JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that Denise Payton, who has extensive experience working with local social service programs, has accepted a position as a case manager for the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.
The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, which State’s Attorney Glasgow established in 1995, is a not-for-profit agency with a staff that is trained to interview children who are the victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. The children’s statements, which are recorded in a non-suggestive, non-threatening environment, have been used in the successful prosecution of literally hundreds of sexual predators in Will and Grundy counties over the past decade.
As a case manager, Payton will coordinate and connect young victims and their family members with appropriate counseling, medical services and community resources. She also will serve as a court advocate, providing support and education to clients during the investigation and prosecution of child sex abuse cases.
As part of her duties, Payton also will receive specialized training that will enable her to serve as back-up forensic interviewer of children in abuse cases. She will report to Sue Bloch, the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center’s executive director.
Payton served as the executive director of CASA of Will County, Inc. The organization’s volunteers serve as advocates in the courtroom for children who are the victims of abuse and neglect. Payton also served as a case worker for the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center in both the Special Home Placement Program and the Early Intervention Program.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Denise Payton’s caliber putting her experience and energy to work at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center,” Glasgow said. “She was a dedicated advocate for children at CASA, and she will be an asset to the Children’s Advocacy Center.”
Payton is a past board member of the Joliet Alliance for Youth, the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Council for Working Women. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Agencies United and the Southwest Suburban Philanthropic Network. She also is a member of the Joliet Rotary and serves on the Take Back the Night steering committee.
She is a Joliet native who lived and worked in many different parts of the United States before returning to Joliet to raise her family. She graduated from St. Francis Academy and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University. Payton and her husband have six children between them. In her free time, she enjoys family and outdoor activities, music, reading and travel.