Cowlitz County Child Advocates
Is a 501(3)(c) non-profit that actively identifies quality volunteers from around our community to speak up for the best interests of every abused and neglected child in our Dependency Court system. Our staff provides all the initial and ongoing training that volunteer advocates need to feel confident in their role and offer constant support and encouragement through each step of the process. Together, advocates and staff work to ensure children find a safe, loving, and forever home as quickly as possible.
We aim to provide quality advocacy to every child assigned to our program by the court, gathering all pertinent information in order to enhance the decisions our judge will make on the child’s behalf.
We seek to educate the community about our mission and provide training classes throughout the year that help our volunteers and others continually to add skills that will benefit our children.
We seek to create and sustain working partnerships with other agencies and businesses that work for the best interests of children.
Cowlitz County Child Advocates, originally Cowlitz Coutny CASA, started in 1994. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nationwide program that started right here in Washington. A judge in Seattle realized that abused and neglected children were often inadvertently re-victimized by overburdened, understaffed and under-resourced courts and public social service agencies.
No one had that time, training, or resources to conduct the in-depth fact finding needed to represent the best long-term interests of the children. As a result, community volunteers were trained to gather relevant facts and speak up in the courtroom to better meet children’s needs and safeguard their rights.
Washington State CASA changed their name to Washington State Association of Child Advocate Programs, (WaCAP), in 2019, and Cowlitz County CASA became Cowlitz County Child Advocates. Although we now have a new name and logo, we continue with the exact same mission and purpose as the day we started over 26 years ago!
About Our Volunteers
Our volunteer advocates come from all walks of life. You can be a young adult with a little extra time and energy, or a parent who wants to give other children that same sense of safety you strive to give your own children. You might be an empty-nester or recently retired with wisdom and experience to add to a child’s life. As long as you are 21 years old with an hour or so a week to dedicate to a child, this volunteer opportunity could be a perfect fit.
Find out more on our Volunteer page!
We are dedicated to providing the best possible advocacy for each of our children. The best way to do this is equipping qualified volunteer advocates who can focus on one child at a time.