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Child Forensic Interview. Margrét Kristín Magnúsdóttir Psychologist and Forensic Interviewer 31. maí 2012. Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is.

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Child forensic interview
Child Forensic Interview

  • Margrét Kristín Magnúsdóttir

  • Psychologist and Forensic Interviewer

  • 31. maí 2012

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


What is a Child Forensic Interview ?Forensic interview is a formal, structured interview technique, that is used to investigate whether a child has experienced or witnessed physical or sexual abuse and if so, to get disclosure.

2

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


If a child discloses ...... assist the child in providing sufficient narrative detailed information: - on the nature and extend of the abuse, including those responsible- sufficient details of the event to allow the CPS or the LE to takeappropriate action

3

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


The goal of the child forensic interview to get maximum informationwhile causing minimum stress and contamination

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


Child forensic interview1
Child Forensic Interview

  • The importance of a “child friendly” settings

  • Specially designed interview room

  • The specialized interviewer: a psychologist or a similar education

  • NICHD protocol

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


Forensic vs therapeutic interviewing
Forensic vs. Therapeutic Interviewing

  • expression of emotions in a nurturing environment

  • advocate who assumes the child is telling the truth

  • subjective interpretations accepted

  • nonspecific accounts of abuse are sufficient

  • the credibility of the child is not questioned

  • how information is obtained is not of concern

  • the goal is discovering the truth, the facts

  • objective standpoint

  • alternative explanations are explored

  • obtaining corroborating details is imperative

  • establishing the child’s competency is a concern

  • the way information is acquired is strictly governed

Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


Interview stages
Interview Stages

  • Introduction

  • Rapport:

    • - developmental assessment

    • - competence assessment

    • - ground rules

  • Transitioning to a topic of concern

  • Detail gathering and corroboration one event at a time

  • Closure

  • Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Introduction
    Introduction

    • Interviewer introduce him-/herself and people present

    • Explain the documentation (video/dvd recorded, notes taking)

    • Have child introduce him-/herself; name, age, where they live, with whom, school, grade, friend ..

    • Practice narrative

    8

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Rapport building
    Rapport building

    • Developmental assessment

      • - age dependent (time, date, soft/hard, smaller/bigger)

      • - body parts inventory

    • Competence assessment

      • - difference between truth and lie

    • Ground rules

      • - if I ask you the same question more than once

      • - if you don’t know the answer

      • - if you don’t understand the question

      • - correct me if I’m wrong

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Transitioning to the topic of concern
    Transitioning to the topic of concern

    • “Tell me why you are here today talking to me ?”

    • open-ended invitation

    • use the child words

    • followed by focused follow-up questions

    • “ ... tell me all about that”

    • “ ... tell me everything about that from the beginning to the end”

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Gather details and corroboration
    Gather details and corroboration

    • “did (this) happen one time or more than one time ?”

    • focus on one event at a time (last, first, most memorable, worst, etc.)

    • who, what, where, how, ... when (young children can’t answer that)

    • five senses

    • what was said

    • how it started, how it ended ..................

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Corroboration
    Corroboration

    • computers

    • cameras

    • phones

    • force or coercion

    • bribes

    • clothing

    • other things from the child’s narrative

    12

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Once you have details on individual events
    Once you have details on individual events ...

    • be sure to clarify details between different events

    • ask any follow up questions necessary for you to understand what happened

    • ask the child if there is something you forgot to ask or something else they want to talk about

    • transition to closure

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Closure
    Closure

    • maintain trust and rapport with the child

    • neutral topic (cool down)

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    What makes a good interview

    What makes a good interview

    Does the interviewer put the child at ease ?

    Warm and friendly presence

    Strong presence that shows „you can tell me anything and I can handle it“

    „tell me …“ vs. „can you tell me …“

    „everything“ vs. „a little bit“

    Gentle persistence – knowing when to push as well as knowing when to stop

    Pacing – allowing for silences

    Use of developmentally appropriate language

    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


    Barnahús – The Children´s House · www.bvs.is


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