Session 5A: Shifting Perspectives and Adapting Practices for Child Victims and Witnesses with Disabilities
Track: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Advance your understanding of best practices for accommodating children with disabilities in a child advocacy setting. Learn about biases and assumptions related to investigating cases, practical accommodations, and basic communication techniques that are reliable, legally defensible, and effective for children with disabilities who are alleged victims of abuse or neglect.
Kate Homan, MS
Modell Consulting Group, LLC
Kate Homan, MS is a Senior Consultant for Modell Consulting Group, LLC. Since 2017, Ms. Homan has assisted in teaching and co-authoring multiple trainings on interviewing children and adults with disabilities. This included a first of its kind project collaborating with national experts to develop an advanced Forensic Interviewing Protocol for interviewing individuals with disabilities (Project FIND). In addition to developing and delivering FIND trainings, Ms. Homan has spent over 8 years interviewing children who have experienced abuse and trauma previously serving as the Lead Forensic Interviewer at the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center (NOCAC). In addition, Kate coordinates and conducts research on Forensic Interviewing with Dr. Mark Everson at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kate provides training for professionals on interviewing children using the RADAR Forensic Interview Model and advanced multidisciplinary topics, including specialized populations such as individuals with disabilities and youth who have experienced exploitation.
Modell Consulting Group, LLC
Dermot Whelan is a Senior Consultant for the Disability Services Division of Modell Consulting Group, LLC. In his role, Mr. Whelan is responsible for teaching and co-authoring trainings for the forensic interviewing of people with disabilities and the investigations of abuse against individuals with disabilities. Mr. Whelan was instrumental in the development of an advanced Forensic Interviewing Protocol for interviewing individuals with disabilities (Project FIND). Prior to joining MCG, Mr. Whelan served as a Criminal Investigator with the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Mr. Whelan started with the Justice Center in July of 2013, within weeks of the agency going operational. Mr. Whelan was primarily responsible for conducting and supervising criminal investigations stemming from allegations of abuse and neglect against vulnerable people who receive services through New York State operated, licensed, or certified agencies. Mr. Whelan routinely conducted forensic interviews of individuals with disabilities of all ages. Before specializing in investigating crimes against individuals with disabilities, Mr. Whelan started his police career in 1991 as a member of the New York City Housing Police and attended the NYC Police Department’s Police Academy. After several years of policing housing projects in the Bronx, Mr. Whelan took a position with the City of Albany Police Department where he served as a Patrolman, Detective, and Sergeant. As a Sergeant, Mr. Whelan managed the Department’s Training and Policy Unit. Mr. Whelan holds several NYS DCJS specialized Instructor Certifications and other instructor certifications.