Leadership

 

Initial Founding Working Group 

NCCASP is a new organization looking to brings multidisciplinary teams and child protection professionals together to strengthen the voice for children in need.  The initial founding working group will guide the implementation of NCCASP’s mission.

 

Randi King, JD

Randi King currently serves as the Chief Prosecutor of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office Family Law Division. She has prosecuted Child Protective Services cases, juvenile crime, and domestic violence protective orders since 1995. She assists in felony criminal prosecutions in cases in which Child Protective Services is involved. Randi has participated in CASA of Southeast Texas new volunteer training for 18 years and it energized her every time. She serves on the Garth House Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors, Executive Board as Secretary (2 terms), Vice-President, and President (2 terms), and Professional Standards Committee; Jefferson County Child Fatality Review Team, Foster Care Task Force, Adoption Day Committee and Juvenile Board Citizens’ Advisory Council; the Texas Children’s Justice Act Task Force, and has been vice president of Beaumont Community Partners for Children. She organized the county’s Baby Moses law publicity program and regularly makes presentations to community groups and child abuse professionals. Ms. King is honored to have received the 2001 Southeast Texas CASA Child Advocate of the Year Award and the 2006 Texas CASA Lone Star Proud for Kids Award.

 

Dr. Barbara Knox, MD

Dr. Barbara Knox is the Medical Director of the University of Wisconsin Child Protection Program at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Knox completed her residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She then completed a fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center before joining the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Knox is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. Dr. Knox is Chair of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Section on Child Abuse and Neglect and is a member of the Ray E. Helfer Society of Child Abuse Physicians. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board that administers the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund. She is also a team member serving on the Department of Justice’s Statewide Child Fatality review team that advises state agencies and the Legislature on law, policy and practice modification in an on-going effort to reduce preventable childhood deaths. She co-directs a statewide Medical Peer Review project in Wisconsin. Areas of research interest for Dr. Knox include child physical/psychological torture as a form of child abuse and sexual torture as a form of child abuse. Dr. Knox has published on many topics, including child torture as a form of child abuse, burns of abuse, abusive head trauma, and is currently an editor for three textbooks relating to child maltreatment. She also reviews current child abuse medical research journal articles for The Quarterly Update. As part of her practice she cares for children who have been or are suspected of being victims of physical abuse sexual abuse and neglect.

 

Leslie Jones, JD

Leslie Craig Jones, JD, is dedicated to providing children in abusive situations with a voice and a safe environment within which to flourish. As an adult survivor of child abuse, she is well aware of the difficulties abused children have in seeking protection and being heard. To this end, Mrs. Jones prepared and implemented a high school level program for classroom use that identified child abuse issues important to the specific students attending the class. These issues were reviewed by both the teacher and Mrs. Jones, separately, and addressed by Mrs. Jones in a one hour question and answer session. In keeping with her legal training, Mrs. Jones also sought and obtained changes to Washington State law that protect students from predatory and inappropriate behavior by adults employed by school districts statewide.  Her awareness efforts at district administrative levels lead to the adoption of a teacher in-service training program and Title IX Sexual Harassment Manual for staff and instructors. Mrs. Jones graduated from Texas A&M University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Cum Laude; The University of Houston College of Law in 1981 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence; and, most recently, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from The Bush School of Government and Public Service in 2011, serving as the Class Speaker. While her professional background is in the banking industry, Mrs. Jones’ greatest joy is in her family: her husband of 37 years and their two daughters. She is passionate about improving resources for abuse survivors, along with raising awareness and encouraging those who have been injured by abuse to persevere, there is healing.

 

Helen Clemens, JD

Prosecutor from Arlington VA. (need bio)

 

Pamela J. Watkins, PsyD, MA, MJ, MAS

Pamela J. Watkins, PsyD, MA, MJ, MAS, is a forensic psychologist, researcher, mental health professional, and infant/preschooler clinician with a particular area of specialization involving Munchausen by proxy abuse. Her training has included forensic interviewing, the administration of neurological, psychological, and trauma assessments, detailed forensic and psychological report writing, testifying, and journal editing and article reviews representing various aspects of child abuse, child maltreatment, and Munchausen by proxy investigations. Additionally, she has testified in court on elder abuse investigations regarding Munchausen by proxy. Critically, Dr. Watkins has continued to focus her career highlighting the most current research, socio-legal and psychological procedures, placements, and policies involving Munchausen by proxy abuse, while continuing to review both criminal and civil case matters involving Munchausen by proxy litigation. Dr. Watkins, who is based in San Diego, CA, travels and presents her studies on Munchausen by proxy extensively, by attending various child/disabled/elder abuse conferences across the United States, yearly.  Dr. Watkins has dedicated both her academic and professional career towards engaging and enlightening professionals regarding the multi-faceted aspects of the most lethal form of abuse, also known as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Previously Factitious Disorder by Proxy). During her academic, clinical, and professional training, Dr. Watkins’ advocacy regarding the complex nature of Medical Child Abuse has allowed her to gain considerable insights from various disciplines, including forensic and clinical psychology, law, criminology, and now, the research within faith-based communities. Dr. Watkins attended Alliant International University for her doctorate in clinical and forensic psychology (PsyD/2014), Loyola Chicago Law School for her Masters in Child Policy and Law (MJ/2015), and graduating from the University of California, Irvine, with a Masters in Sociology, Criminology and Law (MAS/2016), honored with academic distinction in all three programs as Magna Cum Laude. This past May 2017, Dr. Watkins was accepted into Fuller Theological Seminary to begin her Masters of Divinity (M.Div) in an effort to further child abuse/elder abuse investigations within the faith-based communities. Prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Watkins was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) within the Juvenile Justice Department of the San Diego courts, affiliated with Voices for Children during the late 1980s-1990s; and in the 1980s, during her undergraduate journalism studies while at San Diego State University, she interned alongside of award-winning investigative television news reporters and newspaper journalists, gaining critical insights into the news, public relations and media realm. Lastly, and most importantly, Dr. Watkins is happily married to her high school prom date Rick, who is a custom jewelry designer based in Encinitas, CA. Dr. Watkins and her husband have raised four grown children, and now are the proud grandparents of three small grandchildren, all whom call her “Peaches.” She is a proud member of APSAC, CAPSAC, SNAP, NCCASP, and GRACE.

 

Honorable Denise Langford Morris 6th Circuit, Michigan

Judge Langford Morris is a graduate of Wayne State University, undergraduate and graduate school, and the University of Detroit Law School.  She has served on the Circuit Court since 1992.  Previously, Judge Langford Morris was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Civil Division, an Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor, and an Child Protective Services Investigator.  She hears child welfare cases in her courtroom.

 

For More Information Contact:

A. Ann Ratnayake J.D./BBA

ann.ratn@nccasp.org

202-930-51454

Ann

Ann Ratnayake is the Managing Director at the National Center for Child Abuse Statistics and Policy. Ann began her career working on children’s  issues at the National District Attorneys Association’s National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse.

As a Senior Staff Attorney,  she  worked strategically as liaison between state prosecutors and federally funded child abuse initiatives. Ann assisted front-line prosecutors on functioning as a subject matter expert. She has drafted legislation, reports and memorandums on child abuse, neglect and other criminal justice issues.  Ann supervised attorneys, communicated with stakeholders and configured grant applications to meet the needs of the field.  She also managed and tracked deliverables, and wrote the final, progress, and semiannual reports for 5.9 million dollars of Department of Justice grant funding.

She  managed complex trial advocacy trainings, conferences, and wrote for NDAA’s publications. Her main area of research focuses on addressing family and domestic violence within the in the framework of the criminal justice system.  Her articles include U.S. v. Jones: Signaling Change to Search and Seizure under the Fourth Amendment, Juvenile Sex Offenses: Finding Justice, and Berghuis v. Thompkins: Invocation and Waiver of the Miranda Right to Remain Silent, and The Confrontation Clause After Ohio v. Clark: The Path to Reinvigorating Evidenced-Based Prosecution in Intimate Partner Violence Cases which is slated to be co-published by NDAA and the George Washington Law Review. She is currently writing the legislative reform chapter  for the upcoming textbook Investigation and Prosecution of Child Torture.

Ann has also worked on Capitol Hill for the Texas 17 District, at the International Trade Administration, and for the Western District of Texas – Waco Division, Federal Court.  She is licensed to practice law in both Texas and the District of Columbia Bar.  She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University Mays School of Business in 2005 where she received the Ford Foundation Scholar Award, and from Baylor University Law School in 2009 where she was awarded the Alice Gist Dunaway Foundation Professional Responsibility Award and the Dean’s Academic Excellence Award.  Ann is an advocate for policies that eradicate family violence.

 

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Director of Communications

Akosua Amponsah

Akosua is a native of the Washington DC Metropolitan area. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Towson University. There she supported her major with a minor in Family Studies. Her Masters of Arts degree in Contemporary Communications from The Notre Dame of Maryland University has endowed her with the necessary tools to communicate messages effectively. Akosua utilizes technology and modern public relations approaches for promoting legal developments, policy developments, medical and social welfare research, and technology innovations which protect children from abuse and neglect.