A forensic interview is simply a conversation between your child and a specially trained forensic interviewer in a child-friendly setting such as the New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center. Our forensic interviewers are professionals who have been trained to talk to children of all ages in a developmentally sensitive, non-confrontational way that is legally defensible in a court of law.
Why Forensic Interviews?
The primary goal of the forensic interview is to maximize the amount of information a child can provide about their experiences in their own words. A secondary goal of the forensic interview is to limit the number of times a child will have to talk to someone about their experiences during an investigation.
How It Works at a Child Advocacy Center
Forensic interviews are done at the request of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) as part of an open investigation. Our team consists of members from law enforcement, Child Protective Services, Blount County Juvenile Court, and representatives from the District Attorney General’s Office of the 5th Judicial District and New Hope BCCAC.
As soon as I came to New Hope, there was a sense of comfort. There’s such an ease to know that you can come somewhere and share your story and to know that you’re safe and comfortable, and you can trust the people you’re telling your story to.Former New Hope Client
When a child comes to our center for a forensic interview they are able to be themselves in our child-friendly environment. Our child and family advocates will be on site to help support the child and non-offending caregivers during this process. Our forensic interviewer will invite the child to participate in the forensic interview process.
During the interview, members from the multi-disciplinary team can watch it live from a private screening room. It is also recorded to document what the child says verbatim and to be available to investigators when needed. This process serves to limit the need to ask the child to come back for more interviews which can be re-traumatizing for the child.