Guardian ad Litem Resume
I am a life-long Washingtonian growing up in Spokane and then moving to Western Washington in 1986 to attend college. I earned my BA in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound. I earned my Masters in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College in 1995. I attended the University of Washington where I earned my Masters in Social Work in 2000. I am a member of the National Association of Social Workers where I successfully passed the national examination for the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW).
I began working for the State of Washington in 1991 with juvenile males incarcerated at Green Hill School. I provided case management as well as individual and group therapy for the young men. In 1994, I became a Child Protection Services Social Worker in Pierce County. I worked with over 1000 families during this time. I was responsible for providing direct services to children and families at risk due to drug/alcohol, domestic violence, mental illness, physical illness, and past child abuse and neglect to name a few. In addition, I created a ‘dependency court social work’ position. In this capacity, I handled over 200 families going through the Dependency process. From 1998-2008 I worked both as a Social Work Supervisor and Program Manager within Children’s Administration.
I was a licensed foster parent in Thurston County from 1992-2006. My partner and I fostered 25 children; additionally we were named guardians to one of our foster daughters. We went on to adoption four children from foster care. I was widowed in 2007 and now raise my children (16 to 23 years old) by myself.
After retiring from Children’s Administration in 2008, I became a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in out-of-home care and involved in the Dependency process in Thurston County. I work with children who have physical and developmental special needs.
In addition to my passion for working with children and family, I became national advocate for human rights. I give keynote speeches at dinners and conferences as well as provide training to groups all over the country. In 2011, President Barack Obama recognized my work by awarding me the second highest civilian award in our country: the Presidential Citizens Medal.