She received the award because of her work on behalf of victimized families and, in particular, the children affected by violence.
King, who also serves as a ProKids guardian ad litem and CASA Manager, has worked in the Greater Cincinnati community since 1999, tirelessly working on committees, doing presentations and conducting training to make a difference. She is on the steering committees of the Hamilton County Family Violence Prevention Project, where she serves as chair of the Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Committee, and the Hamilton County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
She researched, developed and continues to direct the Steps to Peace Program for ProKids which trains CASA volunteers on recognizing the signs of witnessing domestic violence in children and addressing the issues that arise.
King said she first became interested in how violence affected children when she noticed that foster children diagnosed with ADHD were often not being helped by medication. “I wondered if there was another reason,” King said. “And I found that in almost 100 percent of those cases, there was some kind of family violence. It was PTSD, the response to trauma, that was causing the symptoms that looked like ADHD.”
King’s efforts led to research led to Steps to Peace, which is presented throughout the country, as well as integrated into the training of ProKids CASA volunteers who are serving more than 900 of Hamilton County’s foster care children this year.
In 2001, she helped develop the Family Violence Prevention Project, with the Cincinnati YWCA as lead. Immediately, the team members found service gaps which led to a team devoted to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence, bringing children out of the shadows and get them the help and support they needed.
Read Kathy’s speech about the award here.