Stevens County

C A S A


 

215 South Oak Street, Room # 214, Colville, WA 99114
Telephone: (509) 685-0673, TTY: (800) 833-6388,  Email:
casa
@co.stevens.wa.us
          Office Hours: Monday - Friday  8:00AM - 4:30 PM

 

   

Page last updated:  October 07, 2014

 

About Stevens County CASA

 

  FAQs

In 1977, an estimated 600,000 children in the United States were in foster care with little hope of being reunited with their original families or being freed for adoption to become part of new families.  Unfortunately, most of these children were being damaged by an unstructured system, which often replaced parental neglect with institutional neglect. Judge David Soukup, then a Superior Court Judge in King County, Washington, directed his staff in Seattle to develop a program of volunteer guardians ad litem in an effort to provide better advocacy for abused and neglected children.  It was Judge Soukup’s intention to provide an opportunity for selected and trained citizens to advocate for abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court proceedings.  He envisioned that the trained volunteers would focus their time and energies on the best interests of a specific child and report their independent findings to the Court.  Judge Soukup wanted to ensure that the court would have confidential “eyes and ears” for each child to help avoid the damaging effects of “foster care drift.”

  Stevens County CASA Application
   
   
   
 
Disclaimer  
   
   

In 1998 Judge Rebecca Baker, who once practiced law under Judge Soukup in Seattle, championed the CASA program as one of her platforms on her campaign and successfully brought the CASA program to Pend Oreille County.  Newly trained CASA’s began serving foster children in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties.  In 2003, due to the expanding needs of foster children in the Tri-County district, each county began to operate as individual entities. Stevens County CASA was founded under the supervision of Program Director Patricia Markel. Now following her lead, the program is headed by Wendi Andres and currently serves over 120 children in foster care annually.

   
   
   
   
   
   
         

   

Our Mission

   

The mission of Stevens County CASA is to improve the lives of foster children with trained volunteer advocates. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of a foster child.

CASA alleviates the feelings of abandonment and alienation that scar these young lives by harnessing the compassion and generosity of caring adults who can and do have an enormous impact on the development of the child at all ages. The genius of the CASA model is that it effectively capitalizes on a huge reservoir of caring by mobilizing it in service to children. CASA makes the most immediate connection—one caring adult to one child in need—that can be the turning point in a life that has been interrupted and shaken. Our most significant accomplishments happen every day—when an overlooked opportunity is found, a service is secured or an adult connection is made that will help to keep a child safe and give him or her an opportunity to succeed in life.

The volunteers get to know the children and their circumstances, show them that someone cares, advocate for their best interests (including making recommendations to the Court), encourage them to grow to their fullest potential, and become involved in key issues in their life, especially permanent placement, and school, health, and mental health issues.

A CASA volunteer is often the sole consistent adult anchor for foster children. Children frequently remark how important it is to them that these tireless advocates are the only people in “the system” who are not paid to assist them. CASA volunteers give a voice to a child who cannot speak up for herself or himself and are frequently viewed as mentors or guides.