A mother of 12 children is indeed an extraordinary woman. To take what she learned from her mothering experience…combine that insight with a generous financial gift… and serve as the springboard to fill the needs of thousands of adoptive families…that takes someone extra-extraordinary. There are simply not enough “extras” to describe our founder, Kathleen Dugan.

As a high school volunteer working in an orphanage, Kathleen knew she would one day adopt a child. What she didn’t imagine was that after giving birth to four daughters, she and her husband, Mike, would go on to adopt eight children. The longer a child remains in foster care, the less likely it is for them to find a permanent home. Knowing this, the Dugans reached out to older children. Many of these children had a traumatic history. As they matured, their troubled emotions often resulted in challenging behavior. Determined to help each child reach their fullest potential, Kathleen searched for the support her adoptive family needed. It wasn’t an easy search.

Kathleen Dugan believes that every child deserves a loving, permanent family. She also knows that those families need qualified, adoption-competent mental health and family support services. Frustrated by the lack of availability, in 1998 Kathleen invested her own financial resources to establish the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), one of the few non-profit organizations in the country concentrated on serving foster and adopted children, their families, and the network of people that assist them.

Kathleen Dugan and her husband Mike Dugan were recently featured as HomeTown Heroes in a local newspaper.