Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Stephens Takes Leadership Position at CASA

Doug Stephens, former director of the Judicial and Court Services Division at the Ohio Supreme Court, was hired this week as executive director of the Ohio CASA/GAL Association.

Doug Stephens, former director of the Judicial and Court Services Division at the Ohio Supreme Court, was hired this week as executive director of the Ohio CASA/GAL Association.

Doug Stephens, former director of the Judicial and Court Services Division at the Ohio Supreme Court, was hired this week as executive director of the Ohio CASA/GAL Association.

Doug Stephens, former director of the Judicial and Court Services Division at the Ohio Supreme Court, was hired this week as executive director of the Ohio CASA/GAL Association.

The statewide organization that provides a voice in court for abused and neglected children hired a new executive director this week.

After nearly 30 years of service to Ohio courts, Doug Stephens retired from his position as director of the Judicial and Court Services Division at the Ohio Supreme Court at the end of 2010. On Wednesday, he notified his Facebook friends that “retirement has officially ended” after accepting the position with Ohio CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Stephens said he feels blessed to be able to pursue work that has such a direct positive impact on children’s lives. “After 30 years in the court business, what I learned that first year is still true today: the most important work the courts do involves abused and neglected children,” he said. “Ohio CASA volunteers served 7,284 children in 38 counties in 2011. My goal – Ohio CASA's goal – will always be to provide a CASA volunteer for every child in need in all 88 counties.”

His new job and his past work in the area of child and family law seem like a natural fit. In 1995, Stephens worked closely with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to negotiate the first inter-branch agreement between the Supreme Court and the department. The first activity undertaken through this agreement was a Family Court Feasibility Study. The study found that mandated family courts were not necessary in Ohio, but it also found that many good practices were taking place in courts that, unfortunately, were not being widely shared and replicated. To address this issue, his work with the programs under his supervision encouraged initiatives and activities that promoted courts sharing information and learning from one another.

Ohio CASA, formally known as the Ohio CASA/GAL (guardian ad litem) Association, supports local CASA/GAL programs and volunteers through the provision of leadership, technical assistance, training and quality assurance. Volunteers focus on and advocate for a child’s best interest and the child’s need for a safe, nurturing, permanent home.

Previous to his management career at the Supreme Court, Stephens worked at the Delaware County Juvenile Court and the Licking County Probate/Juvenile Court, where he served as court administrator. In 1990, Stephens joined the Supreme Court as its first Statistics Officer, managing the court’s Statistical Reporting Section. He also served as the court’s Judicial Assignment Coordinator before being appointed director of the Judicial and Court Services Division in 2001.

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