STAFF: Child Protection Ombudsman of Colorado
Child Protection Systems Analyst
Melissa Vigil has been involved in Colorado child protection since 2008. With over seven years’ experience in the Child Welfare system, Melissa began her career with Jefferson County Department of Children, Youth and Families and held positions within the Intake department investigating a variety of child abuse and neglect concerns. For more than three years, Melissa worked for Adams County Human Services Department specializing in sexual abuse allegations, later earning a promotion as a Lead worker within the department.
Throughout her child welfare career, Melissa provided immediate crisis intervention, assessing child abuse/neglect concerns. Melissa has a wealth of knowledge surrounding domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health issues, poverty and homelessness, and the ability to assess caretakers’ ability to parent. Melissa participated in several Forensic Interviews and received a wealth of training through the Colorado Department of Human Services surrounding various topics of child maltreatment. Melissa excelled at building positive working relationships within the Latino communities of Metro-Denver through rapport as a Spanish bilingual caseworker.
Melissa has also demonstrated strong leadership skills working with several community entities and other professionals. She has participated as a member of the Colorado Department of Human Services Child Fatality Review Team and has received a variety of certificates of recognition through the Colorado Department of Human Services, Administrative Review Division for outstanding audit performance. Melissa has also participated in Ralston House Multidisciplinary Team staffing’s, working with a variety of stakeholders to identify patterns of child abuse and/or neglect within families working with the child welfare system. She further participated in various local Task Force meetings with community and professional stakeholders, discussing approaches to working with complex cases.
Melissa holds two Bachelor degrees in Criminal Justice and Spanish from New Mexico State University and in 2014, Melissa graduated from Regis University with a Master of Science in Criminology. Melissa has previous experience in the criminal justice system as a probation officer, as well as a clerk for a metro area police department. Melissa has a strong understanding of both the criminal and civil courts. Melissa has also testified in a variety of court proceedings, and was certified on countless occasions as an expert in child protection issues.