Erna Olafson, PhD, PsyDis, is the director of the Program on Child Abuse Forensic and Treatment Training within the Childhood Trust, the director of training for the Trauma Treatment Training Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the director of the Forensic Training Institute.
Dr. Olafson is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry and pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. As training director of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Trauma Treatment Training Center, Dr. Olafson trains mental health professionals in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, childhood traumatic grief, and psychological first aid and provides ongoing consultation to community providers in several states in order to ensure protocol fidelity.
The Child Forensic Interviewing Institute directed by Dr. Olafson has trained over 1000 police officers, CAC interviewers, and social work investigators, including those at Cincinnati Children's Hospital's Child Advocacy Center, Hamilton County JFS, elsewhere in Ohio, and in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Belize, Jordan, and Canada.
Dr. Olafson's research and presentations focus on childhood maltreatment and family violence. Dr. Olafson and co-author Dr. Barbara Boat received the Pro Humanitate Raskin Child Welfare Article Medal and Award from the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare in 2003 for "Long-Term Management of the Sexually Abused Child: Considerations and Challenges" in Treatment of Child Abuse. As part of a multi-disciplinary forensic team, Dr. Olafson has investigated and reviewed alleged sexual assault, child maltreatment, and family violence cases in over 20 states, federal jurisdictions and in Canada. Dr. Olafson's recent publications include such topics as children's memory and suggestibility, family violence, children's disclosure patterns in child sexual abuse cases, complex trauma in children and adolescents, as well as many others.
Dr. Olafson has served as co-chair of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Justice System Work Group since 2003. The NCTSN Justice group collaborated with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to produce a special issue of the Juvenile and Family Court Journal in 2006 to offer evidence-based information to judges and other justice system professionals about the impact of trauma on children and evidence-based intervention and treatment approaches. Dr. Olafson is on the advisory board for the American Prosecutor's Research Institute Half a Nation Finding Words training program on investigative interviewing of children and serves as a trainer for Beyond Finding Words, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Forensic Trainings, and the Ohio Child Welfare Regional Training program. She was editor-in-chief of the APSAC Advisor from 2002 to 2004.