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Interviewing Traumatised Children Presented by: Karen Gabriel LEGAL AID NSW CHILD REPESENTATION CONFERENCE MAY 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Interviewing Traumatised Children Presented by: Karen Gabriel LEGAL AID NSW CHILD REPESENTATION CONFERENCE MAY 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interviewing Traumatised Children Presented by: Karen Gabriel LEGAL AID NSW CHILD REPESENTATION CONFERENCE MAY 2012

2 10 April On hope and opportunity for change for traumatised children: : Dr Bruce Perry “The hallmarks of transforming therapeutic interaction are safety, predictability and nurturance. The most ‘therapeutic’ interactions often come from people who have no training (or interest) in psychological or psychiatric labels, theories or treatment and adult expectations of the child that go with these. In interacting with the child, respect, humour and flexibility can allow the child to be valued as what they are”. Bruce.D Perry, MD, PHD The Child Trauma Academy Video Series 1 “Understanding Traumatised and Maltreated children: The Core Concepts”

3 10 April Planning the interview What information do you already have about the child/children’s experiences? Who else can you talk to about the child? Parents, carers, teachers, counsellors, FACS caseworker, family consultant Do you need to interview the child? Will you interview the child on your own? Or with someone else? (counsellor, family consultant)

4 10 April Place of interview Privacy for the child Child friendly interview room Prepare yourself: Life for traumatised children is often chaotic and you need to be a calm adult Allow sufficient time: you can’t rush

5 10 April The interview Build rapport/ engage and get to know the child No set formula: games, physical activity, drawing, talking Use developmentally appropriate language, recognise potential for impaired cognitive functioning Be clear about the purpose of your interview and explain to the child Monitor the child’s behaviour and provide appropriate boundaries and limits for unsafe behaviour

6 10 April The Interview Explain Child Representative role Explain limits of interview, including confidentiality Opportunity for the child to ask questions Obtain views of the child about their circumstances (as appropriate)

7 10 April The interview Know your limitations You need to respect that some children will not want to talk to you Don’t open “a can of worms” you are not experienced to deal with Listen to and reassure the child Seek further advice if you need to Be mindful of disclosure of new information from the child and potential conflict in becoming a witness

8 10 April Ending the interview Summarise for the child the main points of discussion Check with the child that you have understood Be clear about your future role? What happens next? Importantly, be truthful and make no false promises to the child


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