Forensic Interviewers play a vital role within the MDT and have the privilege of speaking with children who have experienced severe trauma to gather sensitive information in a caring, gentle manner. It is a role that requires empathy, patience, resilience, and a heart capable of shouldering the emotional weight that comes with the job.
One such person who has embodied these attributes in an extraordinary manner is Challye Nunn. As the now Director of Forensic Interview Services at the New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center in Blount County, Tennessee, Challye has weathered a storm of personal and professional challenges, all while maintaining a steadfast commitment to the children she serves.
In July of 2022, Christina Copland, their esteemed Director of Forensic Interview Services, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The disease attacked her vocal cords, rendering her unable to speak and thus, unable to carry out her duties. Christina’s absence from the frontlines left a massive gap, but in stepped Challye Nunn.
Challye was initially working as a part-time forensic interviewer, CPIT Coordinator, and back-up Child and Family Advocate. She took on the responsibility of conducting all the interviews as she was the only Interviewer for 8 months. She worked tirelessly, sometimes dealing with 40+ interviews a month, all while providing her usual excellent quality.
In total, from July 2022 to February 2023, Challye conducted 310 forensic interviews, 39 of them after regular working hours. Despite working numerous hours of overtime and grieving the loss of her mentor, Challye has always put the children first. Putting the child first sometimes meant canceling scheduled vacation time, staying or coming in after hours, and even coming in with migraines to make sure that the kids in Blount County were safe.
Challye has gracefully embraced her role at New Hope as the Director of Forensic Services. She has trained a new Child and Family Advocate and a new Forensic Interviewer – just as Christina had done for her. She continues to ensure that every forensic interview is completed and has navigated the oversight of the forensic services program at New Hope.