Child Study and Treatment Center fellow earns national award

Dr. Kathryn Cunningham

A fellow at the Child Study and Treatment Center is receiving national recognition for her paper on assessing forensic clients.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences recently awarded Dr. Kathryn Cunningham the Richard Rosner Award for Best Paper.

“Dr. Kate Cunningham is an outstanding clinician and promising researcher in public policy and pediatric forensic mental health,” said Dr. Jack McClellan, medical director at CSTC.

Her paper will help guide practitioners as they assess youth who have been charged with committing sexual offenses by addressing important information regarding their clinical and legal characteristics.

Cunningham works at CSTC as a second-year postdoctoral fellow in forensic psychology, focusing on completing juvenile competence evaluations for Washington state courts. She also works directly with CSTC patients, providing individual therapy using trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

“I believe it is important to work from a trauma-informed lens and cultivate positive identity development with all of my patients. After completion of my postdoctoral fellowship, I hope to continue working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system in a direct, clinical capacity as well as work towards systemic change through research and policy work,” she said.

Cunningham plans to continue her work with youth in the juvenile justice system at Echo Glen Children’s Center, in addition to helping design and implement evidence-based models of care to promote equity and therapeutic outcomes for children and adolescents in community mental health programs as a faculty member in the CoLab for Community and Behavioral Health Policy with the University of Washington.