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Child, Youth and Family forensic interviewer honoured


Thursday 03 October 2013

Child, Youth and Family forensic interviewer honoured with Police award

[HAMILTON] A Child, Youth and Family (CYF) forensic interviewer has received a commendation from the New Zealand Police (NZ Police) for her work in training Police and Child, Youth and Family staff in the specialist field of child interviewing.

Superintendent John Price, left, and Detective Inspector Paul Borrell with award recipient Karen Wilson.

Karen Wilson, Manager of Manuwai Specialist Services in Hamilton, was presented with the ‘National Manager: Training and Development’s Certificate of Commendation’ at a ceremony at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) in Wellington on September 24 from the National Manager Superintendent John Price.

NZ Police communications manager Penny Clevely said the Certificate of Commendation presented to Ms Wilson was the highest level of award within the scope of the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) Recognition and Awards Committee, and recognises “an exceptional level of professionalism, dedication and personal commitment to her duties.”

The award is given to members of the public for police-related services to the community or assistance provided to Police. “This is the only Certificate of Commendation the RNZPC has presented so far this year. The criteria are very high for this award and as such only one or two are likely to be presented annually.”  

Ms Wilson has been involved with the joint Police and Child, Youth and Family Forensics Interviewing Course since 1990, and was the lead national trainer from 1996 to 2012.

“I feel honoured to have been presented with this award. I leave my national training role knowing that Child Youth and Family and the Police have a joint commitment to ensuring a professional child interviewing service continues to grow and develop,” said Ms Wilson.

Child, Youth and Family’s regional director for Midlands, Sue Critchley says Ms Wilson has trained a significant number of Police and Child, Youth and Family staff in the specialist field of child interviewing, and has played a key role in the development and delivery of specialist training courses.”

“Karen is recognised internationally for her work in comparing New Zealand’s child interviewing practices with other models and is a member of international forums in this area.  This work has taken her to numerous countries as a presenter, think tank member and attendee, where she’s made sure our model was constantly being updated.”

Ms Critchley said Karen’s work has encouraged best practice by both agencies thereby ensuring that children are interviewed in a way that not only looks at evidential matters for possible court processes, but also considers care and protection matters.

Ms Wilson said she’s found her years of work in the field of child interviewing extremely rewarding. “I have worked with many great practitioners and policy makers from both Child, Youth and Family and the Police throughout that time.  Every one of them has been passionate about protecting children and maximising their access to justice.”


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