Jane Christophersen was named the 2019 Indiana CASA Program Director of the Year on Friday during the annual CASA conference.

Christophersen was nominated by Sue Brassel and Kate Doty. Also supporting Christophersen’s nomination for the Elaine S. Fuller Memorial Award were local officials from the court, Department of Child Services, Mayor Todd Barton, Youth Service Bureau executive director Karen Branch and several CASA volunteers.

Criteria for the award include: demonstrating leadership and innovation in promoting CASA within their community and across the state; successfully garnering judicial support locally; acting as a mentor to the GAL/CASA network and other directors; exhibiting creativity in promoting GAL/CASA; and being well respected across the GAL/CASA network.

Christophersen has been with the CASA program since it was first introduced in Montgomery County. She was part of the first class of volunteers to be trained and was sworn in as a CASA in 1990. She was then named the Montgomery County CASA director in 2003.

Throughout her 29 years with the CASA program Christophersen has shown passion and commitment by advocating for and insuring the best interests of the child are represented by the CASA program. From recruiting and training volunteers, supervising their work and handling multiple cases herself, she exceeds expectations in every area of the position. She has devoted her life to the safety and well-being of children through the CASA program.

Christophersen’s staff members wrote, “Through her selflessness, leadership style and kindness, she has led this program to be an example in our community and state.”

“Jane is the kind of person who engages others to help through her own dedication,” Branch said. “She is the kind of person who makes others believe in her efforts and makes them want to help too. She is a quiet leader who leads by her own example, always giving 100% and being very inclusive with others. She is always available to the volunteers and leads them with knowledge, kindness and compassion. We are so pleased to see her recognized in this way.”

Austin Brooks, a CASA volunteer added, “Jane Christophersen has been an inspirational mentor to me and my fellow CASA volunteers. She works tirelessly recruiting and training new volunteers to grow the program. While her expertise is notable, it is her empathy for neglected and abused children that makes Jane an extraordinary director and so worthy of this award.”

To honor Christophersen’s work with the CASA program, the Youth Service Bureau will host an open house, with refreshments, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the YSB, 808 W. Pike St.

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