Laura Gapske, B.S.

Program Coordinator & Interviewer

In her 15 + years of experience, Laura has dedicated her life professionally and personally to ending the violence against women and children. She currently serves as the co-chair of the St. Louis County Mortality Review Committee for child protection services. At First Witness Child Advocacy Center, she provides oversight to all First Witness Programs by providing leadership, mentoring, facilitation of innovation, goal attainment, and forensic interviewing skills as the Program Director.  She continues to stay involved in the direct service work to serve as a Forensic Interviewer and Trainer.

Laura has worked at Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) on a grant as the Coordinated Community Response Coordinator. Her role maximized the safety of victims who experience domestic violence by working to enhance and maintain an effective coordinate community response to domestic violence that included the ability to effectively work with all women, the men who batter them, and their families. She participates in the development, expansion and execution of trainings for Zero Abuse Project ChildFirst Forensic Interview Training and DAIP’s National Training Project. Laura has over five years of experience as a co-facilitator for the Creating a Process of Change for Men Who Batter.

Her primary passion is conducting forensically-sound interviews when allegations of maltreatment or abuse arise to support investigations by social services and/or law enforcement, while working with the multi-disciplinary team of professionals. She provided training on forensic interviewing, policies and procedures, narrative practice, team development and dynamics of maltreatment and abuse to social workers, law enforcement and county attorneys on a national and international forum. Laura has received multiple forensic interview protocol training, provides expert witness court testimony, technical assistance, and forensic interview peer review to professionals in the forensic interview field.

In her personal life, she serves as an elected official on her local school board district and is the mother of two boys that are avid soccer players.