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.


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 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.

Attend our Live Webinars

Stay tuned for more live webinars coming soon! 

Watch our Archived Webinars

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit – an Evidence-informed Resource for Organizations
Speakers: Dr. Beth E. Molnar & Karen Irene Kalergis, MA
Click here to learn more about this webinar and register.  

Additional Resources

Upcoming Webinar from RTI International
Join RTI International on October 10th from 2:00-3:00 PM (ET) for their webinar on “Health, Stress, and Wellness in Policing: Current Issues and Emergent Solutions.” In this webinar, presenters will share how RTI International experts in policing research, emerging technologies and health informatics, and occupational health and safety are addressing this major public health issue. View event details and register here.

Upcoming Webinar from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program
Join the COAP team on October 11th from 1:00-2:00 PM (ET) for a webinar on “First Responder Burnout Prevention.” This session will examine the causes of first responder burnout with consideration given to stresses arising from response to the opioid epidemic. Register here.

Upcoming Webinars from the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center
Join the OVC TTAC for on October 12th from 1:30-3:00 PM (ET) for their webinar on “Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism: The First 24-48 Hours.” The webinar will discuss steps to execute a response plan to help communities respond in a timely, effective, and compassionate manner. The OVC TTAC will be holding a second webinar on October 19th from 1:30-3:00 PM (ET) on “Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism: 48 Hours and Beyond.” This webinar will discuss the transition from short-term to long-term assistance, how to execute productive outreach plans, understanding immediate/acute, intermediate/transitional, and long-term needs of survivors, how to honor victims and survivors, and how to get involved in exercise planning. View event details and register here.