A forensic interview is a single session, recorded interview designed to elicit a child’s unique information when there are concerns of possible abuse or when the child has witnessed violence against another person. The forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner by a professional trained in the Child First Forensic Interview Protocol model. Interviews are remotely observed by representatives of the agencies involved in the investigation (such as law enforcement, Arkansas State Police, and DHS).
Children seem to be put at ease by knowing what to expect. It is helpful to inform your child that someone wishes to talk with him or her about what was reported. It is important to reassure your child and give him or her permission to talk freely; however it is equally important not to rehearse with your child or tell your child what to say.
It is important for the interviewer to talk with your child alone. If something abusive has happened to your child, it might initially be difficult for your child to talk about this in front of you. If your child discloses abusive incidents it might be upsetting to you. The team has the responsibility of observing, assessing and investigating the allegations. The team’s focus must be on your child. Therefore you are not permitted to observe the interview.
At the end of the interview, the investigator will inform you about what will happen next. Unless told otherwise, you and your child are free to leave after talking with the investigators. The team will meet and develop a plan. An advocate or the investigator may contact you at a later date with more detailed information.