TOPEKA – (April 13, 2018) – Callie Meinhardt of Sunflower CASA in Manhattan was recognized for her service to crime victims during this week’s Crime Victims’ Rights Conference in Topeka.
Meinhardt was presented the Outstanding Community-Based Victim Advocate Award for Child Advocacy by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt during an awards ceremony yesterday.
Meinhardt first became a CASA volunteer in 2012, and later joined Sunflower CASA as its first victim advocate in 2016. Since that time, Meinhardt has served 27 children with open child in need of care cases, including infants, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers. She has served cases dealing with issues of sexual abuse, physical abuse, truancy, substance abuse issues, and runaways. While all of her cases originated in Riley County, Meinhardt has traveled to placements in nearly every corner of the state to provide advocacy for children.
Along with serving as Sunflower CASA’s victim advocate, Meinhardt has also served as a forensic interviewer for the Stepping Stones Child Advocacy Center since February 2017. The 23 interviews she has conducted have led to numerous arrests and criminal prosecutions.
The Kansas Crime Victims’ Rights Conference was hosted by Attorney General Schmidt and Governor Jeff Colyer. The conference featured a number of speakers and trainers focused on raising awareness of emerging crimes and offering new approaches to respond to enduring crimes, such as child abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking.