Meet Jeffrey! Jeffrey has been an Advocate Supervisor for Family Law CASA since 2019. In his role, he supports CASA volunteers through the entire process of advocacy including training, interviewing children and families, writing reports for the King County Superior Court, and sometimes, testifying before a judge.

What is your background? Why did you join Family Law CASA?

I spent the early part of my career working in hospitality before transitioning into higher education where I oversaw the department of Student Leadership and Multicultural Programs for nearly twenty years. When I was laid off due to a district reorganization, I pondered whether to continue working in higher education, or switching to a career in the non-profit sector where I could continue to help people in different capacities. I work well independently, and I particularly enjoy spending long hours focused on analysis and writing. So, Family Law CASA has been a good fit for me because it allows me to impact the lives of children and families, spend hours in concentrated analysis work, and to work with volunteers of all ages which is a big part of what I enjoyed doing in higher education.

What is something that you cherish and people may not know about you?

Jeffrey sitting in an armchair while holding his dog Molly, a light brown Schnauzer-Terrier mix. Jeffrey is a middle-aged man with a graying beard, wearing round glasses and a black polo shirt.

Jeffrey and his pet dog, Molly.

Before becoming vegan, I had been a vegetarian on and off since I was eighteen. In my former role, the students funded a sustainability program which came under my department, and I supervised the manager who was a vegan. I also worked with students who were vegan. Although I understood the benefits of vegan diet, I wasn’t sure I could give up dairy. But as I learned more about the significant impact the animal agricultural industry has on the environment, I knew it was time for me to give an all plant-based diet a try. Initially, it was my desire to protect the environment and my own health that led me to becoming a vegan. But once I broke my dairy addiction it became clear to me that I could not go back to eating meat and dairy which undeniably contributes to animal cruelty and suffering. So, I am committed to a plant-based lifestyle.

The focus of our work can be heavy and difficult. How do you navigate this and stay balanced in your time off?

Occasionally, there are cases where the children have clearly suffered in their environment and will continue to suffer without intervention. In most cases there is at least one parent who can provide sufficient safety, care, and love for their child/ren. However, in a few cases, the options seem bleak, and it is the children in those cases that weigh on me most. In these cases focusing on self-care helps me keep from feeling overwhelmed with sadness and concern. I do this by making time to disconnect from thinking about work by focusing on activities that elevate my mood such as getting exercise or spending time with my husband and friends.

What are you looking forward to in the future of Family Law CASA?

I say this so often that I worry people may not think I’m sincere, but Family Law CASA is truly an amazing organization. It’s the people that make the organization great and our Executive Director and our team are all passionately committed to our mission to protect children. That passion fuels everyone into doing their very best work and continuously seeking ways to improve the quality of the services we provide and to ensure that we treat all our families and employees with equity. It’s been my experience that as an organization we “walk our talk.” It is truly exciting, and a privilege to be part of this organization and the work we everyone is doing to ensure that we will be here continuing to serve families for another 20 years while also improving the strength of our advocacy, the variety of services we provide, and expanding our capacity to serve more children and families. I believe Family Law CASA is a beacon of light for the future families we will serve!

Want to know more? Watch this short video from our CASA volunteers!