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Who is a CASA?

Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers trained to represent the best interests of children who are part of the court system due to abuse or neglect. As a CASA, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life during this uncertain time.

Advocates are assigned their first case after 30 hours of training. This training consists of class time, reading, courtroom observation, and shadowing a seasoned volunteer on a visit. Once training is completed, advocates have the support of the Director and other volunteers as they work their case.

CASAs average 5 hours a month on their cases. They must be available to attend court hearings approximately once every three months and team meetings approximately once a month. CASAs are also required to complete at least 12 hours of in-service training per year.

Make a Difference

Watch this short video about why CASAs volunteer their time:

Or you can help provide funding for the program both now and in the future by making a tax-deductible gift to the Dubois County CASA Endowment:

A History of Helping

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) was founded in 1984 to train volunteers to become court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in court cases. The nonprofit group, based in Seattle, has 940+ offices and more than 77,000 volunteers in every state but North Dakota (where child advocates are paid professionals).

In 1991, Judge Hugo (Chad) Songer initiated the Dubois County CASA program to advocate for children who had been abused or neglected. This was partially in response to state legislation which mandated a CASA for the most serious Children in Need of Services (CHINS) cases.

In 2005, the state law was changed to require a CASA for all CHINS cases, regardless of severity. The Dubois County CASA program, as it existed at the time, was not prepared to handle the increased caseload. John Siebert agreed to become Director of the CASA Program, where he spearheaded a strong effort to recruit additional CASA volunteers. The effort was largely successful and the Dubois County CASA program expanded to meet the needs of the county. In March of 2007, the Dubois County CASA Program was recognized by the State Office of CASA as a state-certified program in compliance of all standards.

Dubois County CASA Team

Leadership Team

Judge Verkamp
Nathan Verkamp
Dubois Co. Circuit Court Judge
Nathan Verkamp has been the Judge of the Dubois Circuit Court since 2015. Prior to that, he worked in Dubois County and the surrounding counties. His law practice was a general practice and he worked in many areas of law to include juvenile law. As Judge of the Circuit Court, he presides over all juvenile cases in Dubois County. This includes all cases involving children in need of services (CHINS). CHINS cases are those in which a child under the age of 18 has been the victim of abuse or neglect. The CASA program provides an unbiased advocate for the children going through the court system. The CASA program in Dubois County is sponsored by the Dubois Circuit Court and funded by the Dubois County Council and state grants.… Read More
Deena Hubler
Deena Hubler
CASA Program Director
Deena has been the Director of the Dubois County CASA Program since 2008 and served as a volunteer for 2 years before joining the staff. As Director, she is responsible for the overall management of the Program and all aspects of the Programs operations. This primarily involves the supervision and coordination of a volunteer service program that provides CASA services to abused and neglected children. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to, resource development and maintenance, recruitment and training and supervision of volunteers, community and public relations, program planning, Program liaison, personnel management and fiscal management.… Read More
Nicole Kreilein
Nicole Kreilein
Recruitment Chairman
Nicole was sworn in as a CASA in 2013. In addition to volunteering on a number of CHINS (child in need of services) cases, Nicole recently assumed the role of the Recruitment Chair where she leads a committee of other volunteers focused on marketing and volunteer recruiting for the CASA program. These activities include media appearances, community events, website/social media management and PR efforts.… Read More
Elaine Schitter
Elaine Schitter
Case Manager
Elaine started as a part-time case manager in May of 2017. She served as a volunteer for 2.5 years prior to joining the staff. As a case manager, she is responsible for providing support to volunteers, working with them to provide sound advocacy for each child. She also assists with recruiting, screening, interviewing and training of new volunteers and provides overall assistance to the Director as needed.… Read More

Current CASA Volunteers

Angie Anderson
Kimberly Becher
Becky Beckman
Ginny Begle
Lee Begle
Alicia Bies-Pfau
Clayton Boyles
Laura Buck
Joe Buehler
Ali Daunhauer
Jennifer Daunhauer
Dixie Denton
Natalie Desser
Jane Flannagan
Kristie Foote
Sally Gogel Fischer
Annie Gramelspacher
Jason Green
Lisa Guthrie
Staci Hanselman
Janelle Hasenour
Tammy Hawkins
Kaye Jerrell
Dawn Kilian
Nicole Kreilein
Brenda Krempp
Kim Lampert-Tucker
Kelly Lehmkuhler
Dianne Matheis
Jane Merder
Ann Metzger
Julie Monetta
Mary Poston
David Qualkenbush
Kitty Recker
Ken Rihm
Allison Rodich
Cricket Rumbach
Angie Sanchez-Hostetter
Stephanie Sattler
Jennifer Schaeffer
Elaine Schitter
Bill Schmitt
Debra Schmitt
Janet Sendelweck
Ann Staff
Michelle Sternberg
Leslie Sturm
Terri Tigue
Dee Vaal
Tammy Warner
Andy Welsh
Sarah Wendholt
Danielle Wendholt
Kim Wilson

Volunteer Testimonials

I volunteer because every child deserves to be heard and have a voice – Sarah Wendholt, Volunteer

We were comfortably retired when we decided it was time to give back to our communities. We chose the CASA program because we both had a desire to help children. As a couple, we have found it to be beneficial to share processes and experiences, as well as to provide support and advice to each other. This is our way of “paying it forward” and the payback in helping children in immeasurable – Lee & Ginny Begle, Volunteers

Wanting change doesn’t make it happen. Just thinking about a child doesn’t impact their life. Volunteering does! If you want good things to happen for the children in our community, volunteer now! – Tammy Warner, Volunteer