Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are trained volunteers appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of children who are alleged to have been abused and/or neglected by their parents or other caregivers.
When a family enters the dependency court system, the goal is to provide services and support so that the family can be safely reunited. It is vital for children in the foster care system to have consistency and often a CASA volunteer is the only person who remains stable in a time where there are many changes in a child's life.
Yakima County CASA has been training and supporting, caring CASA volunteers to advocate for children in all of Yakima County since 1996. A CASA volunteer must complete an initial training of 30 hours, which includes four hours of observation in the courtroom, and pass a criminal background check as well as a Child Protective Services history check.
An average dependency case is approximately 18 months in length and Yakima County CASA asks that all volunteers commit to remaining as the advocate for the duration of their case.