Angela Davidson
Denver Children's Advocacy Center


Thursday October 20, 2011
Friday October 21, 2011

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Denver Police Department, District 1 Station
1311 West 46th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211

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2-Day Forensic Interview Training 

The child interview can be the primary evidence in cases of abuse and neglect. Soliciting this key evidence is both complex and challenging. This 2-day training will help investigators gain skills in conducting a legally defensible interview with a child witness. Participants will have the opportunity to practice new skills in the areas of interviewing, peer review and testimony.

Training Objectives:

  • Learn how to conduct a Phased Interview, including developmental considerations, linguistics, suggestability, disclosure patterns and recantations.
  • Practice skills using actual case scenarios.
  • Understand how to prepare for court and testify effectively about an interview.
  • Learn the importance and effectiveness of peer review.
  • Discover how to use information gathered from a child interview in an interrogation.

$150 per person.

The Denver VALE Board has limited funds to encourage staff from VSN member agencies to attend local trainings. For more information go to:


Karen R. Blackwell, MSW, LCSW, Child/Adolescent Forensic Interviewer, Office for Victim Assistance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force

Karen R. Blackwell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Denver. She received her Masters of Social Work at the University of New England. Ms. Blackwell is currently employed as a Child/Adolescent Forensic Interviewer with the FBI. She is primarily assigned to Indian Country and also consults and provides interviews for FBI agents, Assistant United States Attorney’s and other federal and state law enforcement across the nation. Prior to her work with the FBI Ms. Blackwell led the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center’s Forensic Interview and Evaluation Program. She facilitated Denver’s multi-disciplinary team that ensures a prompt and coordinated response to child victims of crime.  For the past 13 years Ms. Blackwell has worked in various capacities on the investigation of child sexual abuse, forensic interviewing, and sexual abuse assessment and treatment for children and families. Ms Blackwell has conducted in excess of 2500 forensic interviews with children and has considerable experience in working with adult victims and child witnesses to domestic violence and homicide. She served on the board of the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and facilitated the Denver Child Fatality Review. Ms. Blackwell teaches and trains both locally, nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the prestigious “2002 Excellence in Practice Award” presented by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare. She was given the title of Honorary Denver District Attorney by Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey in 2010. Ms Blackwell has been qualified and provided expert and lay testimony in both civil and criminal cases.

Stephanie C. Stronks Knapp, MSW, LCSW, Child/Adolescent Forensic Interview Specialist-Indian Country, Office for Victim Assistance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Denver Division

Stephanie Knapp is a Child/Adolescent Forensic Interview Specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Office for Victim Assistance, assigned to Denver Division with the Loveland Resident Agency.  She provides forensic interview training, case consultation and technical assistance to Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal Police, United States Attorneys’ offices, Child Protective Services, Armed Forces Services and the US State Department. Prior to her assignment with the FBI, Mrs. Knapp was Co-Director of the Kempe Child Protection Team at The Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  The Children's Hospital is a Level-One Pediatric Trauma facility where she also provided Clinical Social Work services for the Emergency Department and Trauma Services.  Mrs. Knapp provided clinical expertise for the multi-disciplinary team, which evaluated over 1,000 cases of, suspected child abuse and neglect a year. She also was a member of the S.T.A.R.T team at the Kempe center that reviewed and provided case consultation services to disciplines requesting expertise in the area of Child Abuse and Neglect on some of their most difficult and complicated cases. 

Mrs. Knapp also worked as a child-specific Caseworker for the Jefferson County Department of Human Services on the expedited permanency planning (EPP) unit mandated by HB1178.  She then worked with the Specialized Foster Care (SFC) team, Gateway, as a family, group and individual therapist working with Level-3 foster children in out-of-home placements.  Prior to leaving the Department, Mrs. Knapp was the Program Coordinator for Gateway where she continued to provide therapy to clients and collaborated efforts among clinicians and other child welfare service professionals.   Mrs. Knapp has provided forensic interviewing training, foster care/adoption consultation to other counties, and evaluated potential foster care/kinship placements for adolescents in Boulder County, Colorado.  She has provided multiple trainings in the areas of medical assessment of child abuse and neglect, child development, child sexual abuse, crisis intervention, forensic interviewing of children, intervention with critically ill children, and grief and loss support to patients, families and staff involved in traumatic events.  Mrs. Knapp has provided expert witness testimony in both civil and criminal courts throughout Colorado.   She has been qualified as an expert in Federal Court in the District of New Mexico.  Mrs. Knapp is a member of NASW, and APSAC and was previously Co-President of the Colorado State Chapter of APSAC, COPSAC. 

Mrs. Knapp is a graduate from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Minor in Spanish and the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work with a dual concentration in Health and Child and Family Welfare.

Kerri D. Lombardi, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Denver District Attorney’s Office

Kerri has been a prosecutor for 16 years with the Denver District Attorney’s Office.  She is currently the co-chief of the Family Violence Unit.  This unit specializes in the prosecution of all felony level domestic violence cases and all felony level crimes against children, including homicides, kidnappings, sexual assaults, sexual assaults on children and child abuse cases.  She has extensive trial experience and routinely teaches and trains in this specialized area of expertise.  She is involved in numerous boards, committees and community organizations related to her area of expertise.  Ms. Lombardi is a 1993 graduate of the University of Denver, College of Law. 

Craig L. Truman, Attorney, Craig L. Truman P.C.

For more than 35 years, attorney Craig L. Truman has been defending the rights of the accused throughout Colorado. From his Denver law office, Mr. Truman offers discreet and comprehensive legal services on behalf of people charged with serious felonies and high-level crimes.

As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Truman understands that early intervention in criminal cases is an important first step toward protecting his client's rights. If you believe you are under investigation, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, Mr. Truman has been able to negotiate resolutions to complex legal matters even before a formal criminal charge has been filed.

Although Mr. Truman handles a wide range of criminal charges, many clients come to him because they are facing very serious charges that come with potentially life-changing penalties. Such serious charges include sex offenses, homicide, manslaughter, felony assault and drug charges.

Craig L. Truman has extensive knowledge of Colorado courts and their procedures, having worked as a public defender and having years of experience in private practice. Mr. Truman is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts in Colorado as well as the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court

Dr. Jerry Yager, Director of Training and Education, Denver Children's Advocacy Center

Dr. Yager is a clinical psychologist with more than 25 years experience in the assessment and treatment of traumatized children and adolescents. Dr. Yager specializes in working with adolescents who exhibit self-destructive behaviors and have severe mental illness such as clinical depression, bipolar mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. Before joining DCAC, Dr. Yager was Executive Director of Denver Children's Home. He is a fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy and conducts professional training events locally and nationally.