This award recognizes a community-based victim advocate for outstanding work in improving the lives of crime victims.
Emily Selby is the Director of Stepping Stones Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Manhattan. Emily received a bachelor's degree in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University in 2011. She began her career in child welfare as a foster care worker in 2014. Emily, recognizing the need for resources, became a foster parent in 2016. She began working as a Family and Victim Advocate for Stepping Stones in 2017. In 2018, she took a position with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) project. Emily began as the Director and only forensic interviewer at Stepping Stones in January 2020. In August of 2020, Emily finalized the adoption of her two daughters, Dana and Kentania. Emily served as a board member of the Kansas Organization for Victim Assistance (KOVA) from 2019-2022, serving as President from 2020-2021.
Since she began as Director, Emily has increased the CAC’s capacity for service with two additional Forensic Interviewers/Family Advocate positions; and strengthened and expanded the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to include Department for Children and Families (DCF), the county attorney, law enforcement, mental health providers, and additional system partners. Emily reflects that “healing and justice for families happens best when all members of the team – CAC, law enforcement, DCF, mental health, medical, prosecution, and other involved agencies – are collaborating and working together, having courageous conversations, and supporting one another.”
Additional accomplishments include successfully attaining reaccreditation with the National Children’s Alliance in 2022; developing a partnership with the Ft. Riley Army Garrison in order to seamlessly serve Ft. Riley child victims and their families through Stepping Stones CAC; and most recently laying the groundwork to establish a multi-disciplinary team in neighboring Geary County through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with key stakeholders.
In her work at Stepping Stones, Emily has conducted over 280 forensic interviews and testified in jury trials in multiple counties. While this work is difficult, Emily’s greatest honor is “providing children the space to tell what happened to them and playing a small role in their path to healing and justice.”
Carson Kober, Executive Director of Sunflower Children’s Collective, who nominated Emily, reflects that Emily has “created a far more trauma-informed agency and continues to research ways to provide more in the way of advocacy for the children interviewed at the CAC and their families. Ms. Selby is an amazing advocate for the child victims and the families served by Stepping Stones CAC.”