Staff Member

Heather R. Denenea

Regional Trafficking Care Coordinator

When cases of child abuse arise, Heather provides the child and their non-offending caregivers with education on the process, referrals to services, and follow-up and support throughout their journey. Heather also conducts forensic interviews with children, using NCAC, RADAR, and Child First forensic interviewing protocols. Heather helps to implement abuse prevention education programs in the community, including specialized materials related to human trafficking of children and youth. Heather also works as Covington II Regional Trafficking Care Coordinator, as part of the Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative. As Regional Care Coordinator, Heather facilitates emergency and ongoing case management and support for high risk, suspected, and confirmed victims of child trafficking in St. Tammany and Washington parishes.

When asked how she became so passionate about Hope House and working with child abuse victims, Heather responded:

“I got connected to Hope House, and this field in general, by looking for ways to help victims of human trafficking. As I learned about CAC’s and the work they do, saw how incredibly important it is, and I just wanted to be a part of it. I learned that child abuse can often be a precursor to child and youth trafficking, as well as a host of other long-term issues in adulthood. My desire to help trafficking victims led me to a place where victims of child abuse and their families are given support and care that are so crucial. I love being there for families and helping them navigate the investigation process – setting them on a path to recovery, and a full and healthy life."

Heather received her BS in Biology with a concentration in microbiology from Nicholls State University. She was trained in NCAC Forensic Interviewing protocol, and completed her NCAC Victim Advocate training in 2019. Heather completed an additional 80 hours of forensic interview training through RADAR and Zero Abuse Project's Child First forensic interview protocols. She is also an authorized facilitator of the child abuse prevention program Stewards of Children. Heather facilitates human trafficking specific trainings for professionals and members of the community. Prior to her time at Hope House, she was a Member/President of Colonels Against Trafficking at Nicholls State University.

Heather spends her time outside of Hope House enjoying the many coffee shops on the Northshore. She also loves spending time with her family, and her two rescued cats.

Heather R. Denenea