Tribal Court Guardian ad Litem

3009 Portland Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404, USA Req #164
Monday, December 14, 2020
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is committed to protecting and exercising the inherent inalienable sovereign rights of the Tribe and Individuals in the interest of the Medicine Creek Treat Territories, as stewards to ensure preservation of our cultural and environmental integrity for common good and prosperity for all.

Closes:            opened until filled

Must submit resume and letters of recommendation


Department:  Tribal Court
Reports To:   Court Administrator
40 Hrs/Wk – Full Time
alary:           DOQ + Benefits*   


*The Puyallup Tribe of Indians provides a generous benefits package that includes employer paid medical, dental, vision, life insurance, a retirement/401(k) plan with profit sharing, paid holidays, and paid time off including birthday leave.

Position Summary:

The primary duty of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is to represent the best interests of the person for whom the GAL is appointed (Client).  The GAL is an officer of the court and must maintain independence, conduct him/herself professionally, avoid conflicts of interest and maintain ethical standards, treat all parties with respect, become informed about the case, timely inform the court of relevant information, limit duties to those ordered by the court, inform individuals about his/her role in the case, maintain the parties’ privacy, perform duties in a timely manner, maintain documentation, and keep accurate records. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  1. Investigate, gather and assess independent information about the Client; get to know them, interview related parties (parents, caretakers, social workers, teachers, service providers, etc.); read any records related to the individual.

  2. Facilitate and seek cooperative solutions with other participants in the case.

  3. Communicate with the attorney representative to develop legal strategies and prepare for the court; attend court hearings and other meetings.  May prepare and present motions to the court.

  4. Monitor the evaluation process to ensure that all of the important information is obtained; and that involved parties with temporary orders regarding the Client are in compliance with those orders.

  5. Write detailed, concise reports for court hearings focused on the Client.  Ensure that the recommendations are in the best interests of the Client; testify when needed to support recommendations or inform the court of changes in a situation involving the Client.

  6. Advocate on behalf of the Client for needed services; outline options and make written and oral recommendations in court regarding the short and long term best interests of the Client.

  7. Advocate on behalf of the Client and ensure that the court knows the wishes of the Client; keep the Client informed about court proceedings; facilitate the Client’s participation in court hearings as appropriate.

  8. Be knowledgeable of Tribal Codes, ICWA and other laws or ordinances that may have a relevance to cases assigned.

  9. The GAL shall be knowledgeable about and sensitive to the Client’s cultural needs and shall apply the prevailing social and cultural standards of the community in order to maintain the Client’s social and cultural ties.

  10. Be knowledgeable of child development, mental health, elder aging needs, family dynamics, vulnerable adult and child care, disabilities, understanding of chemical abuse and dependency, etc.

  11. Monitor cases assigned on an on-going basis and consult with local program staff for support and guidance to ensure that the Client’s best interests are being met.

  12. Monitors court ordered services and keeps the court informed about the Client’s needs.

  13. Keep all records and information confidential and in safe storage.

  14. Maintain good standing with the Court.

  15. Performs other duties as assigned.


This job has no supervisory responsibilities.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience

To qualify, candidates must have either a Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university in Social Services, Psychology, Nursing, Sociology or other related field or a law degree (J.D.) from an institution accredited by the American Bar Association.  A minimum of three years professional experience working as a Guardian ad Litem, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), or an attorney advocate for juveniles or vulnerable adults is also required.   Must be able to demonstrate knowledge in one or more areas of juvenile justice, child abuse and neglect, family dynamics, child development, elder care, vulnerable adult care.  Must demonstrate ability to acquire knowledge of appropriate community resources, including knowledge of the Indian Child Welfare Act and other Tribal Codes or Ordinances.

Additionally, candidates must demonstrate:

  • Intermediate computer skills in Word and Excel.

  • An abiding interest in community service and advocacy for client(s) assigned by the court.

  • Sufficient listening, speaking and writing skills to be able to successfully conduct interviews and investigations, prepare written reports and make oral presentations.

  • Ability to identify and establish a network of community-based resources to assist Clients when appropriate.

  • Knowledge of and an appreciation for the ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of the population being served.

  • Availability, including evenings and weekends, to gather information, make court appearances and otherwise discharge the duties assigned by the court.

  • Ability to be objective and non-judgmental; be able to relate to the Client, family members and professionals in a careful and confidential manner.

  • Sound judgment and good common sense in order to successfully discharge the duties assigned by the Court.

Language Skills

Employee must demonstrate the ability to interact tactfully and positively with Clients, the Tribal community, all levels of staff and management. Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality. Ability to read, analyze and interpret common professional journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond, both orally and in writing, to common inquiries or complaints from staff and regulatory agencies. Ability to write reports and business correspondence. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions. Ability to effectively present information to management, employees and groups of people.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to understand and convert basic units of measure and calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, fractions and percentages.  Ability to understand and apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry if needed.

Reasoning Ability

Considerable use of independent judgment and ability to apply knowledge.  Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions and deal with abstract and concrete variables. Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.  Accurately analyze situations and adopt an effective course of action.

Licenses and Certifications

Must have and maintain a valid Washington State Driver’s License and proof of automobile insurance.  The Driver’s must not contain any restrictions that would otherwise prevent the employee from operating a GSA vehicle.


Must be willing to attend and acceptably complete Title 11 (Dependency) and Title 26 (Family Law) Guardian ad Litem Training within the first year of employment.

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Strong interview and listening skills.

  • Completion of Tribal Court proceedings training, or able to complete this training within one year of employment.

  • Experience in report drafting, record keeping, and investigation skill.

  • Understanding of guardian ad litem roles and duties including ethical issues, negotiation skills, methods for minimizing the potential stress to the child or child’s family caused by the court process; awareness of cultural, ethnic, economic, and social differences.

  • Knowledge of DSHS rules and regulations, ICWA, Tribal Codes and Ordinances.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. 

  • The employee is occasionally required to stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.

  • The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.  

  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.



The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee is occasionally exposed to outdoor conditions. 

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

  • Requires occasional travel using employee’s own transportation.

  • Position may be stressful at times due to confidential issues being addressed.

  • Must be able to work evenings and weekends as needed.


    The Puyallup Tribe of Indians reserves the right to revise or change job duties and responsibilities as the need arises. This position description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.




Online Application Tips:

1.         If you are using a PC, use Internet Explorer. If you are using a MAC, use Safari.

2.         Do not use a mobile cellular device.

3.         Upload additional documents (resume, cover letter, letters of recommendation, proof of Indian blood, etc.) to the resume tab as one (1) PDF file or email documents to and we can add them to your online application. Please send in copies of any degrees or certificates that you have been awarded.

4.         Indian Hiring Preference – send in the appropriate documentation for the category you select. If you have any questions about the hiring preference policy or what document to send in, email us at or call (253) 573-7863.

5.         Provide 3+ references (we cannot obtain references from direct family members – parents, grandparents, siblings, or children). One reference must be your most recent supervisor. We prefer the rest of your references to include co-workers, subordinates, or other supervisors, but we can accept a personal reference from someone who is familiar with your work ethic, habits, and attendance. You can send in letters of recommendation to

6.         To add more employment, education, references, etc., click on the small + sign at the top right corner of the page.

7.         When entering salaries, only use numbers. Do not use any other characters (such as , . or $)

8.         After you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email, please call the office to confirm submission.


If you have any questions about the positions or the online application, please call (253) 573-7863 or email



Native American preference applies and job placements are given on a competitive basis, using job related factors.  Because of the large number of applications received and limited job positions, your application will not guarantee employment.

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • 3009 Portland Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404, USA