Keeping Children Safe Conference
The Governor's Task Force on Children at Risk
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15th Annual Keeping Children Safe Conference

The Governor's Task Force on Children at Risk



The Governor's Task Force on Children at Risk is pleased to welcome Ms. Julie Kenniston as our conference speaker this year.

Julie Kenniston, MSW, LISW is an independent consultant and trainer presenting nationally and internationally on interviewing, investigation, and the prosecution of child maltreatment cases. As the Executive Director of The Center for Family Solutions, Ms. Kenniston is active with domestic violence and sexual abuse victims. She conducts forensic interviews for the local Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and is working with the Southwest Ohio team on human trafficking cases. Ms. Kenniston organized and coordinated the Forensic Training Institute for The Childhood Trust in Cincinnati, Ohio starting in August 1997 and now manages the updated Child Forensic Interviewing program. Ms. Kenniston was a board member for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) from January 2009 to July 2015 and co-chairs the forensic interviewing committee while continuing to support APSAC in forensic interviewing services. Ms. Kenniston was a Sexual Abuse Investigator for Hamilton County Department of Human Services where she conducted over 3,000 forensic interviews of alleged child victims of sexual abuse. Ms. Kenniston is a co-author with Anne Graffam Walker, PhD, and co-editor with Sally Small Inada, MA, on the 3rd edition of the Handbook on Questioning Children: A linguistic perspective published by the American Bar Association.

Ms Kenniston will present on the following:


Minimizing Miscommunication in Child Forensic Interviews

Children acquire language in a cultural context. The meaning of words does not come as quickly as the use of those words when communicating. Some words are less reliable, such as pronouns and prepositions. Other words are not reliable because the cognitive processes needed to understand the use of these words have not been mastered by the child, such as “when” and “how many times” something happened. This presentation will provide information on children's use of language as preschoolers and as school-aged children. These concepts will be applied to the process of

gathering information from children in forensic interviews. By understanding children's abilities to communicate, a forensic interview can be linguistically sensitive to the child's needs and be conducted in a legally sound manner.


1. Participants will understand how the developmental issue of being concrete affects information gathering in investigations.

2. Participants will be able to identify small but important words and know how to minimize misinformation.

3. Participants will learn to maximize the potential of gathering accurate data from children by using linguistically sensitive interview questions.


Join us during lunch to hear from the CFR Team Chairman, Jerrilea Archer, and Principal Analyst, Teresa Abbott, for a brief discussion about the review team, overview of findings from the latest report, and a time of questions and answers.


During the luncheon you will have time to network with fellow colleagues and attendees. Lunch will be approximately 1.5 hours.  

Conference participants may pick up their packets starting at 7:30 AM on the day of the event.  A light breakfast will be available. The conference will start at 8:30 AM.  

Overnight guests can receive a discounted rate by mentioning "Keeping Children Safe" group rate when making hotel reservations.  Deadline for this special rate is September 21. Call 208-343-1871 to make your reservations.  

A Certificate of Attendance will be given to those who attend.  POST and CLE credits are PENDING.


Please read carefully!

Scholarships are limited.  If you request a scholarship and do not show up or cancel by 10/6/16 you will not be eligible for a scholarship the following year.


Scholarships only cover:

Mileage or airfare (whichever is less)

1 night stay at the Riverside Hotel

Schoalrships do not cover:



Luggage fees


To be able to accomodate as many people as possible, you may be asked to double up on rooms if you are traveling with multiple people from your agency as well as carpool if you are requesting mileage.

If you receive a scholarship for a room you need to reserve the room (see reservation procedures in the General Conference Information)  on your personal or agency credit card. When you attend the conference the charges of the room will be billed to our master account, not your card. 

If you receive a scholarship for travel you need to book your airline ticket and save your receipt and itinerary or if you are driving, note your mileage. In either case, you will need to fill out a reimbursement form and a w-9.

To apply for a scholarship:

Email Ms. Peper at with subject line "KCS Scholarship Request"

In the body of your email please include your name, agency, position, address, and phone number.

Next, include what you are requesting (lodging, travel, or both) and if you have multiple people be sure to include their information as well. Please note who will share rooms.

Finally, include an estimate for airfare or an estimate for your round trip mileage (300 miles* .54/mile= $162).


Jon Smith, Idaho Agency, Detective, 123 Main St, CIty, ID, 83772, 208-123-1234

Jon Smith- room and airfare

Sally Peters- room and airfare

Mary Moore- room and airfare

Sally and Mary will share a room

Airfare is $150/person

If your request is accepted you will receive an email approval.  Pleae attach the email approval to your completed reimbursement form and w-9 and appropriate receipts and give them to Ms. Peper on the day of the conference.