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


Printable Version of Michelle M. Peterson C.V.


Northern Arizona University
Master of Education in Human Relations
Flagstaff, Arizona (1997)

Arizona State University
Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology
Tempe, Arizona (1990)

Professional Experience

Michelle M. Peterson Consulting
President / Owner, 2007 – Present

Forensic Interviewing Expert

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. 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. Has conducted over 4,000 child forensic interviews and peer reviewed and/or evaluated hundreds.

Expert in Prevention of Child Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations

Is a local and national expert on child abuse prevention in youth serving organizations. Provides testimony on policy and procedures to prevent abuse within youth serving organizations. Creates child abuse prevention policy and procedures. Provides expertise to organizations, agencies and non-profits around policy and procedures that reflect a child safe environment.

Expert in Child Abuse Investigations

Will review and provide opinion as to proper investigations conducted by social workers and law enforcement officers around child abuse investigations.

Professional Trainer and Speaker

Regularly is hired to present and speak on child abuse prevention within youth serving organizations. Speaks to organization leadership, parents, and athletes. Provides training and education to organizational members on new policies and procedures, abuse prevention and best practice.

2014-Present, Affiliate SafeSport Coordinator for Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA)

Provide the State Governing Body for youth hockey guidance and expertise around abuse and misconduct within the sport. Write policy and procedures for all hockey clubs. Provide training and education on abuse prevention in hockey and assist with the investigation of abuse and misconduct reports.

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. Worked closely with Prevention Specialist, providing guidance to youth organizations. 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 3,000 children, and acquired over 1500 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 Children’s 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

  • SafeSport Training, U.S. Center for SafeSport
    • Abuse and Misconduct Training to Olympic Sports, , 2017
  • Colorado Law Enforcement Officers Association
    • Forensic Interviewing Children, 2013
  • Boulder Police Department
    • Credibility Assessment and Forensic Interviewing, 2001 to 2013
    • Annually Peer Review, 2001 to 2010
    • Minimal Facts Training annually, 2003 to 2010
  • Longmont Police Department
    • Minimal Facts Training, 2001 – 2010
    • Blue Sky Bridge Training, 2001 – 2010
    • 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
  • 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
    • Forensic Interviewing Training, 2002
  • Forensic Interviewing Training, Department of Social Services, Boulder County, 2001
  • Fort Morgan Police Department Child Forensic Interviewing, 2012
  • Colorado Amateur Hockey Association Child Abuse Prevention Policy and Procedures Training to Coaches, Parents, and Athletes, 2012 to Present

Trainings Attended

The 23rd Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment

San Diego, California
January 28th – February 2nd, 2018

  • Presentations attended:
  • The power of 11 To Face Trauma
  • Child Interviewing 2018: update on research and practice
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Forensic Interviews
  • High Reliability to Prevent Abuse in the Catholic Church
  • Forensic Interview Forum: Sex Trafficking and Internet Crimes
  • Investigative Issues in Missing Persons
  • Forensic Interview Forum
  • How to Talk with Adolescents about Sex and Sexual Abuse
  • On the Witness Stand: Research and Testimony
  • Best Practices and Trends in the Scrutiny of Forensic Interviews

USA Swimming SAFESPORT Conference

Aurora Colorado,
January 22, -23, 2017

The training included:

  • Making a SafeSport Club Almost Inevitable
  • Changing the Game Project
  • Making it Safe to Talk about Safety
  • Teachable Safety Skills
  • Sexting: moving beyond scandal to opportunity
  • Why do Kids Disclose?

Make the Commitment; Stop Abuse in Sport, United States Olympic Committee

Denver, Colorado
April 21- 23, 2014

  • Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: Why We Can’t Leave it to the Professionals
  • Identifying Risks and Putting Prevention in the Hands of Local Sports Clubs
  • Managing a Crisis
  • Prevention and Response to Abuse in Sport

Strategies for Justice- Advanced Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse and Exploitation

Denver, Colorado
September 26, – 30 2011

The training included:

  • Approaching Child Abuse Cases with Courage, Passion, and Integrity
  • Multidisciplinary Team Response to Abuse
  • Responding to Reports of Declining Child Abuse
  • Prosecuting Authority Figures
  • Sex Offender and Victims: Current Trends
  • Incest Perpetrators and Non-Offender Spouses
  • Serial Child Torture: Sadistic Child Abuse
  • Interviewing Victims of Online Exploitation
  • “How could a Mother” Filicide
  • Interviewing Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Interviewing and Linguistics of Child Interviews

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

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

Investigative Interviewing Training

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

  • 2014 to Present
    • Bi-Annual SafeSport USA Hockey Summit
  • 2013-14
    • SafeSport Online Training- Prevention of Child Abuse
    • Satanic Ritual Abuse, Wings Foundation
  • 2011 – 12
    • Myths, Realities, and the Unknown-Internet Contributions to Child Abuse and Youth Deviance, David Finkelhor
    • 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)
  • 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 locally and Nationally in the following areas:
    • Delayed Disclosure
    • Forensic Interviewing
    • Dynamics Around Child Sexual Abuse Training and Child Abuse Investigations
    • Forensic Interviewing Training
    • Child Sexual Abuse Dynamics
    • Child Abuse in Sport

Awards, Recognitions and Publications

  • Victim Advocacy Award, Boulder County, CO, April 2004 and April 2007
  • Colorado Law Enforcement Officer Magazine, Winter/Spring 2012/13
  • Child Sexual Abuse Investigations: 12 Best Practices for Law Enforcement
  • Author of SB13-012 Adding Private Club Coaches to Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting List. Signed into law March 2013
  • 2014 to Present Colorado Amateur Hockey Association, SafeSport Coordinator & Board Member