Forensic interviews provide children a safe space to tell their story to specially trained experts.
The Purpose of a Forensic Interview
When child abuse is suspected, it is crucial to talk to the child about their experience and gather information in an age and developmentally appropriate manner.
The Children's Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County strives to help every child feel as comfortable as possible, while enabling the multidisciplinary team determine what happened.
What is a Forensic Interview?
A forensic interview is a fact-finding conversation conducted by a specially trained forensic interviewer. Forensic interviews are designed to provide the child with an opportunity to talk about the reason for their visit to the center. Questions are asked in a non-leading, open ended style, at a pace that is comfortable for the child.
About the Forensic Interview
A forensic interview minimizes the number of times that a child is interviewed by reducing the number of people who have to interview the child.
Interviews are conducted in the child's primary language, whenever possible. An interpreter will assist when the interview is not able to be conducted in the child's primary language.
Forensic Interviews help coordinate services for the child and non-offending family members. Interviews allow the parent or caregiver to meet all of the professionals involved with their child and provide an opportunity for the parent or caregiver to ask any questions they may have.
Steps in the Interview Process
You will be greeted by a Team member and shown to our family room. The Team member will give you a tour of the Center and answer any questions you may have.
During the Interview
You will be asked to remain in the family room while your child is interviewed. Your child will speak with the Forensic Interviewer in an interview room while the rest of the Team observes the interview from the observation room. Our Victim Services Advocate will meet with you to offer support and referrals for your family.
After the Interview
The Forensic Interviewer will bring your child back to the waiting room when the interview is finished. The professionals on the Team will meet briefly to discuss the information disclosed in the interview. You will then be invited to meet with the Team to discuss the interview, next steps, and services you may need or want.
Team members will keep you informed about the investigation and status of your child's case. The Victim Services Advocate is always available to talk with you about any concerns you may have. The Victim Services Advocate can speak with you regarding any feelings, concerns, worries, and reactions that you, your child, and your family may have after leaving our Center.