This one-time, recorded interview of a child takes place when there are concerns that they may have suffered abuse or neglect. We also interview children who witness violence.
The interview takes place at a child-friendly place in a supportive and non-leading manner.
Experts with training in nationally recognized forensic interview models will meet with your child. Law enforcement or child protective services (CYS) will observe.
After the interview, we urge every child who is a possible victim of sexual assault to have a forensic medical exam.
A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) does the exam at the CAC. This helps ensure your child's health and safety. The nurse will look for any physical signs of abuse.
For parents of children scheduled for forensic interviews
Before you arrive at the center, it's vital to talk to your child. Let them know that someone whose job is to help make sure kids are safe needs to talk with them.
Let your child ask questions about the interview and talk freely. Be sure not to guide your child in what they should or shouldn't say.
When you arrive for the interview
When you get to the CAC:
- An advocate will greet you and take you to the waiting room where they'll answer any questions they may have.
- You then meet with the forensic interviewer and observers to give them some background about your child and the case.
- The advocate will stay with your child while you're out of the room.
What to expect during your child's forensic interview
The child will then meet with the forensic interviewer and see the observation room. Only investigators involved in your child's case observe interviews.
It's crucial for the interviewer to talk with your child alone. If someone has abused your child, it might be hard for them to talk about this in front of you.
You can wait in the waiting room during your child's interview. Most last about 30 minutes but some can be shorter or longer. The length of the interview depends the age of the child and the details of the case.
The forensic interviewer spends much of their time getting to know your child and helping them feel more at ease.
You don't have to worry that they're interrogating your child or talking about the abuse the whole time. Remember. The forensic interviewer is there to protect your child and make them feel safe about telling their story.
The intervention services team at the CAC of Lawrence County
Our expert team comes from a wide range of fields and includes:
- Law enforcement.
- District attorneys.
- Social workers.
- School staff.
- CAC staff.
Team members involved in the case meet with you and the forensic interviewer before and after to decide a plan of action.
The larger team meets monthly to review all cases of alleged child abuse and arrange prosecution and victim's services.
What is a family advocate?
The family advocate at CAC:
- Provides and arranges services with families and communities that promote strength, healthy living, and overall well-being.
- Acts as a liaison between families, staff, law enforcement, and other family-related services.
- Greets you when you arrive at the CAC for your child's forensic interview to answer any questions.
- Does a needs assessment and mental health screening on your child after their interview. or needs that They'll make any referrals, provide resources, or meet any other needs that may arise after the interview.