Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: 4-12-2021
Today’s Program: Guardian Ad Litem Wendy Mayo
Meeting Called to order: President Sean @ 12:04 pm
Invocation by: Mark Gillispie
Pledge of Allegiance led by: President Sean
Four Way Test led by: President Sean
Visiting Rotarians: N/A
Guest of Rotarians: N/A
Buck Owens, former club member – passed on 4/25/2021.
Club will continue migration to a new database – please keep an eye out for training and updates on this transition. The club will phase out ClubRunner.
Colleen Gillespie – will continue as the Club Foundation Chair.
Club Scholarship Committee – meeting at Noon on Wednesday, 4/28 for committee members.
Program: Bret Anderson introduced Wendy Mayo. Wendy works for Thurston County and oversees the Dependency Guardian Ad Litem program (DGAL). Wendy clarified that recently the program, like many across WA has ceased the volunteer association with the CASA program.
DGAL is a community-based volunteer program where community members are trained to advocate on behalf of dependents. The focus of Wendy’s talk is on DGAL’s who focus on serving dependent youth – youth who have been abused or neglected. There are 6 staff in Thurston County that support all advocates and clients. Club member Mary Sue Wilson just ended her 3-year rotation in Family Court and most recently served as the presiding judge.
DGALs, on average, only serve 3 children at a time. Historically volunteers have had the time and interest to serve their clients (dependent youth) very well.
Wendy has over 19 years of experience and shared that the children in this program are being served because a court intervention is the only means by which children are getting the support they need. She shared that chemical dependency is the main reason why a child becomes unsafe.
Wendy’s team strives to be collaborative with parents, case workers and all community partners to reach a successful outcome for the children – either reunification or adoption. DGALs are trained volunteers who are focused on collecting relevant information and sharing it with the court. The DGAL works to be a consistent advocate throughout the child’s case, regardless of changes to the lawyers, judges or case workers.
Wendy took questions from club members and shared that if you are interest in becoming a DGAL training takes about a month and is conducted over Zoom. If you or someone you know are interested the program is accepting volunteer applications. Please call Wendy at (360) 709-3231.
Meeting Adjourned: 12:54pm by President Sean.