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Child Forensic Interviews

A Child First, Semi-Structured Conversation

A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child the sole intention of eliciting detailed information about a possible event that the child may have experienced or witnessed.

Why Child Forensic Interviews Matter

It is quite difficult to prove the offence happened because the perpetrators often deny the abuse and most acts of sexual abuse cannot be witnessed, the child’s statement is a vital evidence in child abuse cases. Developmental issues, such as children’s varying abilities to recall events and the use of language, as well as the trauma they may have experienced, complicate efforts to obtain information about the abuse. The forensic interview is designed to overcome these obstacles.

To ensure facts are gathered in a way that will be upheld in investigations and prosecutions, forensic interviews are carefully controlled: the interviewer’s statements and body language must be neutral, alternative explanations for a child’s statements are thoroughly explored, and the results of the interview are recorded in such a way that they can bear scrutiny.

To obtain information that will either corroborate or refute allegation or suspicion of abuse and neglect.

To assist in police investigations and to provide quality evidential information.

To assess the safety of the child’s living arrangements.

To assess the medical and psychological needs of the child.

Forensic Interviews At The Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre

When a concern arises that a child has endured sexual abuse, a forensic interview is the best way to gather information about the allegation. A forensic interview is an objective, non-leading, legally defensible and age-appropriate, information-gathering process. Forensic interviews reduce trauma experienced by children by reducing the number of times they have to talk about what happened to them.

Unless a child is too young to talk, his or her experience at the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre will begin with a Forensic Interview. The interview is conducted by someone trained in latest forensic interviewing techniques, child development and linguistics, and will take place in one of our age-appropriate interview rooms. The interview will be permanently recorded and observed by law enforcement or child protective services investigators who are part of the Child Advocacy Centre multidisciplinary team. This allows investigators who are assigned to help your family, ask the forensic interviewer additional questions that can clarify information and reduce the times a child will have to be interviewed. As a result, all members of a multidisciplinary team obtain the information needed to proceed on behalf of the child.

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