Using developmentally appropriate language when interviewing children
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Using Developmentally Appropriate Language When Interviewing Children. Chris Newlin, MS LPC Harbor House 706-235-5437 [email protected] Harbor House Mission. Provide a child-friendly environment to interview children regarding allegations of sexual and/or severe physical abuse

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Using developmentally appropriate language when interviewing children l.jpg

Using Developmentally Appropriate Language When Interviewing Children

Chris Newlin, MS LPC

Harbor House

706-235-5437

[email protected]


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Harbor House Mission Children

  • Provide a child-friendly environment to interview children regarding allegations of sexual and/or severe physical abuse

  • Coordinate the multidisciplinary investigation of these allegations

  • Limit any additional trauma to the child


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Introductions Children

  • Role

    • DFCS

    • Law Enforcement

    • Mental Health

    • Other

  • Function

    • Interview

    • Don’t interview


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Goal Of Training Children

  • Improve your ability to effectively communicate with children

    • Age at which specific details are likely to be expected

    • Five types of questions and expected responses

    • Three primary factors that may affect a child’s responses


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Age when specific details are likely to be communicated ask them the right questions in the right way.”


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Identify different question types ask them the right questions in the right way.”

  • Did he have his clothes on, or off, or something else?

  • What happened that time in the truck?

  • I know someone touched you, who did that?

  • Did your mom hurt you?

  • What happened?

  • She licked your pee-pee, didn’t she?

  • Was it your mom, your step-mom, or something else?


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Review of training ask them the right questions in the right way.”

  • At what age can a child tell you about:

    • Who

    • What

    • Where

    • When

    • # of times

    • Circumstances


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Review of Training ask them the right questions in the right way.”

  • What type of question yields the most narrative information?

  • What type of question yields the least amount of useful information?

  • What may diminish a child’s responses?

  • What may enhance a child’s responses?


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Finding Words Georgia ask them the right questions in the right way.”

  • Forensic Interview training for:

    • DFCS Investigators

    • Law Enforcement Investigators

    • Child Abuse Prosecutors

  • Application for 2004 Trainings

    • www.gachildadvocate.org/pdf/2004fwg-app.pdf


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