Maureen Runyon's title is social worker with the Child Advocacy Center, but she is more appropriately known as a tireless advocate for abused children.
When the Child Advocacy Center opened in 2005, it was the first hospital-based center in the state and the first to incorporate all the necessary components for investigating sexual assault.
Before the center opened, a child would have to go to several places including law enforcement, child protective services and even an emergency room for a physical examination. At each place the child would have to retell what had happened. This center makes it easier on the child who may be scared and confused.
Runyon was nominated for all the work she does for children and the community.
She does nearly all of the forensic interviewing and is very well respected in CPS, law enforcement, the courts and the medical field for her ability and compassionate, yet thorough techniques with interviewing children. She is often called upon to travel to other counties due to her expertise. She goes out of her way to assist law enforcement and has trained some officers in interviewing children.
She was also instrumental in forming the Multidisciplinary Investigative Team and protocol whose members include law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, mental health services, medical providers and victim services.
Recently, she spent countless hours working on an accreditation application. We just found out last week that the Child Advocacy Center received that accreditation from the National Children's Alliance. The reviewers were quite impressed with the CAC, and we have to credit much of that to Runyon's work.