FBI Cincinnati Presents Director’s Community Leadership Award to Julie Kenniston
Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the Cincinnati Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is pleased to announce that Ms. Julie Kenniston has been named as the local recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Ms. Kenniston currently serves as the executive director of The Center for Family Solutions in Hamilton, Ohio.
“Julie Kenniston has been an outstanding supporter of the Cincinnati FBI and the Child Exploitation Task Force,” stated Special Agent in Charge Byers. “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, Julie Kenniston has been asked to conduct countless child victim interviews for the Child Exploitation Task Force. While Ms. Kenniston has used her training and expertise as the executive director of The Center of Family Solutions to conduct these important child interviews, she has never been compensated by the FBI for any of these forensic interviews. In addition, Ms. Kenniston has allowed FBI Child Adolescent Forensic Interviewers to use her facility when they are in town to conduct interviews.
For the last several years, Julie Kenniston has also actively provided her social work services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In addition to conducting forensic interviews for the Child Exploitation Task Force, Ms. Kenniston also provides assistance for human trafficking cases in Southwest Ohio.
Julie Kenniston is a recognized trainer presenting nationally and internationally on interviewing, investigation, and the prosecution of child abuse cases. Ms. Kenniston organized and coordinated the Forensic Training Institute for The Childhood Trust in Cincinnati starting in August 1997. She served as a board member for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) for more than five years, co-chairing the Forensic Interviewer Certification Task Force. Ms. Kenniston was previously a sexual abuse investigator for the Hamilton County Department of Human Services, where she conducted more than 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 that 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 Julie Kenniston during the Director’s Community Leadership Award ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 15, 2016.