Advocate of the Month – March


Gary Miller and Jeanette Winsmann

Steady, committed, and fully engaged are perfect descriptors of the March Advocates of the Month, Gary Miller and Jeanette Winsmann. Assigned to a case that was already well underway, they quickly familiarized themselves with the facts and details of the case and set about building rapport with all parties. Although very attached to the previous advocate, Gary and Jeanette soon won the children over. Even the caregivers, who are not easily impressed, could see that they would be fierce advocates for the best interests of the children.

How are Gary and Jeanette able to accomplish this? They show up consistently for visits. They show up at extracurricular events in which the children participate. They talk to the kids and really listen to them. They speak with the caregivers and listen to their concerns, frustrations, and questions. They seek out resources for them. They attend court hearings faithfully. They stay in close communication with the attorney ad Litem and caseworkers. In a nutshell, Gary and Jeanette connect with all the parties in a genuine, authentic way, and they DO what they say they are going to do!

Sometimes Gary is working out of town and Jeanette must make a visit alone. Wanting the children to know that he is still involved and that staying engaged is important to him, Gary often participates in the visit via FaceTime. In prepping for trial, with a day’s notice, Gary and Jeanette made a two-hour trip to view critical forensic videos and to participate in trial discussions with CPS attorneys. This required taking off work and rearranging schedules, and Gary and Jeanette did it without hesitation because their commitment to this case runs that deeply.

We are proud to have Gary and Jeanette as advocates, and that we can partner with them in such important work. We are also thankful for their staunch commitment to CASA and the children and family they are serving. Naming them Advocates of the Month is a small way in which we strive to recognize the way they go above and beyond in their advocacy.