Our Forensic Services team is made up of some amazing people doing amazing work. Today we
celebrate Heather, one of our outstanding Forensic Interviewers at The Tree House. Heather started her journey with us in August of 2015 as an intern. In sitting down with her she stated “I learned about forensic interviewing and child advocacy centers in my undergraduate program and was immediately drawn to the position”. Heather went on to get her Masters in Social Work and learned about The Tree House from a friend's roommate who was currently interning with us. Heather received her first internship of her graduate program with Barrow County DFCS, which allowed her to experience parts of The Tree House and led her to requesting it as her final internship for her graduate program. Heather expressed feeling lucky to experience that internship, while we feel lucky that it wouldn’t be long until Heather found her way back to us at The Tree House.
Less than a year after graduating, Heather took a position with us as a Therapist at our Commerce location. Heather states, “I began the job as a therapist and was extremely excited to be back at The Tree House”. Helping children was and continues to be a passion for her. To assist with demands, Heather was soon asked to be trained in Forensic Interviewing. Although she was nervous, she agreed to learn about the new opportunity, expanding her skill set. Heather said that when she dove into Forensic Interviewing she truly found her passion. Now, Heather conducts forensic interviews for children where there are varying types of abuse allegations and trauma. As with every forensic interview conducted at The Tree House, they are done at the request of law enforcement and DFCS. Heather is also a trained facilitator for a child abuse prevention program called Darkness to Light, addition to providing counseling services for a few children. Anyone fortunate enough to work with Heather knows that she is always willing to give a helping hand wherever she can.
Forensic Interviewing can be very difficult and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is vital to doing this career. On average, a forensic interviewer usually only stays in this position for a year and half before experiencing burn out and leaving the job. For Heather, she finds that working in animal welfare helps her find balance in her life. She has fostered many dogs while also volunteering in the local shelters. It is not uncommon to hear about the latest rescue she took in or saved from the streets on a weekly basis. Heather loves being able to help them find forever homes where they will experience love and happiness.
Heather does an amazing job of connecting with the kids that she interviews, making sure she helps get all the information needed to assist with cases, provides a listening ear to our MDT partners and staff, and comes in every day with a smile on her face and a helping attitude. Heather stated, “I love the work that I do here at The Tree House and though it can be difficult, I find purpose in what I do. I am happy to be able to be a safe person that children can share their stories with”. That sounds like someone who strives to make a difference in the lives of the children she works with! The Tree House is lucky to have someone like Heather working at our organization. She truly puts her heart into her work by helping the children who need it most. It was such an honor to talk with Heather and learn more about her. It’s amazing to see all the great things she is doing in life, from Forensic Interviewing and helping children tell their stories to fostering dogs and making sure they find the perfect home. We can’t say it enough, but thank you Heather for all you do not only for The Tree House, but for others. It is because of people like you that our mission is possible. #GreatChildhoodsBeginWithAllOfUs