Forensic Interview Services
Forensic interview services are provided to children and vulnerable adults who may have experienced abuse or who have witnessed a crime or other violent act. The primary aim of forensic interview services is to aid in ensuring the safety of the individual as well as others in the community. Forensic interview services are provided in a safe and victim-centered environment.
A forensic interview is a recorded interview designed to elicit an individual’s unique information about possible abuse or violence against another person. The forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner by a professional trained in the AFIT Forensic Interview model. Interviews are remotely observed by representatives of the agencies involved in the investigation (such as law enforcement and child protective services).
Can I request a forensic interview?
Forensic interviews are a part of the investigation process. Therefore, only law enforcement and child protection agencies can request a forensic interview.
What should my child know about the interview?
Children seem to be put at ease by knowing what to expect. It is helpful to inform your child that someone wishes to talk with him or her about what was reported. It is important to reassure your child and give him or her permission to talk freely; however, it is equally important not to rehearse with your child or tell your child what to say.
Can I be present with my child or the team during the interview?
It is important for the interviewer to talk with your child alone. If something abusive has happened to your child, it might initially be difficult for your child to talk about this in front of you. If your child discloses abusive incidents, it might be upsetting to you. The team members have the responsibility of observing, assessing, and investigating the allegations. The team’s focus must be on your child. Therefore, you are not permitted to observe the interview.
Will someone talk with me during the interview?
The victim advocate will provide support while the interview is taking place. It is understandable that waiting for your child may be difficult.
What can I expect immediately following the interview?
At the end of the interview, the child safety investigator and/or law enforcement will inform you about what will happen next. Unless told otherwise, you and your child are free to leave after talking with the investigators.