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Court intake worker earns state award

One day in the late 1970s Julie Dollahon walked into the Pierce County Department of Human Services, met the director and asked if he had any job openings.

While Dale Melstrom didn't exactly hire the young social worker on the spot, it was close. She started as a fill-in for a woman on maternity leave, was offered a permanent job in December 1979 and three decades later brings to the job an enthusiasm, professionalism and kindness that her peers celebrate.

This fall Dollahon received the Wisconsin Juvenile Court Intake Association's annual award.

As intake worker, Dollahon is usually the first social worker youngsters in trouble with the law meet, said Joy Lynn George, who prepared the paperwork to nominate her friend for the award.

"(Dollahon) provides them with an opportunity to be heard and to take responsibility to make things right ... her work ethic is like no other," wrote George. "She doesn't quit until the job is done and done well."

"She is one of the best social workers that I have come across in my career," agreed supervisor Julie Krings. She said the 30-year-veteran is dedicated to the youth in the community and has earned the respect of local teachers, prosecutors and police.

For more please read the Oct. 14 print version of the Herald.