Who & How

Who Are CASA Volunteers?
CASA volunteers are everyday citizens whom judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. It does not require any special education or background to become a CASA volunteer, simply the desire to stand up for these children and improve their lives.

CASA volunteers are prepared for success by an initial 30-hour training course, followed by ongoing coaching during their cases by our experienced professional staff.

Our volunteers are called CASAs - Court Appointed Special Advocates. Others may call our volunteers Teacher, Granddaddy, Doctor, or Mom, but to our client children they are Heroes.
Who Are the Children CASA Volunteers Help?
At any given time, about 180 children in our 3-county area have been removed from their homes by Child Welfare for reason of abuse or neglect, and are living in foster care. Local judges appoint CGCASA volunteers to identify and speak up for the best interests of these children. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.
How Did CASA Get Started?
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge was concerned about having to make important decisions about children in protective custody without having sufficient information about the children and their individual needs. He conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom - essentially acting as the judge’s "eyes and ears”. From that first program has grown a network of more than 900 CASA programs in the U.S. Columbia Gorge CASA is proud to be the program serving Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties in Oregon.
How Is Columbia Gorge CASA Funded?
CASA is a state mandated program.  Approximately 33% of our annual operating funds is received from the State of Oregon. For the remainder of our funding we depend on the generosity of individuals, foundations, businesses, and community organizations.