In 1977, the concept of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program was introduced in Seattle, Washington. Seattle Juvenile Court Judge David W. Soukup realized that children who entered the legal system due to abuse or neglect in their own homes were often inadvertently re-victimized by courts and public social service agencies... More about GAL/CASA »
Dan Hellman was named 2016 CASA Volunteer of the Year at the 20th Annual Indiana GAL/CASA Conference on October 1st, 2016. During his three years with Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children he has made significant contributions to the program, his community and in the lives of the children for whom he advocated. Dan demonstrated exceptional diligence and inventive problem solving skills, helped locate services for parents when it was in the best interests of the child. He took cases in both counties served by his local program and left no stone unturned as he advocated for children. He exemplifies what it means to be “for the child” and represents all CASA volunteers who advocate for the best interests of the children for whom they advocate.
Katina Silver was announced as the Director of the Year during Friday’s Staff and Director’s Meeting. She has worked for the Howard County CASA Program for more than 17 years, and as the Director for 14 years. When Katina was named Director, the program had only 5 volunteers; now the program has 59 volunteers serving 140 children. She has worked endlessly to develop creative fundraisers and activities to cultivate the program, including a Superhero Volleyball Tournament, a quarterly newsletter, a video project highlighting the 30th anniversary of the Howard County CASA Program, social media communications, a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, Christmas and Birthday Stores for the children in care, suitcase drives and an abbreviated training for spouses or family members. One of those who nominated her described Katina’s contributions best when saying, “Since Katina assumed the leadership role as Director, she has led Howard County’s Program to become a true force in representing the best interests of those Howard County children whose needs are the greatest.”
Dan and Katina are just two of the thousands of GAL/CASA staff and volunteers throughout the state representing the needs of the Indiana’s children who find themselves involved in the court system through no fault of their own. The needs of Indiana’s most vulnerable children are in better care because of the advocacy of Dan, Katina and all volunteers who give the state’s children a voice.