Mission and History

In 1977, Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup was concerned about making decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Fifty people responded to his initial request for volunteers, thus, beginning  the CASA Movement.

In 1984, under the guidance of Judge Tom Dawson, a group of community volunteers came together to address growing concerns of child abuse and neglect within the community. NELCASA, court appointed special advocates of Nelson County, was incorporated in 1985. Since that time NELCASA has worked with the Nelson County Court System to ensure that abused or neglected chidren within our community have the support of a CASA advocate.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Nelson County supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. CASA recruits and trains community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children.

Our mission is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children, so they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. Our work is made possible by our dedicated CASA volunteers; our professional staff; and support from our Nelson County Court Judges, community partners, and generous donors.

The child welfare system is a complex structure, intimidating to almost everyone in contact with its inner workings. Already-traumatized children must interact with this large, intricate, overburdened system, including law enforcement, child protective services, social workers, judges, attorneys, pediatricians, therapists, school systems, teachers, family members, therapeutic institutions, and foster parents. The ultimate goal is to find a safe, permanent, loving home for each child embroiled in this daunting process.

    Through our work, we aim to:

    1. Connect the children to whom we are assigned with targeted services and the treatment they need to recover from the trauma they’ve endured.

    2. Break generational cycles of abuse and neglect.

    3. Ensure safe, permanent, loving homes for children, and healthy communities for generations to come.