The Purpose of a Forensic Interview
When child abuse is suspected, it is critical to determine whether or not abuse has occurred. Most child abuse investigations require an interview of the child.
In an effort to limit the number of times that a child will need to be interviewed, the CAC coordinates a single initial interview of each child. This interview typically involves a child speaking with a Forensic Interviewer while Team members observe the interview from behind a one-way mirror. Our goal is to help every child feel as comfortable as possible as we try and determine what may have happened.
The Team Interview:
- Minimizes the number of times a child is interviewed and limits the number of people who must directly interview a child;
- Helps coordinate services for a child and family, and;
- Allows the parent/caregiver to meet all of the professionals involved with their child and provides an opportunity to ask questions.
Steps in the Interview Process: Information for Parents/Caregivers:
Before the Forensic Interview: A Team member will contact you to explain the interview process, answer any questions you may have, and set up a time for your child's interview.
During the Interview: You will be asked to remain in the waiting room while your child is interviewed. Your child will meet with the Forensic Interviewer while the rest of the Team observes the interview from behind a one-way mirror.
After the Interview: The Forensic Interviewer will bring your child back to the waiting room when the interview is finished. The professionals on the Team will meet briefly to discuss the information disclosed in the interview and how they may best help you and your child. You will then be invited to meet with the Team to discuss the interview, next steps, and services you may need or want. You will have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have.
Follow-up: Team members will keep you informed about the investigation and status of your child's case. Your Advocate is always available to talk with you and any feelings, concerns, worries and reactions that you, your child and your family may have. The Advocate and other Team members will assist you in obtaining services.