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Karen Biernacki - Chief Executive Officer

While taking a Social Work class at Purdue University North Central in 1989, my research led me to NationalCASA and the concept of utilizing volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. In January of 1991, I became the first Director of the agency. I received a degree from Indiana University in 1999 and a Mediation License in 2002 from Valparaiso University. Currently, I am a member of the Child Abuse Advisory Team, Family Court Advisory Board, Juvenile Court Advisory Board, the Domestic Violence Task Force, Women in Management, Kiwanis, and the League of Women Voters. I also serve as an appointed member to the Indiana Commission on Abused and Neglected Children and Their Families and the Advisory Commission for GAL/CASA to the Indiana Supreme Court. Contact me at

2007-09-13_19.19.02.jpg Maggie Fritzen - Deputy Director

I started working at Family Advocates in June 2014 after getting my Bachelor's Degree from Purdue University North Central in Marketing. Family Advocates is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to do work I love for people who need it. Contact me at

April Greetham - CASA DIRECTOR

In 2006, I graduated from Purdue University Calumet with a B.A. in Sociology. After graduation, I worked as a case manager at Madison Center, working with children and joined the Army National Guard from 2009 to 2012. My husband and I had our first and only son in 2011 and I made the decision to become a stay at home mother. After 4 ½ years, I returned to social work, working with the elderly and disabled community. I grew strong bonds within this community but my passion lies in bettering the lives of children, the reason I went into social services in the very beginning. With my new role within Family Advocates, I will be able to advocate and fight for the best interest of the children we serve, helping to create a better community. Contact me

Neki McCray - CASA Volunteer Coordinator for La Porte County

In 2015, I received my Associates of Science in Business. I went on to further my education and received my Bachelors of Science in April 2018 from Indiana Wesleyan University. I have always been concerned with the past, present and future lives of the children. In my new role here at Family Advocates I am able to be effective and possibly make a difference in their lives.Contact me at

Lisa Huber - CASA Youth Specialist

Caitlyn Kalisik - CASA Program Guardian Ad Litem for La Porte County


Brenda Stellema - CYA Program Director

After the company I worked for closed, I went back to school after 29 years to pursue a college degree. I attended Ivy Tech Community College where I received my Associates Degree in Human Services and went on to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Indiana University. I served on the Board for Harmony House/CASA for a short time when the opportunity arose to develop a program for the at-risk youth in our community in July, 2013. My commitment to our community continues as I work to reduce the risk factors that contribute to negative outcomes for struggling youth. Please contact me with any interest you may have in the program. Contact me at

Kayla Pedraza - CYA Volunteer Coordinator
In August of 2018, I became an intern at Family Advocates. I worked with the CASA Program and had a case of my own to work on throughout the duration of the school year and beyond until it closed. This internship ended in May of 2019 when I graduated from Purdue Northwest with a Bachelor’s in social work. In October of the same year, I married my high school sweetheart who I have been with for five years. Shortly after my wedding, in November of 2019, I was able to come back to Family Advocates and work as the CYA Volunteer Coordinator! I look forward to working with CYA volunteers to help make a difference in children’s and teen’s lives and help keep them on the path to their best life. Contact me at


Cheryl Highsmith - Harmony House Program Director

I started working with Harmony House/CASA in February 2005. I first began working as a visit supervisor, then was promoted to Harmony House Program Coordinator in September 2005, and most recently to my current position as Harmony House Program Director. I love working with families and watching their interaction. Before coming to Harmony House I worked at Christian Haven, Inc. working with at-risk youth for eleven years. Contact me at


Lesley Lefeber - Harmony House Program Coordinator/Office Manager

My career began with Harmony House in 2006 as a visit supervisor. I continue to enjoy working with families through the supervised visitation program. In fall 2013, I accepted the position of Harmony House Program Coordinator. As I enjoy the added responsibility, I am still able to work one-on-one with families to work towards the goal of a better future for all. Contact me at

Harmony House - Visit Facilitators

  • Helen Patterson

For questions or concerns regarding a supervised visit, contact


Banana - Therapy Cat - We are sad to say goodbye to our sweet Banana who left us at the age of 15 on April 7, 2017. She will be missed and continue in the hearts of our staff and families forever.

In February, 2008, I was adopted by Harmony House/CASA Program from the Maple City Animal Hospital. This is my fifth and forever home now. I have lots of friends that come and visit me on a regular basis and I love my new family. I have even been a great mouse deterrent so I am working for my keep.