The CASA Program of St. Joseph County Newsletter

The Advocate

Fall/winter 2021

CASA Makes a Difference

CASA Demographics at a glance:

  • Number of Children Served in 2021 to Date: 846
  • Number of Children Currently Served: 558
  • Number of Children Currently on the Waiting List: 88
  • Number of CASA Staff Full-Time: 13
  • Number of CASA Staff Part-Time: 4
  • Number of Current Volunteers: 117

CASA Fall Training Class


Congratulations to our last graduating CASA Training Class of 2021!

Thank you for your dedication to the children in our community!We look forward to working with you!

A big THANK YOU to Lety for helping us finish the year strong.


Welcome our new Recruiter/Trainer, Amanda.

Amanda has been working with special needs adults in our community for the last 7 years. She has worked in residential programs, helped develop the adult day program at Hannah & Friends, and has been a LOGAN Protective Services Caseworker. Her extensive experience with the special needs community will be an asset to our team.

Amanda has a passion for helping others. She has the utmost respect for working in a team and learning from her seasoned colleagues.

Amanda is excited to join the CASA team!

If you would like to support CASA, here is our QR Code.

Giving Tuesday is self-proclaimed as the "World's Biggest Day of Generosity", this year Giving Tuesday will be celebrated on November 30th.

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 and is based on the idea of "Radical Giving". Giving does not have to be in monetary form. It can be as simple as holding the door for the person walking in behind you.

This Giving Tuesday, act kindly, thank someone, smile at a stranger, and know that we appreciate all of the supporters ofThe CASA Program of St. Joseph County!

If you would rather give a monetary donation, please donate with the QR Code here!

Please consider donating to this year's Toy Drive benefitingthe children served by The CASA Program of St. Joseph County! This year we have 11 additional drop-off locations with our community partners who are all local businesses!

Shop local this holiday season and support the children served by The CASA Program of St. Joseph County!

Gift Box

Check out the Virtual Book Drive being held by Brain Lair Books!

CASA has partnered with Brain Lair Books to ensure each CASA child gets a book this holiday season!

Books should be shipped directly to:

CASA of St. Joseph County

1000 S. Michigan St. South Bend IN, 46601

E-Gift Cards should be emailed to

Click the link below to shop!

Congratulations to Brittany, who received Employee of the Month for the Juvenile Justice Center in October 2021!

Below is a brief interview with Brittany.

How long have you been a CASA? Three years

What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy being able to do the investigation piece of my job, bringing new evidence to the court to support my recommendations. I also enjoy getting to see and know the kids. I particularly like working with teenage girls, being able to help them navigate the system and their lives.

What is some advice you would give to someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer? Being a CASA is definitely something you need to have a passion for, always keeping the kids in mind.We're here for them. There will be times when things seem difficult, but there are people around to help, supervisors, staff advocates, and the director. At the end of the day, it is really rewarding doing this type of work.

Staff Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight: Hope

How long have you been a CASA?

I started the CASA training course in June of 2020 and was sworn in on August 27, 2020.

How did you hear about CASA?

While on a road trip, I noticed a huge CASA bulletin board. Sometime after that, I noticed one in our community and looked it up online to see what it was about. After reading the history of the CASA program and that its mission is to give abused and neglected children a voice, I felt a tug at my heart to get involved.

What made you want to be a CASA Volunteer?

I joined CASA because of the opportunity to make a difference in a child's life. I think as I get older, giving back to our community has become more important to me. As a nurse, I've spent most of my career in geriatric nursing. Volunteering for CASA helps me to see another spectrum that I never knew existed before. It gives me so much hope to see how our judicial system works for children in our community who are in need of services. This is a program I'm very appreciate of.

Tell me something interesting about yourself.

In our home we take macaroni and cheese debates seriously. The long story short is that we all love Chic-Fil-As macaroni and cheese (even more than my homemade).

What is some advice you would give to someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer?

If someone were considering becoming a CASA volunteer, I would suggest they go to the St. Joseph County, Indiana CASA website and read through the "About CASA" sections and if they feel a tug at their heart, fill out the volunteer section. For me, CASA seems to bridge the gap between the 'system' and the 'children' who are thrown into the system due to no fault of their own. CASAs make a difference, they truly do and it has been an honor to be a part of that of something that means so much to the children in our community.

Continued 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

MAID - Netflix

This series highlights a mother who is desperate to get out of an abusive relationship in order to provide a better life for her daughter, Maddy.

We follow Alex on her journey through poverty and trying to get help from "the system".

A raw depiction of a struggling single mother, MAID is sure to give you a new perspective on the struggles some of our families go through.

Below is an in depth article on the making of this series, the memoir it was based on, and how the show's creators worked to make the story as authentic as possible.

Book Recommendation

Recommended by Staff Advocate Katie

My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW

“In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.

My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.

This book paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system. It offers a step-by-step solution—a healing process—in addition to incisive social commentary.” -

Four Books
Thank You Hand-Drawn Element



  • Christina G- 6 years
  • Don W- 7 years
  • Pamela W- 7 years
  • Shauna C- 5 years


  • Christine G- 1 year
  • Kathy H- 3 years
  • Mark M-3 years
  • Andrea O- 1 year
  • Donna R-3 years
  • Shari W- 3years
  • Gail W- 3 years
  • Jenny B-2 years
  • Christine C- 1 year
  • Gwen D-2 years
  • Michelle E- 1 year
  • Cinthia F-2 years
  • Ralph V- 8 years


  • Kim - 5 years
  • Brittany- 3 years

Happy Birthday Typography Hand-Drawn


  • Kathy H
  • Reg W
  • Erin H
  • Mark K
  • Dale S
  • Patty B
  • Ann Y
  • Cathy Y
  • Barb R
  • Monica M
  • Hope E
  • Tom B
  • Jim F
  • Julie A


  • Christina B
  • David G
  • Barbara W
  • Jennifer W
  • Chris C
  • Jenny B
  • Tammy M
  • Joseph F
  • Corky S
  • Kristy A


  • Amanda K
  • Lindsey W
  • Gwen D
  • Don W
  • Amy C
  • Jon P

November is National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau that seeks to increase national awareness of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system, and emphasize the value of youth engagement.

To learn more about National Adoption Month visit:

December is Seasonal Depression Awareness Month

December is a time to learn about a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder and different ways to ease the of those impacted by this mental health condition. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is more than an experience of “winter blues.” Most commonly associated with fall and winter, SAD affects approximately 5% of the US population in any given year according to the nonprofit organization Mental Health America—that’s over 16.4 million Americans.

For more information visit:

January is Stalking Awareness Month

January 2021 marks the seventeenth annual National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), an annual call to action to recognize and respond to the serious crime of stalking.

Learn more about the prevalent, dangerous and frequently misunderstood crime of stalking at:

In the News

2021/22 Holiday Schedule

Christmas Eve


Martin Luther King Jr. Day


President’s Day


'Happy Holidays' Decoration


The CASA Program of St. Joseph County is in need of Volunteers! Our next training class will begin in the first quarter of the new year! 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

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By Phone:

574-233-CASA (2272)

By Email:

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