The forensic interview process happens when children have been abused or witnessed a violent act. “Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children) (National Child Abuse Statistics).” In the United States there are about four to seven children that die every day due to child abuse and neglect (National Child Abuse Statistics). There are many different processes to conduct the interview and a number of steps are followed so children can tell their story accurately. People conducting the interview are supposed to make the child feel comfortable in their environment so they can find out what events happened.
The first phase of the interview process is planning details of what the interview will consist of. A witness assessment is what allows interviewers to find out information about the child and what happened to the child. The interviewer collects information about the child such as the name, age, gender, ethnicity, current living situation, physical/learning disability, medications taken, emotional state, any contact with public services, and relationship to the offender (Lamb, Michael E.; La Rooy, David J.; Malloy, Lindsay C.; Katz, Carmit (2011). It’s useful to find what hobbies may interest the child to build a connection with them. It also helps to find out any misunderstandings of the event that could lead to a false accusation (Forensic Interviewing Protocol). This helps distinguish any possible missing information and if the child is being accurate with their story.
The second phase involves the interviewer making the interview room comfortable for the child. Setting up the room and any equipment before the child arrives helps for a smooth transition. This phase also includes the interviewer introducing themselves and building a connection with the child. The interviewer will state their name and give a few details about what their job includes. During this time the interviewer will also mention any equipment that will be used. If the interview is being recorded or video-taped then the interviewer will make the child aware. It’s important for the interviewer to build a connection with the child so they will feel more comfortable talking to them. This could include asking about the child’s interests, family members, and school. This phase is vital for the child to become familiar with the environment they are in and familiar with the interviewer (Forensic Interviewing Protocol).
The third phase involves maintaining a set of ground rules which helps the child answer questions truthfully. The interviewer asks the child a set of practice questions to give examples of how the child should answer certain questions. The first rule would be to tell the child not to guess the answers to questions and just say I don’t know. “The interviewer will give the child an example such as what is my dog’s name? The interviewer will...