Forensic interviewers provide children with a safe place to share their story in their own words to experts who will listen to them, protect them and help them heal. The purposes of a forensic interview are:
1. To obtain information from a child that may be helpful in a criminal investigation;
2. To assess the safety of the child’s living arrangements;
3. To obtain information that will either corroborate or refute allegations or suspicions of abuse and neglect;
4. To assess the need for medical treatment and psychological care.
A forensic interview is conducted at CAP when there has been a report to law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services that a child may have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime.
An extended forensic interview is a multi-session structured interview. This model recognizes that some children may need more than one session to talk about allegations of abuse.
Forensic interviews at CAP are conducted by our forensic interview specialists or by one of the criminal investigators who have received advanced training on the forensic interviewing of child victims/witnesses. The forensic interviewers routinely participate in peer review to continually develop their skills and attend ongoing professional training. Forensic interviews at the Child Advocacy Center are recorded on to a digital video disc (DVD) and provided to law enforcement.