volunteers who advocate in courtrooms and other settings on behalf of child survivors of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The CASA Volunteer’s Day Resolution would honor Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) volunteers for their life-changing work with children experiencing abuse or neglect. More than 2,400 volunteers serve children and young people across the state of Ohio, representing 56 counties.
“Every young person deserves a safe and stable place to call home— and so many more have that home now, thanks to the work of Ohio’s CASA and GAL volunteers. Even in the midst of a pandemic, volunteers in Ohio served almost 10,000 children last year and continue to play a vital role by helping protect and support foster youth every single day. We must honor them, and continue working to ensure they have the resources to uplift the voices and needs of children in their communities,” said Brown.
“Indiana is home to one of the largest Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteer programs in the nation, advocating for Hoosier children facing abuse or neglect in 86 counties. They spend time with each child to get to know the heart of their case, and genuinely care for these young people so that they have the opportunity to thrive. This year, I’m proud to co-lead a Senate resolution commemorating CASA/GAL volunteers’ work on behalf of youth by marking May 18, 2021, as the first-ever CASA/GAL Volunteers’ Day. On May 18th, and every day, we must recognize and celebrate each and every volunteer who advocates for children in our foster care system,” said Young.
“For many child survivors of abuse and neglect, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem are the only adults standing up for them during a scary and difficult time,” said Porter. “I am proud to work across the aisle to acknowledge how our CASA and GAL volunteers, who are real lifelines for vulnerable kids, give children a consistent, reliable advocate for their wellbeing.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem operate in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Their network includes 948 state and local programs—including 45 local programs and the Ohio CASA Association in Ohio—that support more than 96,000 volunteers and 277,000 families.
This legislation was cosponsored by Sens. Todd Young (R-IN), Michael Braun (R-IN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jackie Rosen (D-NV), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and James Lankford R-OK). Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives.