These kids need a hero – someone to share their stories so the court can order services and structures for a safe, healthy future.
Did you know?
In King County, there are two kinds of cases in which volunteer CASAs are appointed. CASAs are appointed in family law custody cases or dependency (foster care) cases.These are separate independent programs following different legal procedures.
Family law custody cases involve children caught in the middle of high-risk custody cases between their parents and sometimes their family members. Neither the child nor the parents receive state-provided supportive or protective services. The children we serve are from lower income homes within King County (under $80k combined gross income). Issues impacting the child include domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, neglect and more.
A volunteer advocate gathers in-depth, child-focused information for the court to establish a safe plan for children in custody disputes involving significant safety concerns – physical & sexual abuse, domestic violence, neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal activity, health, education, &/or untreated mental illness. These children have no social worker or case manager. Trained and professionally guided lay-person volunteers spend 6-12 months and 60-100 hours gathering information, reporting and recommending services to the court on each case.
Dependency cases involve children who are generally placed in foster care while the child and family receive state-provided services including oversight from a case manager or social worker. The King County Dependency CASA Program is a separate program designed to help children facing similar trauma in addition to child abuse through a different and separate legal process.
By connecting families with services and establishing clear schedules and structures, we hope to divert struggling families away from any progression toward state intervention. Ideally, services and structures recommended by volunteer advocates will help families heal in order to promote a safe, healthy and bright future for the child.