BlueCross VP Serves as Voice for Children in Need

Definition of the day: Ad litem, adjective, Latin. Definition — for the particular action or proceeding. 

Federal and state courts use this term today for a person who appears in a court of law to act on behalf of those who cannot represent themselves. Add the word “guardian,” and the person is the voice of a child who has been abused or neglected. 

Kim Wellman, vice president of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s Corporate Marketing Communications department, is a voice for children in Lexington County’s Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program. Wellman, who has worked at BlueCross for almost 25 years, grew up in Sumter, South Carolina. 

“We were not wealthy, but my parents provided for us and kept us safe. It blows my mind that about 4,500 South Carolina children are in the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) system due to neglect, abuse or both,” Wellman says. 

Lexington County’s GAL program requires volunteers attend a 30-hour training program and undergo an extensive background check. 

“As a GAL, I get to know the child and everyone involved in the child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, social workers and others. I gather information about the child to understand what the child needs. I am a stable presence in the child’s life. I typically visit a child every month in their foster parents’ home. Recently, the child I’m currently representing brought over toys and books to show me. For the first time, she climbed on my lap as I read her a story. My heart melted. 

“It can be difficult to remain objective, but it’s critical, because my recommendations help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s future. The goal is usually reunification of the family. But sometimes that is not in the child’s best interest, and so the termination of parental rights begins. In those cases, the final outcome is hopefully adoption,” Wellman says.

Wellman also serves on the board for a nonprofit, Katrina's Kids that provides resources for foster kids to attend summer camp and opportunities to participate in sports, music lessons and other after-school activities. 

"Katrina’s Kids’ tag line ‘every chance for every child’ sums it up for me. I want to help a child have that chance or opportunities that he or she is entitled to by law and by virtue of birth,” she says. 


Sep. 30, 2019

Kim Wellman

Kim Wellman, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Communications, serves as a volunteer guardian ad litem in Lexington, South Carolina. 

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