Hamilton family center director wins FBI Community Leadership Award

Hamilton family center director wins FBI Community Leadership Award

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The executive director of The Center for Family Solutions in Hamilton has received the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award.

"Julie Kenniston has been an outstanding supporter of the Cincinnati FBI and the Child Exploitation Task Force," said Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the Cincinnati Division of the FBI.

"Her work providing child forensic interviews greatly assists our investigations and can help begin the healing process for victims and their families."

During the course of their investigations, the Child Exploitation Task Force regularly encounters children who may have been abused.

The members of the Task Force work with FBI Victim Specialists to treat these children with tremendous care and compassion.

When a child in these types of situations needs to be interviewed, the FBI prefers to use specialists who are highly trained in working with children.

At the recommendation of an FBI Child Adolescent Forensic Interviewer, Kenniston has been asked to conduct countless child victim interviews for the Child Exploitation Task Force.

While Kenniston has used her training and expertise to conduct these important child interviews, she has never been compensated by the FBI for any of these forensic interviews.

Kenniston also has allowed FBI Child Adolescent Forensic Interviewers to use her facility when they are in town to conduct interviews.

For the last several years, Kenniston has actively provided her social work services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She also provides assistance for human trafficking cases in Southwest Ohio.

Kenniston is a recognized trainer presenting nationally and internationally on interviewing, investigation, and the prosecution of child abuse cases.

She organized and coordinated the Forensic Training Institute for The Childhood Trust in Cincinnati starting in August 1997; served as a board member for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) for over five years and co-chaired the Forensic Interviewer Certification Task Force.

Kenniston was previously a sexual abuse investigator for the Hamilton County Department of Human Services, where she conducted over 3,000 forensic interviews of alleged child victims of sexual abuse.

The Director's Community Leadership Award was established in 1990 by the FBI to publicly recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond the call to service by making extraordinary contributions to their communities in the areas of civil rights, terrorism, cyber, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education.

FBI Director James B. Comey is scheduled to formally recognize Kenniston during the Director's Community Leadership Award ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 15.

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