Providing Free Resources to Low-Income Families
By bridging the gap in resources available to courts with our free child advocacy services, we provide an opportunity to shed equitable light on intricate family dynamics. Although we don’t offer legal representation, our advocates and attorneys play a pivotal role in the civil legal aid space when appointed by the court, strengthening our community by prioritizing the safety and security of children in custody cases involving risk factors such as domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse and mental health issues.
Your dedication to advocating for the best interests of local children is what drives our mission.
Many of these children come from communities of color, who, due to systemic disparities, face significant challenges in health, education, and long-term stability. By championing the child’s needs, we aim to reduce potential trauma in high-conflict custody cases, ensuring that they aren’t just seen, but that their voices and best interests are heard in court, influencing decisions that shape their future.
What Will I Do As A CASA?
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) gather information and make recommendations to the court about what’s in a child’s best interests. Each advocate is assigned a staff supervisor who guides and supports them. Most cases involve the following tasks:
- Review the case with the assigned staff supervisor in person or over the phone.
- Visit the child in each household for a home visit.
- Interview the family members and a limited number of friends or relatives.
- Interview relevant professionals such as teachers, therapists, or service providers over the phone.
- Review records and documents received.
- Submit one or two written reports for the court by the specified due dates using a report template.
- Appear in court with a Family Law CASA Attorney if the case goes to trial. The trial date is specified when the case is assigned.
What Are the Required Qualifications?
Advocates come from all backgrounds, and no specific experience is required. We value diversity and equity in our program because we believe every child deserves a strong and insightful advocate to help them. These are the requirements to volunteer:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Have no criminal history.
- Be able to go to home visits in King County.
- Have a computer with access to email.
- Be able to speak and write well in English.
- Commit to complete at least one case. On average, this includes 10–12 hours per month for 6-12 months.
- Apply, interview, and complete in-person training in Tukwila.