Spotlight with CSC Forensic Interviewer Karen Blackstone

Karen Blackstone is celebrating 19 years with the Children’s Safety Center!

Karen became familiar with the CSC as an intern while finishing up her Social Work degree at the University of Arkansas. From there she moved into the child advocate role and then became a forensic interviewer in 2001. To date, Karen has conducted over 2,000 interviews for local law enforcement, Arkansas State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security and the Department of Human Services. Through the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape & Domestic Violence, she has been the Washington County Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator, since 2006.

Karen is a vital part of the Children’s Safety Center and we are proud to have her on our team. Read more about Karen below:

What is your favorite thing about your job at the CSC? My favorite thing about my job would be the challenge of balancing the art and science of talking and listening to children/teens. I thrive on thinking of new techniques, new ideas and applying them in practice. I also like to read studies and stay current on research in my field of practice. Oh and one more. I know I have written several things but this is just as important. I like working with partnering agencies like law enforcement, prosecutors, juvenile court personnel, State Police investigators, DHS investigators, etc. It is like an insiders club and there are some things only us who work in this field together day after day understand. We are a team.

What is the biggest challenge you face with your job at the CSC? I like challenges. If you are asking about what is the most difficult for me in my job, I would have to say the sacrifices I have made with my family in order to serve and be the only interviewer on-call for numerous years. But that has changed and I am not on-call every night and every day. So, the biggest challenge is raising up the next generation of professionals who find interviewing children/teens as their gift.

What is one thing you wish the community knew about the CSC? We are professionals who get to work together towards a common goal. I want my community to know that even if they are not familiar with CSC that’s okay. Become familiar and lend your support. I have heard many many times in church if you are not a missionary – the one to go out into the world, you could be a sender who supports the missionary. Not all professionals are meant to work at CSC, but all people could become senders in their own community by supporting a local mission…. ending child abuse right here.

What makes you smile? Children, teenagers, my daughter, my sons, my daughters-in-law and my granddaughter, my best friend and thoughts about my co-workers, those are just a few of the things that brings me to show the joy I feel inside.

Karen and her daughter Sarah Grace


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