We believe children begin to heal the moment they are truly heard.
A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child intended to elicit detailed information about a possible event(s) that the child may have experienced or witnessed. The purposes of a forensic interview are:
To assess the child’s safety
To obtain information from a child that may be helpful in a criminal investigation
To obtain information that will either corroborate or refute allegations or suspicions of abuse and neglect
To assess the need for medical treatment and psychological care
A forensic interview is conducted at the Child Advocacy Center when there has been a report to law enforcement or Child Protective Services that the child may have been a victim of sexual or physical abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime.
For caregivers coming to our center for a forensic interview CLICK HERE for more information about visiting the CAC.
Preparing Your Child For A Forensic Interview
Tell your child she/he will be visiting a safe place to talk with a person whose job it is to talk with kids and young adults.
Be sure your child is fed and well rested.
Give your child permission to talk about anything with the interviewer. Let her/him know they will not be in trouble for anything they talk about.
Allow your child to bring a comfort item if it would be helpful.
Ask your child questions about what happened.
Tell your child what to say.
Promise rewards or treats for talking with the interviewer.
Ask your child why they didn't tell you or why they didn't tell you sooner.
What if my child talks to me about what happened before the interview?
Remain as neutral and calm as possible when talking with your child.
Be aware of your words and actions; show interest in what your child is communicating and do not react with horror, shock, or indifference.
Don't introduce names of possible offenders or possible types/acts of abuse.
Listen to what your child says, but do not ask for further details. Do not record your conversation with your child.
Allow your child to talk about what happened in their own way and time.
Communicate to your child that you believe what she/he is telling you.
Reassure your child it is not her/his fault, nor are they in trouble.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
— Maya Angelou