Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Introduction

Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

Overview

Professionals throughout the criminal justice system are exposed to the aftermath of violent crime and its victims. These individuals may include forensic nurses, crime scene investigators, forensic practitioners, medicolegal death investigators, and other professionals in related fields. Research has shown that individuals exposed to disturbing situations may present symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and many rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse and other forms of self-medication. This phenomenon is known as vicarious trauma because the person affected was exposed to the trauma through the course of their work and did not experience it themselves. Additionally, the police culture in which many forensic professionals operate tends to stress self-reliance, and many have reported a reluctance to seek assistance. Previous research efforts have examined resources and coping mechanisms for first responders, such as EMTs and police officers, but few have been focused on forensic professionals. This webinar series explores common strategies and resources derived from existing research and offers guidance to forensic practitioners and the broader criminal justice community on how they can be leveraged. Furthermore, recommended methods to maintain work force resiliency will be discussed.

Opportunities

If you are performing research or have a unique perspective to share on the topic of vicarious trauma and would like to use the FTCoE platform to showcase your work to the community, please contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org. Research can be funded by the NIJ, other forensic funding agencies, or internally funded by your own institution. Our goal is to disseminate resources and best practices that have the potential to impact the criminal justice community as a whole!

Things to Know

The Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series is brought to you by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

A certificate of completion is available for all who register and attend these webinars.

Not able to attend these LIVE webinars? No worries, we archive every webinar we host! The archival webinars are typically available for viewing 7-10 business days after the date of the LIVE webinar.

Please contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org for any questions.

Please subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.


Webinars

Wellness and Operations
Live webinar originally occurred on March 29th, 2021
Presenters: Amy Jeanguenat, Dr. Andrew Levin, & Jamilla Dick-Quashie
Click here to learn more.

Tackling Employee Wellness: The Phoenix Police Department's Crime Lab Approach
Live webinar originally occurred on June 18th, 2020
Presenter: Jody Wolf
Click here to learn more.

Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Resiliency for Forensic Science Professionals
Live webinar originally occurred on June 11th, 2020
Presenters: Andrew Levin, Jonathan McGrath, Heidi Putney, & Danielle Crimmins
Click here to learn more.

Handling Difficult and Disturbing Forensic Cases for Coroners and Medical Examiners
Live webinar originally occurred on October 17th, 2019
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Brondolo
Click here to learn more.

Digital and Multimedia Forensics: The Impact of Disturbing Media
Live webinar originally occurred on August 28th, 2019
Presenter: Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar
Click here to learn more.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit – an Evidence-informed Resource for Organizations 
Live webinar originally occurred on September 13th, 2018
Presenters: Dr. Beth E. Molnar & Karen Irene Kalergis, MA
**ABMDI credits available upon completion of webinar.**
Click here to learn more.

Psychological Survival in a Violent Career
Live webinar originally occurred in 2018
Presenter: Dr. David Christiansen
Click here to learn more.

Psychological Survival in a Violent Career: Follow-up
Live webinar originally occurred on May 30th, 2019
Presenter: Dr. David Christiansen
Click here to learn more.


Related Just Science Podcast Episodes

Just Psychological Resiliency
Just Science interviews Dr. David Christiansen, a licensed psychologist in the State of Colorado, about psychological survival in a violent career.
Listen to the podcast here.

Just Being Vocal About Vicarious Trauma
Just Science interviews Kelly Keyes, with guest host Dr. Jeri Ropero-Miller, to give an overview about the coroners and medical examiners professions and to identify key topics for discussion in the fields today.
Listen to the podcast here.

Just Building Workforce Resiliency  
Just Science interviews Amy Jeanguenat and Andrew Levin, two experts in the field of workforce resiliency, about the impact of vicarious trauma on forensic scientists, analysts, and first responders.
Listen to the podcast here.


Additional Resources

National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum: Forensic Workforce Safety and Resiliency
One of the panels at the NIJ Policy and Practice Forum that aimed to address vicarious trauma among the discussion of the consequences of the opioid national epidemic, including the impact it has had on public safety, public health, and the criminal justice response.
Watch the panel here.

Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
The Office for Victims of Crime's Vicarious Trauma Toolkit includes tools and resources tailored specifically to those working in fields exposed to vicarious trauma that provide the knowledge and skills necessary for organizations to address the vicarious trauma needs of their staff.
Learn more here.

ASCLD Report: Trauma and Stress in the Field of Forensic Science
Read the report here.

ASCLD Report: Management Detection and Mitigation of Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Burnout in Forensic Practitioners
Read the report here.


Related Content

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Just Trauma-Informed Victim-centered Interviewing

In episode three of our Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season, Just Science sat down with Natasha Alexenko, Jordan Satinsky, and Marya Simmons to discuss trauma informed, victim-centered interviewing for sexual assault cases.    A sexual assault victim’s experiences with law enforcement and advocates…

Trauma and Coping Mechanisms Exhibited by Forensic Science Practitioners: A Literature Review

Report Date Forensic Science International: Synergy, Volume 2, 2020, Pages 310-316 Abstract Vicarious trauma (VT) has been studied in mental health experts for over 30 years due to their engagement with victims of trauma and exposure to details of events,…