This is an advanced methods mini-course focused on forensic interviewing of children. The mini-course is particularly relevant to interviewing children alleged to have been sexually abused, but also be relevant to gathering information from children about a spectrum of traumatic experiences. This mini-course will provide a critical review of the evidence/research that is relied upon in forensic interviewing of children and will provide information about best practice. The course takes a child-centered/social justice approach, will admonish professionals to take into account the child's needs, developmental stage, and functioning, as well as the specifics of the allegations, when conducting forensic interviews.
This course will cover the following areas: 1) forensic versus clinical practice, 2) brief history of forensic interviewing, 3) models of assessing for child sexual abuse, 4) cultural issues that may impact abuse characteristics, reactions to abuse, and interviews with the child, 5) forensic interview structures, protocols, and guidelines, 6) controversies about appropriate questioning techniques and sequencing in a forensic interview, 7) controversies, relevant research, and best practice related to the use of media in forensic interviews, and 8) current practice regarding extended assessments in forensic work.
- Describe the role of confidentiality in creating safe spaces for learning.
- Describe how cultural factors may impact the assessment process.
- Describe the difference between forensic and clinical work.
- Identify models for evaluating an allegation of sexual abuse.
- Apply models of evaluation to a case example.
- Apply ethical decision-making and critical thinking models to case situations.
- Describe current interview structures and the role of pain assessment.
- Apply knowledge about interview structures to a case example.
- Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate questions/probes for forensic interviews.
- Describe current controversies in questioning.
- Describe how various media can be used to augment children's verbal statements, e.g. free drawings, anatomical drawings, shared paper.
- Identify controversies related to use of media.
- Describe how to use anatomical dolls through observing a demonstration.
Engage in critical reflection of participant's own practice and incorporate key learnings.