The head of an Indianapolis child advocacy center has been named Youth Worker of the Year by the Indiana Youth Institute.
Emily Perry is the executive director of Susie’s Place, which conducts forensic interviews into alleged cases of child abuse and neglect.
Perry says she’s excited the award draws recognition to their mission. She says it also celebrates the work done by all youth workers.
“For me to receive an award that recognizes the work that I’ve done, knowing the great work being done by so many other youth workers in Indiana, it really does make that award so much sweeter,” Perry says.
Susie’s Place opened its first center in Avon in 2009 before expanding to Bloomington and Terre Haute.
“Not much surprises us anymore, unfortunately," Perry says. "But it still makes us really sad. We see kids that suffer a lot from the abuse that they’ve experienced and it’s unfortunate that the numbers continue to rise for us year after year.”
Perry says Susie’s Place marks the "end of the bad" for children and "the beginning of the good," which makes her mission so rewarding.
“I’m here to serve and that’s what I want to do," she says. "I have kids of my own and it’s really important to me that I’m involved in making the community as safe for them as I can.”
Perry will receive her Susan D. Wisely Award Nov. 29 in Indianapolis.