Superior Court judges appoint specially trained volunteers to speak up for abused
and neglected children. Called “Court Appointed Special Advocates”
(CASAs), they are also known as “guardians ad litem” (GALs). CASAs
serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court. They are independent
of the child’s parents and independent of the state’s child protection
and child welfare system.
CASAs investigate a child’s case and makes recommendations to the court.
They monitor ongoing cases and try to facilitate communication and collaboration
amongst the people and agencies involved with the child and the child’s
family. Throughout the case, they advocate for the child’s best interests.
A great strength of the CASA program is that its volunteers come from all walks
of life. Court Advocates for Children, the CASA program in Kittitas County,
seeks volunteers from all cultures; professions or occupations; racial, ethnic
and educational backgrounds age twenty-one or older. Regardless of background,
all CASA volunteers listen, keep an open mind, are concerned for children and
dedicated to making a difference for the children they represent.
CASA programs operate in most counties in the state of Washington and some tribal
courts. A statewide association, Washington State CASA, provides support to
its member CASA programs around the state. For more information about Washington
State CASA, click here
History of CASA
The CASA program began in 1977 in King County Superior Court located in Seattle,
Washington, under the leadership of Presiding Judge David Soukup. By 1999, the
CASA program had expanded across the United States. A national CASA association,
headquartered in Seattle, provides support for its member programs throughout
the country. For more information about the National CASA Association, click
Kittitas County’s CASA program began in 1985 under the leadership of Kittitas
County Superior Court Judge JoAnne Alumbaugh.
In many counties, the CASA program is a part of the county’s juvenile
court. Kittitas County’s CASA program is truly independent of the court,
being managed and administered by an independent not-for-profit agency -- Court
Advocates for Children for Kittitas County, located in Ellensburg.
COURT ADVOCATES’ MISSION AND VISION
Our mission is to provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate
for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the justice system
of Kittitas County.
Our vision is a community that is aware of and committed to the efforts of Court
Advocates to secure safe, permanent, and loving homes for abused and neglected
children in Kittitas County.