Family Law CASA began as a pilot program of Junior League of King County in 1983 and became a King County agency in 1984. For 20 years, Family Law CASA was the voice for children in King County Superior Court – providing comprehensive, unbiased information to Family Law Commissioners and Judges, enabling the most well-informed and reasoned custody decisions possible for children.
Unlike the Juvenile Court system, which mandates by law that children have their own legal representation and provides families with free legal counsel when needed, family law litigants are not provided with this important advocacy. Children involved in family law cases do not have the legal right to any free advocacy service.
In 2002, the Family Law CASA Program fell victim to the King County budget cuts, but thankfully the organization was recreated as a nonprofit. Today, Family Law CASA is entirely funded by private donations and grants. Since then, Family Law CASA has advocated for over 700 children involved in Family Court custody cases at no charge. The program staff actively recruits, screens, and trains community volunteers to become CASAs and provides the guidance and support the CASAs need to do their job.
CASA volunteers continue to advocate for those children who have the greatest need. Half of the children served are under age five. The typical family has low to moderate income, with allegations of substance abuse, domestic violence or mental health issues. CASA volunteers are dedicated to helping ensure a safe, nurturing environment for children in high risk custody cases. They focus on the needs of the child, while striving to strengthen family relationships and parenting skills.