On April 25, 2019 Dr. Marianne Bowden was named the Wayne County Child Advocate of the Year. The award was presented by the Wayne County Voices of Children and the Wayne County Children’s Services Board.
Dr. Bowden has been involved with the lives of abused children and their families in Wayne and Holmes Counties for many years. She started providing services to abused children in 1983 when she accepted a position as a diversion counselor for the Ashtabula County Juvenile Court. Since that time she has been actively involved in the lives of Ohio’s most vulnerable children.
Dr. Bowden was appointed to serve on Governor Dick Celeste’s Interdepartmental Cluster (now known as the Family and Children First Council). The Cluster was formed to provide collaboration between agencies, service coordination, access funding, and facilitate family empowerment.
In 1993, when Governor George Voinovich formed a blue ribbon task force to train therapist to treat sexually abused children, Dr. Bowden was asked to be on the planning committee and was a member of that task force. She worked in conjunction with Akron Children’s Hospital to provide trainings over a two-year period, bringing nationally known experts to Ohio. In 2000, Governor Bob Taft invited Dr. Bowden to represent both public and private sector psychologists on his Blue Ribbon Task Force for Interagency Coordination of Mental Health Services.
Dr. Bowden has trained professionals nationally and internationally on developmental stages of trauma and how trauma affects children, particularly in the foster care system. She had trained psychologists, law enforcement, medical professionals, guardian ad litems, counselors, foster parents, caseworkers, attorneys, judges, and magistrates, always focusing on the best interest of the traumatized child.
Dr. Bowden has advocated for children and their best interests as an expert witness hundreds of times in every county in northeast Ohio and beyond. She has completed over 3,500 evaluations, many in Wayne and Holmes Counties. The vast majority of her evaluations involve abused or neglected children, children with special needs, or children in the middle of contested divorces. She has been deemed an expert in psychological evaluation, evaluation of children, child abuse, sexual abuse, offenders, treat of children, foster care placements, adoption issues and trauma.
In Wayne County specifically, she was one of the founding members of the Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center, where she served on the advisory board and board of directors. She was a member of the Wayne County Child Abuse Task Force for many years. She was a member of the Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes Counties’ child abuse treatment team.
In her capacity as psychologist, Dr. Bowden has been involved in most of the higher profile cases involving child abuse and neglect in Wayne County. At one time or another, she has heard the details of these children’s stories because of her role as evaluator, or therapist. She is often the common link between the agencies, counties, and families involved in serving these vulnerable children. She has spent countless hours listening to, advocating for and making recommendations with children’s best interest as her central focus. She has constantly been an advocate for Wayne County’s most vulnerable children and families.