Pride of Pacific Northwest. King County citizens should know about and be every bit as proud of CASA as we are of Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, our mountains, beautiful islands and pacific coast. In 40 years, CASA started from a handful of volunteers recruited by word of mouth and has grown to 70,000+ volunteers across the United States. The volunteers are trained by the court to advocate for the needs of children removed from their families due to abuse or neglect allegations. CASA volunteers gather information, report to the court on the needs of the child, assist the court in making difficult decisions, and make sure that the children’s needs are heard. We know of no other volunteer work that is more important, transformative or rewarding.
The Dependency CASA Program was established in 1977 by King County Superior Court Presiding Judge David W. Soukup, who was concerned about the lack of information available to the court when decisions were being made for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. He asked friends and staff to recruit volunteers to go out and meet these foster children, see what they needed, and come to court and report to him. His program, originally called the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Program, has grown into a nation-wide movement called CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates. It is now a federal requirement that children removed from their families to foster care have advocacy in court, usually through a dedicated CASA volunteer.