Presentation on theme: "Forensic Interviewing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Forensic Interviewing Ragna GuðbrandsdóttirMaster in Social workChildren´s Advocacy Center in Iceland
2 ObjectivesThe difference between forensic interviewing and therapeutic interviewingIdentify the elements of a good interviewIdentify problematic interview componentsExplain the importance of rapport-buildingDescribe useful ground rules for interviewing
3 Forensic vs.therapeutic interviewing The goal is discovering the truth, the factsObjective standpointAlternative explanations are exploredObtaining corroborating details is imperativeEstablishing the child´s competency is a concernThe way information is acquired is strictly governedExpression of emotions in a nurturing environmentAdvocate who assumes the child is telling the truthSubjective interpretations acceptedNonspecific accounts of abuse are sufficientThe credibility of the child is not questionedHow information is obtained is not of concern
4 Suggestions for successful interview with a young child Fundamental knowledge of child´s developmental levelUse developmentally appropriate languageKeep questions simple. Don´t ask more than one question at a timeBe sure the child understands the question being askedCalm and supportive presentationObjective stance
5 The childThe time of the interview should be aimed at the child´s needsParents need guidance in how to prepare their children for the interviewThe location of the interview is important for the childThe child has to know who is watching the interview and who has access to the information given
6 Cont. The parents role during the interview The alleged offender´s roleDon´t interview a child who has a limited vocabulary; cannot be understood; or is unable to understand basic concepts
7 Forensic interviewing Establish rapport with the child in the beginning of the interview processIntroduce “ground rules” of the interviewAssessing a child´s developmental levelThe main task “Why are you here today”Closing the interview
8 Rapport building Means the CHILD does most of the talking Serves as an “ice-breaker”Serves as a “practice interview”Takes some time; is not hurriedLeads to the child providing more information during the substantive part of the interview
9 Techniques for building rapport Tell the child your name and what you doMake sure that the child feels comfortable in the beginning of the interview with easy to answer questionsTell me a little bit about yourself and about your familyNameHomeSchoolFavorite topics
10 Techniques for building rapport Invite the child to describe a recent event;BirthdayHolidayBedtimeDinner time
11 Rapport building cont. Use open-ended questions: WhoWhatWhenWhereInclude open-ended follow-ups that invite the child to keep talking:“Tell me more about that”“I´m really interested. I´d like to hear more.”“Mm Hmm…”“Ohhh…”
12 Ground rulesTell your name and that your job is to talk to children about things that have happened to themI talk to a lot of children here at the children´s houseToday my job is to get to know you a little better and find out about your liveTell the child that the interview is been videotaped so you can remember everythingTell the child who is watching and whyLet the child know how the interview is structured and the rules
13 I don't knowI might ask some questions that you don´t know the answers to. That´s OK. I don´t expect you to know the answers to all of my questionsSay, “I don´t know” if you don´t know the answer. If you do know the answer, then I want you to tell me the answer. That´s the only way I can help you today. But if you don´t know, just say “I don´t know.”
14 I don't know cont.Let´s practice that. If I say, “what is my dog´s name?” You should say...(Wait for answer).That´s right. If you don´t know the answer, just say, “I don´t know.”
15 I don´t understandIf I ask a question that you don’t understand—a question that sounds kind of “weird” to you, just say “Stop: I don´t understand.” Then I’ll try to ask the question a different way. I only want you to answer question if you understand itLet’s practice that. If I say, “How many wogs are in a wug?” you should say....That’s right. If you don’t understand the question, say, “Stop. I don’t understand that question.”
16 Repeated questionsSometimes I´ll ask you the same question more than once. That doesn't mean that you gave me the wrong answer. It just means that my memory isn’t very good sometimes, so I forget things.If I ask you the same question again, just tell me the truth. Tell me what really happened, even if you already told me. Will you do that?
17 Correct mistakesSometimes I make mistakes. If I say things that are wrong, I want you to correct me.Practice like with calling the child the wrong name and have them correct you
18 Tell the truthI want you to tell me only what really happened, even if you said something different to somebody else at some other time. Today I want you to tell me only what REALLY happenedDon´t tell me anything “pretend”Don´t guess about thingsDon´t tell me what someone else told you to say happenedIt is very important to tell the truth in this room today
19 The Truth/Lies “Ceremony” I want to be sure you understand the difference between the truth and lieCan you explain the difference to me in your own wordsLets take an example, if I say I am a man, is that the truth or a lie? (Wait for answer)If I say I am a woman, is that a lie or the truth? (Wait for answer)
20 The Truth/Lies “Ceremony” I see that you understand the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie, and that´s very importantWhile we talk today, I want you to tell me only the truth, only things that really happened to you. Will you do that?
21 Assessing a child´s developmental level Where is the child developmentally according to ageAssessing general skills;Ability to countAbility to identify colorsAbility to name body partsUnderstanding of basic conceptsIn/outUp/downOver/underInside/outside
22 Developmental level cont. Childs understanding of concepts related to the abuseBigger/smallerDry/wetSoft/hard
23 Why are you here today? Substantive Free Narrative Let the child know that you are changing the subject to avoid confusionNow that we know each other a little better, I want you to tell me the reason that you are here today
24 Free Narrative cont.Tell me the reason you came to talk to me today. If a child makes an allegation, repeat the allegation and ask for more detailI want you to tell me everything that happened in your own wordsI will ask you some question to help you tell meI want to hear about all the details that you can remember from the beginning to the end
25 Free Narrative cont.If the first request is not successful, try the followingI understand that something has been bothering you. It´s important that you tell me about what has been bothering youThis is a place that children can tell if something is bothering themNever force a child to talk
26 Types of Questions Open-ended Closed Leading Misleading Forced-choice Multiple
27 Open-ended QuestionsOpen-ended questions are the best kind of questions from the point of view of evidence and information-gatheringMinimizes the risk that the interviewer will impose his/her view of what happened on the intervieweeOpen-ended questions elicit responses similar to those obtained by free recall which has been found to be the most accurate form of rememberingI know that you just moved. Tell me about that?
28 Closed QuestionsAllows only a relatively narrow range of responses, and the response usually consist of one word or a short phraseClosed questions are the second best type of questions and are good to follow up on open ended responses or free recallWhat color was his hair?
29 Forced-choice question This type of question leaves interviewees only a small number of alternatives from which they must choose and which may, in fact, not include the correct option.“Do you prefer tea, coffee or hot-chocolate?”
30 Multiple questionsA multiple question is an utterance that asks about several things at once“Did you see him? Was he standing? Did he have a coat on?”The main problem with this utterance is that people do not know which part of it to answerProne to create misunderstandingOnly ask one question at times
31 Leading and misleading questions The distinction between a leading and misleading questions concerns the nature of the implies response. The prior leads the interviewee to a correct response whereas the latter leads the interviewee to an incorrect responseYou told your mom that you were scared of him, did you?
32 Closing the InterviewReview the main points the child has disclosed or described to youConfirm, for each point separately that you heard the child correctlyTell the child that he or she may remember more details later that you need to know those, tooEncourage the child to let someone know if he or she remembers moreAsk whether the child has any questions for youThank the child for talking with you
33 Closing cont.Return to a neutral topic, such as what the child will do after the interview is over, or child´s pets, hobbies, or activitiesDon´t give the child any promisesPrepare them if you think or know that they have to come back for another interviewRemember this interview is the first step or the gateway to the child´s recovery
34 Good interviewer behavior Appropriate non-verbal behavior during the interview is just as important for successful interview as the verbal instructions:Sit in a relaxed manner: turn your body somewhat towards the interviewee (10 to 2)Express friendliness and supportUse eye contact frequently but do not stare at the intervieweeSpeak slowly, use short sentences and leave short pauses between sentences
35 Cont.Express attention and interest frequently by nodding, “mhm” etc. But do not give qualitative feedback (e.g. “good”, “right”)Praise the interviewee for his or her effort in generalAvoid hectic movements and hectic speech styleDo not interruptAllow for pausesExpress patience
36 The Interview room The interview room should not be too big The room should be child friendly with pictures and colors that children likeNo toys for playing but stuffed animals are OKFurniture in children's sizes if possibleCrayons and paper if neededNo drinks or food
37 Helpful hints for forensic interviewing ScriptGood organization or work habitsLot of practiceCriticize your own work by looking at videocassettes of your interviewsNo interview is perfect