Emily Perry, Executive Director
Emily Perry, Founder, Executive Director, & Child Forensic Interviewer at Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers. Emily is a licensed social worker and holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology from Hanover College. She has extensive experience in the field of child welfare, child protection, and crimes against children with previous positions held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Shelbyville, Indiana. Emily continued her training with the Indianapolis Institute for Families as a Clinical Associate in the Child Abuse Treatment Program. She also held the Director of Special Programs and Director of Development positions while with the Institute. Emily began the development an implementation of Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers in 2005 celebrating the opening of the first center in Avon, IN in 2009, and the second center in Bloomington, IN in 2011.
While at Susie’s Place, Emily has conducted well over 1,000 forensic interviews of alleged child victims of crimes and has supervised over 2,500 additional cases involving allegations of crimes against children. Emily works collaboratively with law enforcement, prosecutors, the Department of Child Services, medical teams, victim advocates, and mental health clinicians to ensure that children are not further traumatized by the interventions intended to protect them.
Emily is the current President of the Indiana Chapter of National Children’s Alliance and is on faculty with ChildFirst Indiana. Ms. Perry was awarded the 2010 Victim Advocate of the Year Award from the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault and has lead Susie’s Place in being honored with the Avon Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Organization Award in 2010 and the 2014 Community Justice and Mediation – Herb Keisling Award.
Lynn Clinton, Associate Director
Lynn Clinton is the Associate Director of Susie’s Place. Her background in Human Resources and early education are a great mix for working behind the scenes on the operations and business end of Susie’s Place.
Lynn has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, which basically means she is a great reader, but surprisingly didn’t lead directly into a career after college. After growing up in Iowa and Kansas, Lynn moved to Indiana after her graduation from Kansas State University and entered the workforce in Human Resources. Lynn worked in HR for the State of Indiana for 5 years, then spent a year as the Operations Manager for a national staffing firm. She traded in her heels for flip flops when her first child was born and took an 8-year hiatus to stay home with her kids. Upon returning to work, she was thrilled to teach preschool for few years before finding her way to Susie’s Place.
When she isn’t working, she is drowning in all things boy from her two sons and husband. She is a huge fan of the therapy dog program and finds herself totally distracted when the pooches are around. And, thanks to that college education, Lynn is still a great and avid reader.
Candace Balzano, Forensic Interviewer & Prevention Coordinator
Candace Balzano is a Forensic Interviewer in the Avon location and will work with the Susie’s Place training and prevention programs. Candace holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from Lee University. Before coming to Susie’s Place, Candace was the East Center Director of Life Centers in Indianapolis. Candace has also worked with Seeds of Life, Inc. as a Case Manager for families involved with DCS in Marion County.
Candace is an Authorized Facilitator of the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Program and a Certified Facilitator of the Nurturing Parenting Program. Candace has also taught Creative Positive Relationship courses in Jr. High and High Schools in the Hendricks County and Indianapolis surrounding areas. Candace completed the Forensic Interviewing training in March 2016 through ChildFirst Arkansas.
Candace enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering in various organizations, reading and traveling.
Melissa Brown, Forensic Interviewer
Melissa is our newest Forensic Interviewer at the Bloomington center. Melissa obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University while maintaining a full time career and raising her three children. While maintaining a professional career, Melissa satisfied her desire to help others by volunteering with the Girl Scouts, Big Brother’s Big Sister’s, the Community Kitchen, Celebrate Recovery, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army Angel Tree.
Melissa’s innate passion for helping children led to her to the Department of Child Services where she held the position of Family Case Manager. Melissa recently made the transition to Susie’s Place CAC and is eager to put her skills into action by providing a safe environment for children to tell their story.
Melissa successfully completed Child First Indiana, a Child Forensic Interview training, in Feb. 2016.
Anna Cope, Forensic Interviewer
Anna Cope is a Forensic Interviewer for the Avon center. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University School of Social Work at IUPUI. Prior to coming to Susie’s Place in February 2016, Anna worked several years with the Indiana Department of Child Services, serving in both Marion and Hendricks County. While at DCS, Anna was a mentor and peer coach, assisting in training new family case managers. She successfully completed ChildFirst Arkansas in 2016. Anna has a passion for serving children in her community and surrounding areas.
Anna’s biggest joy in life is being a wife and mother, to both her human and fur child. In her free time Anna enjoys being outdoors with her family and is a member of the Indianapolis Zoo. She is a passionate Harry Potter fan.
Allison Creekmore, Forensic Interviewer & Prevention Facilitator
Allison Creekmore, BSW is a Forensic Interviewer with Susie’s Place.
Allison’s career in the field of social work has provided her the opportunity to work within several areas of youth work and advocating for children.
She has found that her work with Susie’s Place has been the most challenging, yet meaningful, of her career.
Allison has been with Susie’s Place for three years.
Trisha Guinn, Lead Forensic Interviewer
Trisha Guinn supports the Bloomington facility as the Lead Forensic Interviewer. She holds a Master of Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Psychology degree from Indiana State University. She has conducted over 600 interviews since joining Susie’s Place in July of 2013, gaining vast experience in collaborating with child protection teams, law enforcement, and the legal system.
Trisha has spent ten years assisting children professionally, often in the area of child protection. She has worked with young children through Healthy Families, a preventative agency, as well as with adolescents and young adults while working as a counselor at a residential treatment facility with at-risk youth.
Trisha successfully completed Finding Words Indiana, a Child Forensic Interview training, in 2010, and Advanced Forensic Interviewing through ChildFirst Indiana in 2014. Trisha has trained in Minneapolis as a Multidisciplinary Team Facilitator. She strives to ensure the well-being of the children she interviews, as well as the comfort for the families and team members with whom she interacts.
Deb Keaton, Forensic Interviewer
Deb is a Forensic Interviewer for the Avon Center. Deb has 7 years of specialized training in Child Forensic Interviewing and Safety Training for children. Before joining Susie’s Place, she was a Forensic Interviewer for Hamilton County, where she also directed a county-wide Body Safety Program, serving over 5,000 children annually. Deb’s forensic interviewing career began in 2008 and she has conducted more than 2,000 interviews of alleged child victims.
Deb’s outside interests include lots of family time with her kids near and far.
Maria Larrison, Lead Child and Family Advocate
Maria Larrison is our lead child and family advocate. Her core value is justice. She comes to us with many years of experience as a victim advocate. She graduated with honors, from Indiana Wesleyan University with her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; attended the National Victim Assistance Academy; has her paralegal certification from IUPUI; and trained as a guardian ad litem from Kids’ Voice of Indiana.
She began her advocacy career as victim assistance coordinator for the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office where she advocated for victim’s rights for eleven years. She then became an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault victims at Sheltering Wings Center for Women, and served there for 9 years. She has taught ethics, collaboration, and the history of victim’s rights at the Indiana Statewide Victim Assistance Academy.
In her spare time she volunteers for Indy Honor Flight, Kids’ Voice of Indiana, and Shepherd Community. She also enjoys spending time with her family. She brings not only expertise but care and compassion to Susie’s Place.
Charlotte Willian, Child and Family Advocate
Charlotte is our newest Child and Family Advocate, serving families at the Bloomington center. Her Bachelor’s degree in History and Master’s degrees in English and Linguistics led to part-time employment while she raised five children. Her child advocacy experience grew from her interest in the well-being of all children. Over many years, Charlotte has volunteered with the Girl Scouts of the USA, Beds and Britches, school groups, and the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program, among others.
Charlotte has completed the 40-hour state domestic relations mediation training, as well as a 40-hour training in mediation and restorative justice. She maintains memberships in several literary groups and works closely with BEADS for Education, a non-profit educating girls in Kenya.
Charlotte volunteers with the local Interfaith Winter Shelter and currently serves on the board of Women Writing for (a) Change, Bloomington. Charlotte enjoys building traditions with her grandchildren, poetry, baking bread, cheering on the Hoosiers, and hiking the trails of southern Indiana.