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2023 Forensic Interviewer of the Year: Sue Counts

Sue Counts, Guardify Forensic Interviewer of the Year

With a career spanning over three decades, Sue Counts has ceaselessly poured her heart, soul, and professional acumen into the field of child advocacy. Rooted in her own experience as a foster mother, Sue’s professional journey is a testament to her resilience, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the welfare of children.

For the first 23 years of her carer, Sue served as a Child Protective Services caseworker, tirelessly advocating for the rights and welfare of abused and neglected children. But after her retirement, she was called upon to establish the Child Advocacy Center in Butler County, Pennsylvania. She promptly ended her retirement and threw herself wholeheartedly back into the field she held so dear.

As the sole individual managing a caseload of approximately 250-300 interviews annually, she has worn many hats – child advocate, court support, and even the crucial role of helping children express their experiences through victim impact statements. She created and implemented many of the procedures that ensure children do not slip through the system’s cracks – setting a high bar for quality forensic interview services in the county.

Humble in her extraordinary achievements, Sue has never sought recognition or acclaim for her work. Her primary concern has always been the execution of her job to the highest possible standard, with the ultimate goal of benefiting the families she serves. It is this humility, paired with her tireless dedication, that her team says truly sets Sue apart.

Today, Sue prepares to retire a second time. Her contributions to the field, particularly in spearheading the Child Advocacy Center/Multi-Disciplinary Team (CAC/MDT) movement, have significantly shaped the services available to children and families in Butler County, PA, and beyond. Her devotion  has ensured not only that these individuals receive necessary support and services, but that they are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect.

As we honor Sue’s incredible journey, we are reminded that the impact of her work extends far beyond the boundaries of Butler County, Pennsylvania. Her tireless dedication, compassion, and commitment have indeed changed the world for the better, one child at a time.

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