A forensic interview is a method for gathering facts from a victim of alleged child abuse while being sensitive to the child’s emotional needs and developmental level. Michael’s House promotes forensic interviews that are legally sound, are of a neutral, fact-finding nature, and are coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing. We create an environment that reduces traumatic triggers to our child victims by emphasizing the child’s comfort level, and conducting the interview in a child-centered, developmentally appropriate atmosphere.
A specially trained forensic interviewer talks to children in an objective, non-threatening, comfortable and non-leading manner. Our child-centered interview rooms are designed to put the child at ease during this difficult time. Children are free to talk about or draw pictures about their experiences.
Our process ensures that a possible child victim has an opportunity to tell his or her experience to a trained professional. This both reduces trauma to the child and allows for a legally-defendable interview should the case proceed through the legal system.
The forensic interview allows for other professionals who may investigate and prosecute cases against alleged perpetrators to observe in a nonthreatening way. This allows the investigating parties to assess the various safety issues and possible criminal violations that may have taken place. In most cases, the interviews are electronically recorded.