What to expect at Safe & Sound – The Forensic Interview
After the case is reported to Law Enforcement or Children’s Protective Services, you will be contacted by a Safe & Sound staff member to set up an interview for your child. This is the beginning of the investigation. The Forensic Interview is done by a nationally trained professional who is very skilled at asking children questions they can understand and answer at their own age level and developmental ability. The goal of the interview is to gather correct information about any complaint of severe physical or sexual abuse that has been made. Information from this interview is then used by Law Enforcement, the Prosecutor’s Office and Children’s Protective Services Case Workers to decide whether or not to investigate the complaint any further. Sometimes, children are asked to come back for another interview in order to gather more information.
Children often will not tell about abuse or give important details if parents and/or caregivers are present. Also, parents and caregivers sometimes have trouble controlling their emotions while listening to details of their child’s abuse. For these reasons, parents and caregivers are not allowed to attend or observe the interview.
Parents and caregivers, however, will meet with the Multi-disciplinary Team after the interview. They are free to talk with all the team members and ask any questions they wish during these meetings. They also meet with the Case Coordinator/Counselor at the time the interview is being done. This meeting allows the parents and caregivers more time to ask questions and share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.