Amy Russell,
Consultant Bio

Amy Russell currently serves as a consultant to child protection and child abuse prevention professionals with Russell Consulting Specialists, LLC, and as an executive director for a Children's Advocacy Center in the Pacific Northwest.  Ms. Russell also serves as an expert witness on child abuse, with particular focus on sexual victimization, in multiple state and federal courts, and provides training and technical assistance on all aspects of child maltreatment, investigation, forensic interviewing and legal services.  Ms. Russell previously served as forensic interview specialist with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Immigration and Customs Enforcement with Homeland Security Investigations, and as executive/senior director of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC), where she provided administrative and programmatic oversight as well as professional training and technical assistance on a national and international level. She additionally served as as a pro bono attorney for children in dependency court and formerly as an adjunct faculty member in the Child Advocacy Studies Program at Winona State University.  She obtained her B.A. from Hope College in 1992, her M.S.Ed. in Counseling from Western Illinois University in 1999 and graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Buffalo Law School with her J.D. in 2009.

Ms. Russell is a nationally certified counselor, and has worked with victims of violence and trauma in several capacities, including extensive counseling and support work with child victims of abuse; director of victim services and counselor for survivors of homicide victims; victim/witness coordinator in a U.S. Attorney’s office; and executive director of two children’s advocacy centers. In addition, she has interviewed over a thousand children; served as a consultant for several children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams for child abuse investigations; served as an independent contractor and trainer for UNICEF on child abuse and trafficking issues in Kosovo; trained Special Victim Counsel at the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia on representing child victims in military court; and provided training on forensic interviewing, child abuse issues and domestic violence in Colombia, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Ms. Russell has conducted research on vicarious trauma in child protection attorneys, and authored numerous articles on interviewing and child maltreatment, including Child Forensic Interviewing: Best Practices, published by OJJDP (co-author); Multidisciplinary Response to Youth With Sexual Behavior Problems, published in the William Mitchell Law Review of the William Mitchell College of Law, Best Practices in Child Forensic Interviews: Interview Instructions and Truth‐Lie Discussions, published in the Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy by Hamline University School of Law; Out of the Woods: A Case for Using Anatomical Diagrams in Forensic Interviews and Vicarious Trauma in Child Protection Professionals, published in APRI Update by the National District Attorneys Association, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse; several CenterPiece articles published by the National Child Protection Training Center; and co-authored The CornerHouse Forensic Interview Protocol: RATAC® published in the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law. Ms. Russell is also the co-author of the ChildFirst™ Forensic Interview Protocol, which is replicated in twenty states and two countries.  Ms. Russell is a member of several professional societies, including the American Counseling Association, the American Bar Association, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS), and serves on the editorial boards and peer review pool of the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma; Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma; Journal of Child Custody; Journal of Child Sexual Abuse; and Journal of Family Violence.
Consensus in Child Forensic Interviewing: Coming Together for Best Practice. Co-authored with Chris Newlin, Linda Cordisco Steele, Andra Chamberlin, Jennifer Anderson, Julie Kenniston, Amy Russell, Heather Stewart, Viola Vaughan-Eden (Publication of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Sept. 2015).


Multidisciplinary Response to Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems. 40(3) William Mitchell Law Review, 1058 (2014).
Documentation and Assessment of Children’s Forensic Interview Statements, 16 Widener Law Review 305 (2011).
The CornerHouse Forensic Interview Protocol: RATAC©, 12 Thomas M. Cooley Journal ofPractical and Clinical Law 193-332 (2010) (co-authored with Jennifer Anderson, Sara Olinger, Julie Ellefson, Jodi Lashley, Anne Lukas Miller, Julie Stauffer & Judy Weigman).
Vicarious Trauma in Child Sexual Abuse Prosecutors, 2(6) CENTERPIECE (2010).
Finding Equilibrium: Greene v. Camreta, 2(1) CENTERPIECE, (2010).
Electronic Recordings of Investigative Child Abuse Interviews, 1(8) CENTERPIECE (2009).
Assessing Children’s Statements for Investigative and Court Purposes, 1(6) CENTERPIECE (2009).
Out of the Woods: A Case for Using Anatomical Diagrams in Forensic Interviews, 21(1) APRI UPDATE (2008).
Best Practices in Child Forensic Interviews: Interview Instruction and Truth-Lie Discussions. (Special Feature: Spring 2006 Children and the Law Symposium), 28(1) HAMLINE JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW AND POLICY 99-130 (Fall 2006).

Forensic Interview Room Set-up. HALF A NATION BY 2010 NEWSLETTER (Fall 2004).