First Responder: Understanding and Responding to Child Abuse Allegations
Goal of Training – Ensure best practice first response in child abuse cases.
Length of Training – 2 Hours
Presented By Representatives From:
- Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office
- Chautauqua County Child Protective Services
- Child Advocacy Program
Description – The purpose of this training is to equip First Responders in Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure best practice first response to child abuse situations.
Responding to child abuse allegations is a challenging undertaking. It can be difficult during an investigation to find the balance where children are kept safe, while at the same time minimizing the potential for negative effects. This training will break down common misconceptions and clearly explain the correct procedures to respond. As a result, more children will receive the help they need, in a timely and sensitive manner.
Best practice suggests, to minimize trauma, a child who has been the victim of abuse should be exposed to minimal questioning and be interviewed by professionals trained to conduct a forensic interview. There is also recognition that, to ensure a child’s safety, some information may need to be obtained directly from the child. The goal is to gather minimal facts in a manner that will not jeopardize the integrity of the forensic interview and investigation, or cause further trauma to the child. In response to this, representatives from The Child Advocacy Resource and Consultation Center, The New York State Children’s Alliance, Inc., The Division of Criminal Justice Services, The New York State Office of Children and Family Services and experienced Multidisciplinary Team members from Child Advocacy Centers throughout New York State worked together to develop a comprehensive curriculum that would provide the necessary understanding, skills and resources to assist first responders when faced with a child abuse allegation.