Child's Place is a safe, child friendly location for children to come speak with trained interviewers. We know this can be an anxious time for you and your family.
Below is further information regarding questions you may have about your visit. If you have further questions please reach out to our team. We would rather answer your questions right away,
A forensic interview is an interview conducted by a specially trained professional, who experienced in talking to children about difficult subjects. They take into account your child’s emotional needs and developmental level in order to speak to them in a child-friendly manner. This allows the investigators to obtain an impartial account of your child’s abuse that is both accurate, and as complete as possible, without causing further trauma to your child. The interviewer will not pressure your child to talk if she/he is not ready. Please inform the interviewer of any special needs your child has before the interview takes place.
You might tell your child:
“We are going to Child's Place. It is a special place where kids go to talk about important stuff. The person you will be talking to talks to lots of kids about what might have happened to them. It’s okay to tell them everything. You are not in any trouble.”
Only the interviewer is in the room with your child. All other team members observe the interview from a nearby room using closed-circuit technology.
No. Only professionals directly involved in the investigation are allowed to observe the interview. This is done to reduce the possible stress that can be placed on a child and to provide a neutral setting for the child and the investigation.
Most of us working at the Child Advocacy Center are parents just like you. We understand how being in the same room with our child may influence what the child says or doesn’t say. If our child doesn’t answer quickly enough, we may answer for them. Whenever we have made exceptions to the rule, it just doesn’t work. It’s hard for us as moms and dads to sit quietly or not influence the interview with a concerned look or an emotional reaction.
You will be meeting with your child advocate. They want to answer any questions you have. If they don’t know the answer, it is their job to find out. They will listen to your worries and concerns and provide resources to help you through a difficult time. Our advocates are not therapists, but they can listen and get you the help you need.
You will be able to talk to members of the investigation team. They will tell you in general terms what they learned from the interview. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and voice your concerns.
Remember, your child’s interview is just the first step in the investigative process. There may be other witnesses that need to be interviewed. There may be physical evidence that needs to be photographed or collected. The alleged offender will be interviewed. So, at this point in the process it’s often difficult to predict what will happen. All of the information will be turned over to the county attorney who will decide whether or not to prosecute. Your advocate will keep in regular contact to let you know what is happening on the case. If you have questions at any point during the investigation or prosecution of your child’s case, please feel free to contact your advocate.
Parents and children are often worried about whether they will have to testify in court. It’s really way too early to know. If this happens, our advocate will be with you every step of the way to help your child feel more comfortable.