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National CASA

Concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of children in court. In 1977, he created a legacy that continues to flourish when he founded what was then called the Guardian ad Litem Program and is now known as the King County Dependency CASA Program.

Similar ideas were brewing around the country at about the same time, and in 1982 the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) was formed to provide a unified voice for CASA/GAL programs around the country. It has grown to offer leadership, training, technical assistance and grants to programs as well. National CASA stages an annual conference, engages in national public policy efforts, promotes volunteer advocacy through public awareness efforts, offers consultation and resources to help start CASA programs and provides vital assistance to established programs. Jefferson County Guardian ad Litem Program, founded in 1989, is one of many GAL/CASA programs around the United States. Today there are 946 GAL/CASA program offices.

Since its inception, GAL/CASA volunteers have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes. In 2011, 77,000 volunteers served 234,000 children. We are making a difference!

Learn more about National CASA at

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