Brown County judges swear in Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers

CASA volunteers give a voice to children who suffered abuse or neglect
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 1:51 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Brown County Judges John Zakowski and Tammy Jo Hock swore in seventeen members of the Greater Green Bay area to serve as Court-Appointed Special Advocates or CASA volunteers.

According to a news release, a CASA volunteer visits regularly with the child and submits a monthly report on the child’s safety and well-being to the judge to help the judge make important decisions about the child’s future.

The volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children who are under the Child in Need of Protection and/or Services court orders.

Judge Zakowski recited a quote saying volunteers don’t get paid not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.

“Martin Luther King said life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others and that is what I see, or we see in CASA volunteers, the ultimate act of volunteerism,” Judge Zakowski said.

All 17 newly inducted members spoke about why they decided to become CASA volunteers.

”I see kids that need people to show them love and support and I just want to join them and my family has joined me and supported me through this and they’re here today too,” Jaclyn Kurowski said.

”I’m looking forward to growing as a person because of it, so it’s kind of a two-fold thing I can help a child and then I can also kind of challenge myself and grow as well,” Rebecca Ostrenga-Ruffell said.

”God has blessed me with so much and I too have had a beautiful life and I want to give back to those that have not had what I had and make a difference,” Julie Savino said.

“I have my beautiful children with me today (Monday) and they’ve inspired me to do this so everything I’ve learned from them I want to take it out and spread it,” Rhonda Spangler said.

Last year alone, 130 CASA volunteers advocated on behalf of 223 children and youth in Brown County.