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Director/Ombudsman

Mary Meinig, Director of the Office of Family and Children's Ombudsman (OFCO) has served as an ombudsman with the office since it opened in 1997. Prior to joining OFCO, Ms. Meinig maintained a successful clinical and consulting practice specializing in treating abused and traumatized children and their families. Her previous experience includes working in special education, child protective services and children's residential treatment settings. Ms. Meinig is nationally known for her work developing Family Resolution Therapy, a protocol for the long term management of relationships in abusive families. She is frequently asked to present her work at national conferences, and has authored several professional publications on this topic. Ms. Meinig is a graduate of Central Washington University, and received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Ombudsman

Patrick Dowd is an attorney with extensive experience representing indigent parents and children involved in dependency actions. Prior to joining OFCO, Mr. Dowd was a public defense attorney in King County from 1987 to 1999. A significant part of Mr. Dowd's practice involved dependency proceedings and from 1996 to 1999 he served as the Dependency Unit Coordinator for the Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons. Mr. Dowd is a graduate of Seattle University, and received his law degree from the University of Oregon Law School. Mr. Dowd joined OFCO in December 1999.

Ombudsman

Linda Mason Wilgis is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington, where from 1991 to 2001 she gained extensive experience in dependency and guardianship cases involving both children and vulnerable adults. Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, Ms. Mason Wilgis was in private practice with a Seattle firm. She is a graduate of Skidmore College and received her law degree from the University of Virginia. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Mason Wilgis served under Senator Henry M. Jackson as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Ombudsman

Steven Wolfson is a social worker with extensive experience working with families and youth. Most recently, Mr. Wolfson served as a court appointed Guardian ad Litem, investigating and making recommendations to the court regarding child custody and visitation disputes. From 1990 to 2000, Mr. Wolfson served as Clinical Director at Kent Youth and Family Services. Mr. Wolfson is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and University of Washington School of Social Work. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Information Specialist/Office Administrator

Sarah Oechsner is a recent graduate from Central Washington University. She graduated with a Bachelorís Degree in Information Technology and Administrative Management. Prior to joining Office of the Family and Childrenís Ombudsman, Sarah worked for the Department of Social and Health Services, Office of Financial Management and the Department of Transportation. Ms. Oechsner has been with OFCO since August 2004.