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About Us


The advocacy provided by Columbia Gorge CASA helps to ensure that children experiencing foster care in Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties have the opportunity to transition successfully into adulthood. Research shows that when a CASA volunteer is appointed, outcomes are strengthened for children and families, more needed services are ordered, children are significantly less likely to reenter the child welfare system, children perform better academically and behaviorally, and have higher levels of hope. 

CASA's primary form of advocacy is through submitting court reports to present judges with a fuller picture of what is happening in the child's life. Volunteers devote hours getting to know the stories of the children for whom they advocate and then carefully crafting reports to supply the court with an understanding of that child's everyday life. While ODHS workers tend to maintain a broader and more clinical overview of the case, CASA volunteers are able to focus solely on the children, painting a more detailed account of their perspectives, hopes, and needs. These reports contain both observations and recommendations regarding the best interest of the child.

Columbia Gorge CASA works under the authority and guidelines given in ORS 419B.112

Our History

Inspiration came to Seattle juvenile court judge David W. Soukup in 1976. Judge Soukup had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse.
That’s where the idea came from: These children, who had experienced abuse or neglect, needed trained volunteers speaking up in the courtroom for their best interests.


A CASA is often the only consistent person in a child's life during their time in foster care.

Our Board of Directors

Board Chair
Julie Nygard

Vice Chair 

Tyler LaBar


Nate Stice 


Elizabeth Rovianek

Other Members

Brigitte Barnes

Daniel Hunter 

Jennifer Hart

Peter Bushnell

Prudence Amick


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Our Mission 

To advocate for the needs and well-being of children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect through continually-trained and professionally supported community volunteers. 

Our Vision

A world where every child who has experienced abuse or neglect is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.

We Need Your Support Today!

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