CASA Best-Interest Advocacy

Lift up a child’s voice, become a CASA volunteer today!

Thank you for your interest in becoming a court appointed special advocate with the Snohomish County Office of the Court Appointed Special Advocate. By advocating for an abused or neglected child, you give that child a voice – and a chance for a better life.

Who is the dependent child?

Dependent children are defined as those children who are under 18 years of age, who have no parent willing or able to care for them, or who are abandoned, abused, or neglected and under the care of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Children’s Administration. A court appointed special advocate may be appointed for these children to represent what is in their best interests to the court during the dependency process.

CASA Volunteer Duties:

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is appointed by a judge, through the Office of the Court Appointed Special Advocate, to serve as an advocate for the best interests of a child who is the subject of a Dependency proceeding in Superior Court. The primary duties of the CASA are:

Investigate: Collect relevant fact-based information about the child’s situation; review confidential, case related documents, speak with individuals related to the case (parents, relatives, caseworker, teachers, counselors, foster parents, doctors) and report to the court factual information regarding the best interests of the child;

Interview: To meet with, interview, or observe the child, depending on the child’s age and developmental status, and report to the court any views or positions expressed by the child on issues pending before the court;

Monitor: To monitor all court orders for compliance and to bring to the court’s attention any change in circumstances that may require a modification of the court’s order; To report to the court information on the legal status of a child’s membership in any Indian tribe or band;

Report: To complete, in a timely manner, written reports to the court that address the historical and current facts of the child’s situation, the CASA’s conclusions based on the facts, and the CASA’s recommendations to the court to serve the best interests of the child;

Recommendations: CASAs may make recommendations based upon an independent investigation regarding the best interests of the child, which the court may consider and weigh in conjunction with the recommendations of all the parties;

Advocate: To represent and be an advocate for the best interests of the child; attend all court hearings pertaining to the child, submit timely court reports, and attend case staffings.

Right to Counsel: To inform the child, if the child is twelve years old or older, of his or her right to request counsel and to ask the child whether he/she wishes to have counsel.