Forensic services are provided to children who may have experienced abuse or who have witnessed a crime or other violent acts. The primary aim of forensic services is to aid in ensuring the safety of the individual child as well as other children in the community. Forensic services are provided in a safe and child-friendly environment.
A forensic interview is a single session, recorded interview designed to elicit a child’s unique information when there are concerns of possible abuse or when the child has witnessed violence against another person. The forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner by a professional trained in the Forensic Interview model. Interviews are remotely observed by representatives of the agencies involved in the investigation (such as law enforcement, child protective services, and the district attorney's office).
A forensic interview is conducted at the FCCAC when there has been a report to either law enforcement or the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) that the child may have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime. ONLY law enforcement, DFCS, and the district attorney's office may make an interview referral.
All forensic interviews at the FCCAC are recorded.
What should I tell my child?
Children seem to be put at ease by knowing what to expect and where they are going. 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.