- About Us
- Our Team
A safe place to talk and begin to heal. At Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center, we give children who have been sexually or physically abused, neglected, or otherwise endangered a comfortable place to tell someone what happened and build a brighter future.
All parts of child abuse investigations are located within Willow Tree. Our specially trained staff work closely with law enforcement, Child Protective Services and other community professionals to evaluate and document each child’s case.
Services to the child and family may include:
- Child Forensic Interview
- Advocacy Services
- Medical Evaluations
- Prevention Education
Children and families are assisted each step of the way. All services are individualized to meet the specific needs of the child and their family.
Advisory Board Members:
- Christy Policy (Chair)
- Erin Enright
- Kathy Hartman
- Sherri Hoyman, MD, Bellin Health
- Mike Jerry, J. Michael Jerry LLC
- Kristy Maney, Nicolet National Bank
- Lora Matzke
- Charlie Millerwise, Green Bay Packers
- Courtney Peirce
- Travis Vanden Heuvel, Titletown Publishing
- Eric Witczak, Nicolet National Bank
- Ashwaubenon Public Safety
- Brown County Corporation Counsel
- Brown County District Attorney’s Office
- Brown County Human Services
- Brown County Sheriff’s Department
- Children’s Wisconsin
- De Pere Police Department
- Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Golden House
- Green Bay Police Department
- Oneida Police Department
- Pulaski Police Department
- St. Vincent Hospital
- SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners)
- Wrightstown Police Department
As parents and community members, everyone plays a role in protecting children from all forms of abuse. The following resources can help you protect your child and lower the risks for child abuse.
- Talking to Kids About Body Safety
- How Parents Can Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
- NetSmartz Digital Safety Workshop
- Darkness to Light: 5 Steps to Protecting our Children
For more information or to discuss any of the topics addressed above, please call us at 920-436-8881.
Inside Willow Tree
Child Advocacy Center Services
Child Forensic Interviews
A child forensic interview is a developmentally sensitive and legally sound method of gathering information from a child about allegations of abuse, neglect, or exposure to drugs or violence. At Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center, our child forensic interviewers are specially trained to ask children non-leading, non-suggestive questions that are appropriate for the child’s age and development. This helps to minimize trauma by ensuring that the child is able to tell someone what happened in their own words, to one adult. Each child forensic interview is recorded and all agencies involved in the child’s case observe the interview from another room at Willow Tree. When the interview is finished, the recording will be used by law enforcement and the district attorney’s office as a part of the child abuse investigation.
Willow Tree is proud to partner with Children’s Wisconsin to provide on-site medical evaluations for children who have been abused or neglected. Our nurse practitioners from Children’s Wisconsin specialize in the medical evaluation of child maltreatment. They look for signs indicating sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or drug endangerment. These findings can later be used as evidence if the case is referred for charges or goes to court. A medical evaluation includes medical history, physical exam, and, when appropriate, documentation of any signs of abuse, collection of physical evidence, diagnostic testing, testing for other medical conditions that could be mistaken for maltreatment, treatment and referrals.
During each appointment at Willow Tree, children and their caregivers are able to meet with an advocate and members of the investigating team. Advocates help the child and family understand what is happening, while ensuring the child and family receive the resources and referrals they need to begin to heal. In addition to providing immediate support, advocates also maintain contact with families throughout an investigation. This may include providing updates on the status of the child’s case and accompanying the family to court.
Risa Janowski, MS, LPC
- Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW – Madison
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ripon College
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Experience: Over 20 years experience providing counseling services in the Green Bay area. Has worked with adults, adolescents, children and their families in a variety of settings. Specialties: Works with children and adolescents age 3 to 17 experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, adoption, self-harm, sexual identity, anger management, trauma, and parent-child/adolescent issues. Helps clients adjust to change through grief and acceptance while encouraging clients to find peace and acheive their goals. Trained in Play Therapy.
Willow Tree is proud to provide child abuse prevention education in the local community. Our child abuse prevention specialist, Becca Wilbershide, goes into local schools to teach children important measures to help protect them from sexual or physical abuse. This includes teaching children the importance of telling a trusted adult if anything bad is happening to them. Starting in preschool, our “Kids Can” prevention education curriculum uses developmentally appropriate explanations and dolls to teach kids about safe touches. unsafe touches. and confusing touches. “Kids Can” also teaches the difference between good and bad secrets. Older children are taught about harassment, consent, and sexual assault. These topics are also discussed in developmentally appropriate ways to help students understand the importance of respecting others and building healthy relationships. Prevention presentations are available to families, schools, businesses, and other organizations. For more information, please contact Becca Wilbershide at (920) 436-8881 ext. 3003 or email@example.com.
I need to tell my mom now, so she understands.”
I’ve never felt this kind of relief.”
Who does Willow Tree serve?
Any child who is a suspected victim of abuse or neglect can be served by Willow Tree Child Advocacy Center in collaboration with local law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services.
Willow Tree primarily serves children in Brown County, as well as surrounding communities and other parts of Wisconsin. Willow Tree has also been utilized in cases from as far away as Upper Michigan.
What are the ages of the children served by Willow Tree?
Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center sees children of all ages, many ethnic backgrounds, both girls and boys. The average age of a child served at Willow Tree is 8 years old.
Do children live at the Child Advocacy Center?
No, children do not live at Willow Tree. They come to the Child Advocacy Center for forensic interviews, a medical exam or evaluation and/or counseling, but no one actually resides in the facility.
What is Willow Tree’s relationship with Child Protective Services?
Willow Tree has a collaborative relationship with Brown County Child Protective Services and many of our neighboring counties. While our staff are specially trained to provide the child forensic interview, medical evaluations, and counseling services, Child Protective Services works with the family to develop a safety plan and ensure that the family’s basic needs are being met.
How is Willow Tree Child Advocacy Center funded?
Willow Tree is funded primarily through private donations, with supplemental support from the state and county. We partner with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for medical services which bills insurance, Medical Assistance, or the client. Therapy services bill insurance or Medical Assistance, with a sliding-scale fee available. The forensic interview, advocacy and prevention education services are provided to families free of charge.