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Megan Leader

Megan Leader, MS

Training Manager

Megan has a decade of experience helping child victims of abuse.

From her first-hand experience as a forensic interviewer with the UPMC Child Advocacy Center of Central PA, Megan knows the day-to-day work that CACs do to provide a child-friendly, trauma-informed, and evidence-based response to abuse. In addition to conducting interviews as part of the investigation process, Megan provided training to new CAC staff and multidisciplinary team members, and participated in community prevention programming. In her role at PennCAC she helps ensure that CAC teams are supported with relevant training and professional development that will strengthen the local response in communities across Pennsylvania. 

Megan brings subject matter expertise in trauma and victimization, a strong understanding of the NCA Standards for Accreditation for Children’s Advocacy Centers, and familiarity with court and criminal justice processes as they pertain to child abuse cases.

Megan has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University.

A Conversation with Megan

What led you to this work? 

I didn’t know much about CACs before working for one, but in high school I volunteered at a state hospital and realized I loved helping people who needed extra support. I decided to pursue psychology in college because I wanted to learn more about why people do the things they do and what makes some people more resilient than others. During my time at the CAC, that interest was always there: how to help those people (like child victims of abuse) who need extra support to become really resilient.

What about this job puts a smile on your face? 

I’m excited about working with CACs on a larger scale here at PennCAC. I love to look at things on a macro-level, to think about how we can improve services statewide and be a resource to CACs no matter where they’re located in Pennsylvania.

What inspires you to keep doing what you do?  

Small differences matter, even if you can’t control all the outcomes. Knowing at the end of the day that you helped make a difference to someone—that’s what matters to me.

You have kids, right? What’s your best parenting advice?

I have a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old, as well as a stepdaughter who’s in college. I think it’s important to just let your kids talk while you listen. And I mean listen to understand, not just listening to respond. Also, let them feel their feelings. Something I might think is small or silly might be a big deal to them.

Anything unique about you that people might not expect?

I love animals, especially helping animals in trouble. I keep an animal rescue kit in my car: slip-collar leash, canned sausages, Kevlar gloves, a shovel (for moving turtles off the road—just make sure wherever you put them down they’re facing in the same direction they were heading or they’ll just get back onto the road).

What’s on your bucket list?

Someday I want to travel to Costa Rica to visit an animal sanctuary and hold a sloth!

Meet our team.

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