CASA of the 7th Judicial District



Board of Directors

  • Jim Haugsness, President
  • Pat Blackwelder, Vice President
  • Judith Hollingshead, Treasurer
  • Valerie Hill
  • Lance Daniel
  • Mick Francis
  • Patty Voorhis
  • Marcia Allison
  • Susan Welk-Valdez


In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington, concluded that he was not obtaining sufficient relevant facts during case hearings necessary to ensure that the long-term welfare of the child was being represented. To address this concern, he developed the concept of recruiting and training community volunteers to represent the best interest of the child in court proceedings. In 1977, the first CASA pilot program was implemented in Seattle. The purpose of the CASA program is to ensure that abused and neglected children receive high-quality, sensitive, effective, and timely representation in court hearings to determine their guardianship.


“Since its creation by a family court judge in Seattle, Court Appointed Special Advocates has become one of the most effective programs of its kind. Today there are 949 CASA programs around the country. It is a unique blend of private support, public need and the kind of people power that comes from more than 76,000 volunteers all committed to the rights of every child in the foster care and child welfare system.”