Graduate Receives Statewide Child Advocacy Award

Connilee Boehne of Arnold, Mo., a 1999 graduate of the social work program at William Woods University, recently received a statewide award for contributions to the field of child victim advocacy.

Boehne was the recipient of the Leona Rivers-Jewel Award given by the Missouri Victims Assistance Network. She was co-nominated by George Garner, WWU associate professor of social work, and Jerri Sites, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of East Central Missouri.

A forensic interview specialist with the Child Advocacy Center in De Soto, Mo., Boehne works to gather factual information about crimes of sexual and physical abuse from victimized children.

According to Garner, “Working with children who have been severely abused is an emotionally draining job that requires tremendous skill. The interviewer has to quickly develop rapport with children whose trust has been shattered, and they have to do this in a manner that preserves vital evidence for prosecution.”

He added, “Connilee has been regarded as one of the best child forensic interviewers in the state, and has also gained recognition from national experts in the field.”