About First Witness

We are a 501 c 3 non-profit located in the heart of Duluth, Minnesota. First Witness Child Advocacy Center is a safe, child-friendly place for victims of child sexual and physical abuse to tell their story. We provide child appropriate forensic interviews, crisis counseling to children and families and age appropriate education on personal body safety for children. We also provide forensic interview training to social workers, law enforcement officials, county attorneys and others who work with children or investigate child abuse allegations. At First Witness we believe every child deserves ongoing safety and opportunities to heal from abuse. First Witness is a nationally accredited child advocacy center working as part of a multidisciplinary team made up of public and private agencies involved with the investigation, prosecution, medical examination and advocacy services for children and their non-offending caregivers. Prior to First Witness, children were likely to be interviewed 3-4 times throughout the investigation. Those involved with the process saw the need for change. Our team protocol requires just one record, child-centered interview at the First Witness building in Duluth. Our goal is to make sure children are safe. Our Services Include: Evaluation and Assessment, Family Services, Prevention & Training.

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Address: 4 West 5th Street Duluth, MN 55806 Phone: 218-727-8353 Email: info@firstwitness.org


Beth Olson,
Executive Director
Ina Newton,
Family Advocacy
Program Coordinator
Michelle Kurtz,
Finance Manager
Lori Nae Young,
Training & Communications
Laura Gapske,
Forensic Program
Coordinator & Interviewer
Rachel Johnson,
Multidisciplinary &
Outreach Coordinator
Miranda Lillo,
Family Advocate


Jill AbernatheyFrances MacaulayScott Miller


Lindsay Sauer
MSW Graduate
Liz Brown,
Becky Loop,
Chris Theis 2015
Jason Tanski,
Chris Theis,
Vice President
Cathy Nevanen,
Craig Chilcote,

Board of Directors

Terry TrogdonTina LicariLiz JohnsonElizabeth Polling
Steve LafontaineRebekka StummeLindzi CampbellCindy Finch
Rob KarwathMerle Peterson