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Interviewing Children a guide to accompany the training video for child welfare social workers and forensic interviewers.

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Presentation on theme: "Interviewing Children a guide to accompany the training video for child welfare social workers and forensic interviewers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interviewing Children a guide to accompany the training video for child welfare social workers and forensic interviewers

2 Contents –What is Child Abuse? Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse –The Context of Child Abuse Investigations –Qualities of a Purposeful Child Abuse Interview –Initial Response of Child Welfare –Investigators Need to Know –Stages of a Child Abuse Interview –Summary –Preschool Interview –Additional resources

3 Child Abuse Physical Abuse –Physical harm or injury –Non-accidental –Physical punishment may be deemed to be physical abuse Single episode or repeated incidents Use of objects Slaps, blows to the head Children under age three or over age twelve Carried out in anger or frustration Degrading, inhuman, harmful

4 Child Abuse Sexual Abuse Includes a wide range of behaviours: Oral sex Fondling Penetration Exhibitionism Sexual exploitation May involve violence and emotional trauma

5 Child Abuse Sexual Abuse –Children under age sixteen cannot consent to sexual activity. –Position of trust Parent Relative Teacher Coach Employer

6 The Context of Child Abuse Investigations Child and Family Services Police Medical Practitioners Child Advocacy Centres Prosecution of Offenders Treatment

7 Qualities of a Purposeful Child Abuse Interview Developmentally sensitive Sensitive to child’s gender Sensitive to child’s culture Unbiased Respectful

8 Initial Response of Child Welfare Check agency records Follow agency investigation protocols Consult with police services Conduct joint interviews Involve child advocacy centre

9 Investigators need to know Child Development Dynamics of Child Abuse Effects of Abuse on Children Cultural Diversity Children’s Disabilities Legal Issues Child Interviewing Techniques

10 Stages of a Child Abuse Interview 1. Introduction 2. Explaining the Rules 3. Building Rapport 4. Telling the Truth 5. Topic of Concern 6. The Disclosure 7. Clarification 8. Conclusion

11 1. Introduction Child’s school Child’s home Child and Family Services office Hospital Police station Child advocacy centre

12 1. Introduction Introduce yourself Describe your role Purpose of interview Refer to child or youth by name Listen openly and without judgment Use a warm and expressive tone of voice Be relaxed, attentive and natural

13 1. Introduction Video- Steven and Lindsay

14 1. Introduction Use common everyday words Use short sentences Break long questions into shorter ones Ask one question at a time

15 1. Introduction Video- Angeline and Shawenne

16 2. Explaining the Rules Power differences exist between children and adults such as –Teachers –Social Workers –Police Officers

17 2. Explaining the Rules If you don’t understand, please tell me and I will ask the question in a different way. If I make a mistake or don’t understand something you’ve said please tell me. I want to be sure that I understand what you’re saying.

18 2. Explaining the Rules If I ask you something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can say “I don’t want to answer”, or “stop”, or “pass” to let me know you are uncomfortable. If you aren’t sure about an answer, don’t try to guess. Just say that you don’t know.

19 2. Explaining the Rules Video- Alexis and Liisa Video- Angeline and Shawenne

20 2. Explaining the Rules Young children may not correct or disagree with an adult. Children may want to please an adult in authority. Follow sound interviewing techniques to minimize misinformation.

21 2. Explaining the Rules Video- Paige and Jennifer

22 3. Building Rapport Children may feel nervous, anxious, upset or afraid. Demonstrate care and concern for the child. Ask about –Experiences at school –Relationships with friends –Interests and hobbies –Family demographics

23 3. Building Rapport Open ended questions –Encourage children to share –Allow children to provide their own responses –Children feel more at ease

24 3. Building Rapport Open ended questions –What are the things you like best about school? –What are some of the things you don’t like about school? –Who is in your family? –What kinds of things do you like to do with your friends?

25 3. Building Rapport Closed-ended questions –What grade are you in? –Do you like sports? –Do you like math? –Does your family live in a house?

26 3. Building Rapport Video- Lindsay and Steve

27 4. Telling the Truth As early as age four, most children can distinguish between telling the truth and telling a lie. Children can best demonstrate their understanding of truth and lies through concrete examples of facts and non-facts. Adolescents are often able to demonstrate more advanced understanding of the complexities of truth, lies, and exaggerations.

28 4. Telling the Truth Video- Steve and Lindsay

29 4. Telling the Truth Young children will need age- appropriate assistance to demonstrate their understanding of truth telling

30 4. Telling the Truth Video- Brianne and Liisa

31 4. Telling the Truth Offer examples that are: –Specific –Consistent with the child’s language –Unambiguous –Observable

32 4. Telling the Truth Examples: –Can you tell me what colour my shirt is? –If I said that my shirt is blue, would I be telling the truth or telling a lie? –If someone were to tell you that this is a pencil, would that be a truth or a lie? –If someone said that it is raining inside this room, would that be true or not true?

33 4. Telling the Truth Good practice to reinforce the importance of telling the truth Jurisdictions vary on this practice Consult with your agency and Crown prosecutor

34 5. Topic of Concern Open ended questions help children talk about their lives, their families, and their overall well-being. –Day to day routine –Family context –General life experiences –Assess family functioning –Assess child’s general functioning –Identify other issues

35 5. Topic of Concern Video- Angeline and Shawenne

36 5. Topic of Concern Some children may –be difficult to engage –be reluctant –feel ashamed –blame themselves –minimize the abuse –feel protective of their families –feel discouraged or hopeless

37 5. Topic of Concern Video- Jack and Diana

38 5. Topic of Concern Other issues to assess: –The child’s emotional well-being –How emotional needs are being met in the family –Family dynamics that need to be addressed

39 6. The Disclosure The disclosure is a critical stage Many children disclose only after trust is established Some children disclose early in the interview

40 6. The Disclosure Free Narrative Tell me everything you can remember Open questions What do you remember? What happened next? Where did this happen? Could you tell me more about that? When did this happen? Tell me about a time that was different.

41 6. The Disclosure Focused questions Specific but not leading Do not introduce new information Used to clarify information Where was your mom when this happened? What did your mom say when she saw the mark on your face? What were you wearing at the time? What time of day did this happen? Who else saw the fight between you and your dad?

42 6. The Disclosure Closed questions Should be limited Often result in single word answers Was your mom at home when your dad hit you? Were you wearing pajamas when this happened? Did your brother seed your mom fighting with you? Suggest yes or no responses Do not encourage elaboration May result in affirmative but incorrect responses

43 6. The Disclosure Multiple Choice Questions Are considered to be closed questions Build on information already provided Provide an option You told me that this happened at home. Did this happen in the kitchen or in the living room or maybe it happened in a different room? You said you can’t remember how many times you got hit. Did you get hit one time, or maybe it was more than one time?

44 6. The Disclosure Leading Questions I want to talk to you about the reason I am here today. I understand that you told your teacher about something that happened to you. Can you tell me what you told your teacher? I noticed that you have a bruise on your arm. Can you tell me how that happened? My job is to make sure that you are safe- your teacher told me that you were upset because your mom hit you. What happened?

45 6. The Disclosure Leading Questions - May not be legally defensible - May be necessary to assess child’s safety Problematic leading questions: - Your daddy touched your peepee, didn’t he? - Did your mom abuse you?

46 6. The Disclosure Review –Free narrative –Open ended questions –Focused questions –Closed questions –Summarize for understanding

47 6. The Disclosure Video- Paige and Jennifer

48 7. Clarification Clear up inconsistencies Gather more detailed information Determine if there is corroborating evidence: –Witnesses to the abuse –Physical evidence –Photographs –Video or audio recordings –Other victims of abuse –Other individuals to whom the child may have disclosed

49 7. Clarification Video- Zach and Mark

50 8. Conclusion Advise the child what will happen next: –Involvement of a child advocacy centre –Medical examination –Consultation with police –Interviews of the alleged offender –Interviews of the non-offending parent –Safety assessment and safety planning

51 8. Conclusion Often immediate safety plans must be made by the social worker. - Placement with extended family or an agency foster care resource may be necessary or, - The alleged offender may agree to leave the child’s home.

52 8. Conclusion Video- Zach and Mark

53 Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse allegations can be uncomfortable to discuss –for children and youth –for professionals

54 Sexual Abuse The interviewer should be –Open, supportive and reassuring –Comfortable with the terminology of sexual behaviour –Comfortable with children’s language for private body parts –Comfortable with children’s descriptions of sexual activity that might have occurred.

55 Sexual Abuse The interviewer must be able to manage their own emotional reactions not show shock or disapproval

56 Sexual Abuse The responsibility of adults to refrain from sexual behaviour with children must be emphasized.

57 Sexual Abuse Video- Scott and Diana

58 Review Video- Cynthia and Linda Video- Liisa and Alexis

59 Review When a child has not yet disclosed, more questions may be required to determine whether or not abuse has occurred. When a child has already disclosed to another professional, it is not necessary to ask for more details than required to assess the child’s safety and need for protection.

60 Review If a child becomes emotional –Give the child time to explain –Move to a less threatening topic –Review information previously disclosed –Allow time to regain composure

61 Conclusion Stages of an interview 1. Introduction 2. Explaining the Rules 3. Building Rapport 4. Telling the Truth 5. Topic of Concern 6. The Disclosure 7. Clarification 8. Conclusion

62 Summary –Helps the child feel more at ease –Reduces likelihood of additional trauma –Facilitates gathering accurate information in a child-sensitive way –Supports better decision-making –Strengthens our capacity to keep children safe

63 The Preschooler Interview –Insight into the child’s level of development, comprehension and functioning –Adapt your own communication –Ask questions in a developmentally appropriate manner for the specific child –Results in more complete and clear information

64 The Preschooler Interview Short sentences Common, familiar words Open-ended questions Avoid leading questions

65 The Preschooler Interview Video- Jacob and Jennifer

66 Free Narrative Young children –have less expressive language –may be shy –benefit from free-recall prompts

67 Free Narrative Video- Carter and Lynda

68 Free Narrative Become familiar with the interview process Assess the child’s ability to recall events in their lives Understand the child’s language needs Determine how to best help the child share their experiences

69 Assessing Basic Comprehension Age Birthdate Alphabet Counting Colours Seasons

70 Assessing Basic Comprehension Video- Zachery and Ursula

71 Assessing Basic Comprehension Date Time Sequencing Over/under/on and other concepts

72 Assessing Basic Comprehension Video- Brianne and Liisa Video- Carter and Lynda

73 Assessing Basic Comprehension Assess fine motor skills

74 Assessing Fine Motor Skills Video- Brianne and Liisa

75 Understanding Children Awareness of body parts Daily routines Specific events

76 Understanding Children Video- Carter and Lynda

77 Understanding Children Children’s understanding of safety –Abstract concept –Can provide concrete examples of safety rules –Who can children turn to for help?

78 Understanding Children Video- Brianne and Liisa Video- Zachery and Ursula

79 Interviewing Children This video is based on the Step-Wise Interview Process developed by Dr. John Yuille. Special thanks to Amy, Brianne, Carter, Diana, Graham, Jacob, Jennifer, Jordan, Kassidy, Krystal, Liisa, Linda, Linda, Lynda, Mark, Nicole, Riley, Shawenne, Ursula, Zach and Zachery.

80 Additional Resources that informed the production of this video Aldridge, M. & Wood, J (1998). Interviewing Children: A Guide for Child Care and Forensic Practitioners. West Sussex, UK: Wiley & Sons. Faller, K.C. (2007). Interviewing Children About Sexual Abuse. New York: Oxford University Press. Lamb, M. E., Orbach, Y., Hershkowitz, I., Esplin, P.W., & Horrowitz, D. (2007). A structured forensic interview protocol improves the quality and informativeness of investigative interviews with children: A review of research using the NICHD Investigative Interviewing Protocol, Child Abuse and Neglect, 31, Poole, D.A. & Lamb, M.E. (1998). Investigative Interviews of Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Walker, A.G.(1994). Handbook on Questioning Children. Washington, DC: ABA Canter on Children and the Law. Zwiers, M.L. & Morrisette, P.J. (1999). Effective Interviewing of Children. Ann Arbour MI: Taylor & Francis.

81 For more information about this video Contact PACCA at copyright 2009 PACCA


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