October 16, 2012

Michelle Peterson C.V.

Curriculum Vitae

Michelle M. Peterson
PO Box 343, Hygiene, CO  80533-0343
Telephone: 303.550.0441
Email: michellepeterson00 (at) gmail.com


Northern Arizona University Masters of Education in Human Relations Flagstaff, Arizona (1997) Arizona State University Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology Tempe, Arizona (1990)

Professional Experience

Michelle Peterson Consulting:  Forensic Interviewing and Training Services

President/Owner, 2007 – Present Provides specialized training in forensic interviewing, minimal facts, credibility assessment of forensic interviews and child abuse investigations for law enforcement, social services and other investigative professionals and is an expert in creating policy and procedures for institutions around the safety of their members. Conducts forensic interviews for investigative professional and child advocacy centers, across the state of Colorado. Provides expert testimony in the areas of child abuse, child abuse investigations and child forensic interviewing. Provides expertise to organizations, agencies and non-profits around policy and procedures that reflect a child safe environment. Local and national expert in child abuse and prevention.

Forensic Interviewer-North Metro Child Advocacy Center
Northglenn, CO
2011, 2012, 2013

Forensic Interviewer-High Plains Sexual Assault Center
Sterling, CO
2010, 2011

Blue Sky Bridge

Boulder County Child and Family Advocacy Center, 2000 – 2010 Director of Forensic Service, 2004 – 2010 Managed and supervised the forensic interviewing department which included the training department and staff.  Conducted videotape interviews of children who are alleging abuse, neglect, or who may have been a witness to a violent crime. Worked closely with law enforcement investigators, social services, district attorneys, and other professionals involved in child abuse investigations. Provided case consultation, trial preparation, and support to district attorneys who question children on the stand. Testified on a regular basis in criminal cases.  Conducted and participated in local and statewide peer reviews. Interviewed over 2800 children, and acquired over 1000 hours of training. Regularly attended Boulder County Sex Assault Review Team meetings to provide expertise regarding child forensic interviews. Recognized across the state as a leading child forensic interviewer and an expert in the field of child abuse. Trainer, 2001 – 2010 Responsibilities included developing and creating training protocols for agency partners in the areas of Forensic Interviewing, Minimal Facts, How to Use Blue Sky Bridge, Assessing and Assuring Credibility in Forensic Interviews, Interviewing Developmentally Disabled Children, and Child Abuse Investigations.  Provided ongoing training across the state to law enforcement personnel, social services, district attorneys and others involved in child abuse investigations.  Trained over 3000 agency partners.  Continuously achieved “excellent” ratings from agency partners training evaluations. Forensic Interviewer, 2000 – 2010 Initiated and coordinated the first ever forensic interview program in Boulder County. Conducted over 150 forensic interviews per year for law enforcement, social services, district attorneys and judges. Created and implemented the first Peer Review process in Boulder County. Conducted and participated in local and statewide Peer Review interviews and provided critiqued and feedback.  Participated on case consultation and trial preparation, and assisted with difficult and challenging cases.

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Child Protective Services, 1990 – 1998 Program and Project Specialist, 1997 – 1998 Reviewed all reports from mandated reporters to assure accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. Improved overall performance of the Child Abuse Hotline, ensuring reports of child abuse and neglect were investigated promptly and efficiently. Directors Office, Assistant, 1994 – 1997 Assisted Director and Deputy Director with oversight of the Division of Children and Family Services, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Aging and Adult Services Administration. Assisted on high profile child abuse death cases by reviewing the investigation(s), and providing findings to the Governor’s Office, and Director of the Department. Responsible for responding to media questions regarding investigations. Prepared legislative testimony for child abuse related laws for the Governor’s office. Responsible for reviewing all high profile cases released to the media and/or courts, involving the death of a child due to abuse. Created and implemented improvement plans that promote best practices. Stayed abreast on current policy and procedures at national and state level and always strived to improve service delivery and outcomes. Child Protective Services Specialist II, III and Supervisor, 1990 – 1994 Lead investigator for unit handling cases of severe physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and the death of a child. Responsible for interviewing all children, and victims or witnesses, conducted joint investigations with law enforcement.  Provided ongoing case management services for victims, and families. Implemented case plans, assessed risk for future abuse, and monitored families towards reunification. Provided crisis counseling when needed.  Testified on a regular basis. Performed approximately 800 interviews of children.

Phoenix Childrens Hospital

Child Psychiatric Program, Case Manager, 1989 – 1990 Daily interaction and assessment of children hospitalized for behavioral and psychological problems.  Preparation of daily medical charts, patient evaluations, treatment reviews, and behavioral records by using problem-solving skills, knowledge of the principles of behavior modification,  extensive knowledge in child development, childhood psychiatry and medical disorders.

Westbridge Adolescence Psychiatric Hospital

Case Manager, 1988 – 1989 Assisted adolescents with daily activities, providing supervision and support. Required knowledge of adolescent behavioral disorders and appropriate treatment. Conducted group activities to build self-esteem, set goals, and manage behavior.

Trainings Conducted

  • Boulder Police Department
    • Credibility Assessment and Forensic Interviewing 2001 to present
    • Annually Peer Review 2001 to 2010
    • Credibility Assessment of Child Forensic Interviews 2011
    • Minimal Facts Training annually 2003 to 2010
  • Longmont Police Department
    • Minimal Facts Training, 2001 – annually
    • Blue Sky Bridge Training, 2001 – annually
    • Minimal Facts and Credibility 2006
    • Forensic Interviewing Training, 2002
    • How to use Blue Sky Bridge, 2000
  • Boulder County Sheriffs Minimal Facts Training, 2008 to 2009
  • Avista Hospital Emergency Room Staff 2009
  • St. Vrain Valley School District Middle School Counselors, 2007
  • Minimal Facts and Credibility, Akron Colorado, 2008
  • Assessing and Insuring Credibility in Forensic Interviewing, 2006
  • Forensic Interviewing Beginning Class, Eastern Counties, 2006
  • Forensic Interviewing Training, University of Colorado Police Department, 2003
  • Forensic Interviewing Skills: Finding Big Facts with the Small Victim, Fort Collins Police
  • Department and Department of Social Services, 2003
  • Developmentally Disabled Victims of Crime, Department of Social Services,  2003
  • Broomfield Police Department: Child Sex Assault Investigations, 2002
  • Broomfield Police Department: Forensic Interviewing Training, 2002
  • Forensic Interviewing Training, Department of Social Services, Boulder County, 2001

Trainings Attended

The following constitutes over 1,500 hours of child abuse training.

USA Hockey Annual Congress
Colorado Spring, CO June 4-8, 2014

  • The training included:
    • Investigating SafeSport Complaints
    • SafeSport Update

Team USA SafeSport Summit
Denver, CO April 21-24, 2014

  • The training included:
    • Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: Why We Just Can’t Leave it to the Professionals
    • Identifying Risk and Putting Prevention in the Hands of Local Sports Clubs: Using the Situational Prevention Approach
    • Managing a Crisis
    • Prevention and Response to allegations and complaints

24th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
San Diego, California, January 25-29, 2010

  • The training included:
    • Protocols for 1st Responders to Missing Children
    • Shaken Baby
    • Developmentally Appropriate Interviewing: NICHD Protocol
    • Training Interviewers to Use NICHD Protocol and Peer Review
    • Peer review
    • Reluctance, Real and Apparent, and What to Do in the Interview
    • Lessons from Research
    • Presenting and Cross-Examining Expert Testimony to Critique the Forensic Interview
    • Defending the Interview in Court
    • Special Issues and Considerations in Interviewing Young Children

Equal Justice for Children
Denver, Colorado, May 4 – 8th, 2009

  • The training included:
    • Child abuse investigations and emerging issues
    • Preparing kids for court
    • Medical experts in sexual assault cases
    • Seeking collaboration in sex assault cases
    • Dynamics of child victimization
    • Linguistics and interviewing children and adolescents
    • Juvenile sex offenders
    • Children Lie, Don’t They? Developmental Influences on Lying and Deception in Children
    • Ethics professionalism in child abuse cases
    • Tips for testifying
    • What research tells us about non-offending caregivers and child abuse
    • Drug endangered child investigations
    • Computer facilitated crimes against children
    • Effective research supported use of anatomical drawings and dolls
    • Interviewing culturally diverse children and families
    • Effectively working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth
    • Investigating and prosecuting cases with individuals with intellectual disabilities
    • The science of DNA
    • Medical evidence of child maltreatment
    • Defending the investigative interview
    • The link between child abuse domestic violence and abuse of animals

National Children’s Alliance, National Children’s Advocacy Center and National District Attorneys Association Child Abuse Summit: Working Together to Improve Child Abuse Prosecutions
Columbia, South Carolina, September 15 – 18, 2008

  • The training included:
    • Recent Research Affecting Child Abuse Investigations and Prosecution
    • The Effects of Competency Assessment and Oath-taking on the Forensic Interview
    • Multi-Victim Case Planning and Implementation
    • Crawford, Hammon and Davis; Where are we now?
    • The Search for Corroborating Evidence in Child Abuse Cases
    • Preparing the Prosecution Expert Witness for Court
    • Trauma Considerations in Child Victim Cases
    • Partnering with Federal Investigations Agencies
    • Evaluating and Improving the Quality of Forensic Interviews in Your Community

Cornerhouse: Child Sexual Abuse Forensic Interviewing Training
Thornton, Colorado, October 2 – 5, 2006

  • Classes attended:
    • The Cornerhouse Forensic Interview Process
    • Guidelines for Age Appropriate Interview Questions
    • Blocks and Problems in Interviews
    • Suggestibility; Legal Issues, Medical Issues, Use of Anatomical Dolls

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 14th Annual Colloquium Child
Maltreatment Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, June 21 – 24, 2006

  • Classes attended:
    • Establishing A National Interview Diplomat Program
    • Now What? When the Unexpected Happens in a Forensic Interview
    • Demonstrating Communications in Forensic Interviewing
    • Defense Proofing Your Child Interview
    • Interviewing Skills: Assessment & Development
    • Specialized Interviews: Beyond Sexual Abuse
    • Beyond Leading Questions: Taking into Account the Complexities of Interviewing Children Part I and II

San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
San Diego, California, January 23 – 27, 2006

  • Attended the following classes:
    • Peer Review of Forensic Interviews
    • Interviewing Reticent Children
    • Defense Proofing the Forensic Interview
    • There Is No Side Of Caution: What to do when coaching is a concern
    • Developmental Considerations in Interviewing Preschoolers
    • Anatomical Dolls: An effect tool in forensic child sexual abuse interviews, Part 1 and 2
    • Unlocking The Secrets to Being A Witness in Court: A forensic interviewers guide for success
    • Cultural Considerations in Forensic Interviewing
    • Getting More Accurate Information in Your Forensic Interview: What Research and Experience Has Taught us, Part I and II

Advanced Forensic Interviewing Training
Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 6 – 10, 2003

  • Attended the following classes:
    • Forensic Interviewing Issues and Models
    • Child Interview Methods and Techniques: Documentation, Stages, and Structure
    • Child Interview Methods and Techniques: Use of Media in Investigative Interviews
    • Lessons from the Research
    • Child Development Concepts
    • Linguistic Issues
    • Child Interview Methods and Technique: Questions Types and Question Design
    • Eliciting Details and Other Law Enforcement Concerns
    • Interview Practicum
    • Interviews and Critique Session
    • Interviewing Ethnically and Culturally Diverse Children
    • Interviewing Reluctant Children
    • Interviewing Children with Disabilities
    • Interviewing Teenagers
    • Legal Considerations and Effective Testimony and Mock Court

Advanced Investigative Interviewing Training at the National Child Advocacy Center
Huntsville, Alabama, December 11- 14, 2001

  • Attended the following classes:
    • Child Hearsay
    • Expert Witnesses
    • Peer Review
    • Forensic Interviewing
    • Reviewing Tapes
    • Children with Developmental Disabilities
    • Children Who Witness Violence, Credibility
    • Expert Witness
    • Child Development and Assessment
    • NCA Forensic Interview Model
    • Traumatized Children
    • Repression and Dissociation
    • Trauma and Memory
    • Extended Forensic Evaluations
    • Developmentally Disabled Victims of Crime
    • Interviewing Preschool Age Children
    • American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children

Advanced Investigative Interviewing Training at the National Child Advocacy Center
Huntsville, Alabama, June 12 – 16, 2000

  • Attended the following classes:
    • Dynamics of Sexual and Physical Abuse
    • Guidelines for Evaluations of Suspected Sexual Abuse in Children
    • Trial Procedures
    • Investigative Procedures
    • Children Testifying
    • Children’s Competence
    • Developmental Levels of Children and Assessment
    • Working with Adolescence
    • Forensic Interviewing
    • Peer Review

Additional Trainings Attended

2011 – 12

  • Myths, Realities, and the Unknown-Internet Contributions to Child Abuse and Youth Deviance
  • Interviewing the Young Child
  • Strategies for Justice

2009 – 10

  • Interviewing Children Who Witnessed a Homicide
  • Internet Crimes Against Children
  • Anna Salter, Sex Offenders
  • Sexting
  • Equal Justice for Children National District Attorneys Assoc.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Team Training
  • Team Facilitator Training
  • Two-Day Child Interviewing Training

2007 – 08

  • Investigating Computer Facilitated Crimes Against Children
  • Understanding Youth, the Internet and Predators

2005 – 06

  • Putting the Puzzle Together: How a Child Abuse Case Moves Through the System
  • Looking at the Impact of Separation and Loss on Young Children
  • Betrayal Trauma: Forgetting, Unawareness and Treatment Implications
  • Care of Trafficking Children:  Modern Day Slavery

2003 – 04

  • Young Children Who Offend: Dynamics and Treatment
  • Sexual Abusers: Through Distortions and Denial
  • Practical Ways to Assess a Child’s Statement for Validity
  • Methamphetamine and its Effects on Children
  • Prosecuting Child Abuse Cases
  • Victimization in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Community: How We Can Help
  • Strategies for Interviewing Avoidant and Reluctant Children
  • Corroboration and Credibility Assessment of Reported Child Sexual Abuse
  • Assessing the Credibility of Alleged Child Victims of Sexual Abuse
  • It Happens to Boys Too: Male victims of Sexual Abuse
  • Challenging Victims-Challenging Cases
  • Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Behavior of Children
  • Marilyn VanDerbur: A Story of Hope
  • How To of Voice Stress Analyzers

2001 – 02

  • National Association of Counsel for Children, Expert Witness Training
  • Challenging Victims: Challenging Cases, APRI
  • Investigative Interviewing and the Court Room
  • How to of Pretext Phone Calls
  • Pretext Phone Calls and Evidence Collection
  • How Can I Help? A Non-Therapist Guide to Working with Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Incest Cases: Investigation through Prosecution
  • Sexual Offender Training
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy Training
  • Corroboration & Credibility Assessment of Reported Child Sexual Abuse
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Investigating Child Sexual Abuse
  • Current Issues Facing Professionals Conducting Forensic/Investigative Interviews of Children
  • Assessment and Treatment of People with Developmental Disabilities: Sex Offenders and Victims
  • Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse: A Medical Model
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy: “What it is and How Do I Recognize It?”
  • Trauma Treatment

1999 – 2000

  • Victim Advocate Training
  • Traumatic Memory
  • Child Perpetrators: When and Why They Assault Other Children
  • Victim Rights Act Compliance Training
  • Investigative Interviewing
  • Interviewing the Reluctant Child
  • Current Research in Investigative Interviewing
  • Developmental issues with Child Victims
  • Sexually Abusive Youth: Current Approaches and Treatments

Prior to 1999

  • Seventh Statewide Child Abuse Prevention Conference Tucson, Arizona
  • Unconventional Strategies for helping Disturbed Foster and Adoptive Children Phoenix, Arizona
  • Working with Conduct Disorder Children and Adolescents
  • Child Maltreatment: Meeting the Professional Challenge
  • Statewide Child Abuse Prevention Conference, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Child Protective Services, Specialized Training

Community Involvement

  • Peer Review Local and Statewide 2003 to 2010
  • Member of Sex Assault Review Team, Boulder County, 2000 to 2010
  • Policy and Procedure Development for Child Abuse Investigations, Boulder County 2008
  • Governor Appointee to the Juvenile Court Improvement Project Study Committee, Phoenix, Arizona, 1997
  • Member of the Child Fatality Review Process Team, Phoenix, Arizona, 1996

Professional Affiliations and Certifications

  • POST (Peace Officers Standards &Training) Certified 2010
  • Member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
  • Participant the Child Fatality Review Board (Arizona)
  • Member of CART: Child Abduction Response Team for Colorado.
  • Trainer for Colorado Law Enforcement Officers Association

Court Experience

  • Over 3,400 courtroom-ready recorded forensic interviews of children who have experienced abuse and or witnessed a crime
  • Qualified as an expert in the 8th, 20th, 13th, 17th, 19th and 5th Judicial District in the following:
    • Delayed Disclosure
    • Forensic Interviewing
    • Dynamics Around Child Sexual Abuse Training and Child Abuse Investigations
    • Forensic Interviewing Training
    • Child Sexual Abuse Dynamics

Awards and Recognitions

  • Victim Advocacy Award, Boulder County, CO, April 2004 and April 2007