My strengths as a GAL (aside from substance abuse expertise):
I pick through the he-said/she-said; I think the details are important to an accurate investigation.
I write thorough and analytical reports.
I rely heavily on the facts in each case. I constantly question my own assumptions. I approach every case from the perspective of someone who is trying to learn.
Guardian ad Litem
As a GAL, I really “get” substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and mental health problems. In retrospect, I was lucky to have landed my first job working with felons because I was exposed to people with such a wide variety of clinical problems and backgrounds. Ever since then I have always striven to expand my skills. It’s been 30 years now and I feel competent to figure out when substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and/or mental health problems are a concern and to refer accordingly for services. I have always worked with teenagers and their parents occasionally, and I love kids, and child safety is why I’m doing this work, but most of my experience is with adults.