The CASA Program of St. Joseph County Newsletter

The Advocate

1st Quarter 2022

CASA Makes a Difference

CASA Demographics for 2021:

  • Number of Children Served in 2021: 871
  • Number of Children on the Waiting List: 85
  • Number of CASA Staff Full-Time: 15
  • Number of CASA Staff Part-Time: 3
  • Number of Active Volunteers in 2021: 147

New Staff Advocate!


CASA is happy to announce our newest Staff Advocate, Vicki!

Vicki is originally from central Florida. She now lives in South Bend with her family and is enjoying the snow-filled adventure that comes from living in Indiana.

Vicki is excited to begin her journey with St. Joseph County CASA, after spending the last year working with special needs adults in our community.

Vicki loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family.

Help us welcome Vicki to the CASA team!

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2021 Toy Drive Success!

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Birthday gift

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2021 Toy Drive a huge success!

CASAs provided holiday gifts to over 550 children with the help of 12 community partners who collected toys at their various businesses!

We even had 34 groups and community members adopt 42 of our families most in need.

Thank you for helping make the holiday season extra special for our CASA kids!

The More you Know

A man holding a megaphone - We need volunteers

How long have you been with CASA? Since April 22, 2014

What made you want to work at CASA? I had worked for a non-profit for many years and grant funds were drying up, so I decided to come back to work for the county. Previously I was a Juvenile Probation Officer and the Diversion Services Coordinator under the supervision of Thomas Frederick.

Tell me something interesting about yourself. I am an avid crafter and love to take day trips to antique and explore quaint towns.

What is some advice you would give to someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer? The training is a commitment to prepare you globally for the important work you will do as an advocate for children. You are never expected to know what to do next. That is where the CASA supervisor and advocate work as a team to move the case to permanency. Volunteers who make this commitment to donate their time, care, and compassion to help children through this difficult phase in their lives, are invaluable.

Staff Spotlight


Volunteer Spotlight:


How long have you been a CASA? 14 months

How did you hear about CASA? Lety Stanton-Verduzco, the previous CASA Recruiter/Trainer, introduced me to the program.

What made you want to be a CASA Volunteer? A passion for wanting to help/teach/mentor younger children, knowing that our society isn't always "JUST". Parents make mistakes and younger children are not able to navigate the system alone.

Tell me something interesting about yourself. I'm just an ordinary person wanting to return/pay back the many teachers and mentors that saw something positive in me when I couldn't recognize it in myself. I still owe a large debt.

What is some advice you would give to someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer? Make certain that you look into the CASA Program, and talk with folks that have been there. Do you have the time, patience, are you willing to deal with people from all ethnic groups, be fair, honest, and open? Last, but surely not least, remember this is a commitment, these relationships with the children matter, you just don't want to walk away at any time.

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Continuing Education Hours

CASA Volunteers and Staff are required to complete 12 hours of continued learning each calendar year. Here are a couple of suggestions on ways to earn your hours! (Please note, you are only allowed to use 6 hours per year watching a movie or TV series.)

What to watch

Beautiful Boy:

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy documents the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Watch it on Amazon Video.

Viewing is free for Amazon Prime Members!

  • Find Freckled on Amazon HERE              
  • Find Freckled at Barnes and Noble HERE

Interested in reading more books related to your work as a CASA? Join National CASA's Book Club HERE !

Book Recommendation

Freckled: A Memoir of Growing Up Wild in Hawaii by TW Neal

Recommended by CASA Volunteer Barb

This memoir, written in first person from a child's point of view, begins in 1965 and chronicals nearly 20 years of life as the child of drifters in Hawaii.

Toby is a redheaded girl born to hippie surfer parents. As free spirits living in Kauai, addicted to drugs, living to surf under their own rules, Toby's parents often left their children alone to fend for themselves, camping outside, and eating chicken feed for breakfast. The family lived with food insecurity in a jungle hideout with cockroaches. The children occasionally attended school and didn't know where their next home would be. Due to the location and nature of the hippie colony of the times, no interventions or reporting took place.

Freckled is a raw, compelling, and ultimately hopeful memoir of growing up on Kauai where the ideal freedom to surf, climb trees, and run on the beach runs counterpoint to a reality of homelessness, food insecurity, prejudice, violence, and the need be the adult when parents can't.

Four Books
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Now Taking Suggestions

Have you read a book, and/or seen a movie, or television series that you think should be in our next newsletter?

Email your suggestions to or visit our Facebook page and message us there!


  • N/A


  • 1 year- Becca H
  • 6 years- Reg W, Carol R
  • 7 years- Matt D


  • 1 year- Lindsey E-W,Josh W, Joe F, Sarah R, Preston C, Kim G, Danielle J
  • 2 years- Kirt S, Kay G
  • 3 years- Chris B, Carys K, Tom D
  • 4 years- Courtney K, Lety S-V
  • 5 years- Amy C, Lisa P, Debbie B, Kathy J
  • 8 years- Tom B, Kris L, Joy W
  • 9 years- Jo Ann M

Happy Anniversary
Happy Birthday


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  • Jo Ann M
  • Mary Anne P
  • Tameria M


  • Alison C
  • Courtney K
  • Tom M
  • Andrea O
  • Megan E
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  • Joy W
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  • Jennifer B

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Throughout February, organizations and individuals nationwide are coming together to highlight the need to educate young people about dating violence, teach healthy relationship skills and prevent the devastating cycle of abuse. To learn more visit:

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Each March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and their partners work together to create a social media campaign that highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. To learn more visit:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Ever since April was designated as National Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month in 1983, Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) America and its nationwide network of state chapters, along with other child welfare organizations, have recognized it as a time to raise awareness and inspire collective action, so that our country’s children can lead their best lives.

To learn more visit:

Pinwheels for Prevention

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While you're at the JJC, pick up a yard sign supporting CASA and a Child Abuse Awareness pin!

Help us spread awareness about Child Abuse Prevention Month by wearing blue on April 1, 2022!

Post a photo on your social media and tag us! Use the hashtags listed in this flyer to show your support for organizations like CASA who work daily to help end child abuse!

2022 Holiday Schedule

The CASA Office will be closed on the following dates:

President's Day


Good Friday


Primary Election Day


Memorial Day


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The Office


The CASA Program of St. Joseph County is in need of Volunteers! Our next training class will begin in late April! Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Juvenile Justice Center from 5:30pm-7:30pm. The course lasts 8 weeks.

Fill out an application and visit our website to learn more!

Thank you for your continued support of the CASA Program of St. Joseph County!

Current CASAS

Don't forget to log into Optima to document hours and update contact logs!

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Contact us

By Phone:

574-233-CASA (2272)

By Email:

Know someone who may be interested in learning about CASA? Forward them this email!