Meet Elizabeth King
This entry is part of a new series where WVCAN is bringing recognition to everyday heroes throughout the state. Each week through the end of the year, we’ll be highlighting a different team member – CAC staff or allied professional working with a center – who is a hero to us and the kids they serve.
Meet Elizabeth King. Elizabeth is the Team Coordinator and Lead Forensic Interviewer with Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center and has been in the field for 3 1/2 years.
What drew you to this work? I actually intended to go into Elementary Education after college, but I spent a lot of time studying the nature of Sociology – focused on gender studies, queer studies, power dynamics, privilege and oppression. Once I ended up in this field that played out as well – the world in general, not just in the classroom. I’m seeing what I studied play out in real life and finding ways to make it better.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? That’s a hard question. There are lots of things I love about my job. I have a couple different roles, but the most satisfying thing is when we have a difficult or complicated case that requires a lot of interdisciplinary team interaction. It’s amazing to watch team members work through conflict, each addressing their own issues so that we can serve the kids best. If it’s a good case outcome, that’s my favorite thing.
Can you share a de-identified story about a child who inspired you? One child came to the CAC and had made a disclosure to someone else prior to coming. And for various reasons that can be explained, she recanted her story. A couple months passed, and she was placed in a supportive home and had really good counseling, and she was ready to tell her story. She came forward and had a powerful, transformative moment in the interview room, said what happened to her, and worked through some really hard stuff in a way that was meaningful to her. It inspired me, because it reminded me that there’s always a reason kids say and do things that they do. Perseverance and continuing to believe in that child’s healing and leaving that door open reaps good things. We gave her a positive experience the first time, and she felt supportive by the team even though she wasn’t ready.
What motivates you? I’m inspired by our multidisciplinary teams, the hard work they’re doing, and watching our team improve. It motivates me to do my best and do better. The CAC world is constantly evolving. Knowing that field is still growing and that I can contribute to that growth and that other people in the movement can contribute to that growth – that motivates me. I can help make a difference for kids, especially with marginalized identities.
What’s the best thing about working as a multidisciplinary team on child abuse investigations? From a less emotional perspective, I really enjoy the intellectual challenge looking at all the moving parts in a case and engaging with team members with very different disciplines. You try to puzzle piece it together to find out how each team member is going to get what they need. From the heart, the reason anybody is in this work and is on a child abuse team, I would hope, is to give kids a better chance at success at life and to minimize adverse childhood experiences by helping families.
What was your first paying job? Babysitter – I’ve always babysat and still do. I really enjoy spending time with kids outside of the interview room.
Favorite vacation spot. Assateague Island
One gadget you can’t live without. My phone – I use it for work and personal life
If you could binge watch something this weekend, what is it? The Fosters on Netflix
Favorite pizza toppings. Pepperoni and broccoli. Kale and sausage too. I really like pizza.