Volunteer of the Year – Randy Olson

The 2015 Volunteer of the Year Randy Olson from Osceola County recognized by Executive Director Alan Abramowitz. Randy came up to Tallahassee for Children’s Week and Alan was able to hand him his award to recognize his lazerlike focus on children’s best interests.

Randy Olson is not the person you will ask, “Will you do that?” He’s the person who has done that and is on to the next thing! There is little Randy won’t do for the GAL Program. Randy never says no…there is no job too big or too small! He isn’t afraid to tackle a problem head on and somehow manages to make friends with the revolving door of employees at the case management organization.

Randy became a Certified Guardian ad Litem in January of 2014. He has handled many cases and currently works on five cases with three different Child Advocate Managers advocating for five children. Randy has no specific requests and takes on whatever is needed,  but often his kids have delinquency problems in addition to their dependency case. Randy not only attends all of his dependency hearings but he also appears for every delinquency hearing no matter how far he has to travel.  the children he represents are spread out in placements throughout Central Florida and Randy follows his kids and makes himself known wherever he goes.

Randy is not only an advocate for his kids but for the safety of other kids. Randy was so concerned about a group home operation that he filed formal complaints as to the lack of supervision. Thanks to Randy and his efforts the place was eventually closed down as it was not a safe placement for children.

Randy has set the bar high as to what to expect from a GAL volunteer.   If Randy has any concerns with anything, he does not hesitate to express them. He is great at following up.

Randy not only does the work but immerses himself in studying and understanding the child welfare system. He attends every training and conference available and completes online courses to stay up to date and knowledgeable about the changes in laws and processes.

Randy takes time to get to know the children he is assigned to and ensures he has understands the family dynamics before making any recommendations. Randy attends hearings, completes visit reports, visits schools, placement stabilization meetings, and Juvenile Court.  Randy is a vital part of the GAL team. Thank you Randy for caring and for choosing to be part of our GAL family; our children are fortunate to have you as their GAL!