Child Forensic Interviews
Forensic interviews are provided to children who may have experienced abuse or who have witnessed a crime or other violent act. The primary aim of forensic services is to aid in ensuring the safety of the individual child as well as other children in the community. Forensic services are provided in a safe and child-friendly environment at CHERISH .
Child Forensic Interviewing at CHERISH
A professionally trained child forensic interviewer at CHERISH will speak with your child at their visit. The interviewer talks to them and asks them questions in a way that is developmentally appropriate to the child and avoids asking leading or suggestive questions. A team of law enforcement, Department of Child Services, prosecution, mental health and medical professionals work together so that there is only one forensic interview. This helps avoid the child having to share their experience over and over again. The interview is recorded through a closed circuit camera. The interviewer wears an earpiece so that team members are able to ask questions or relay information. Alleged perpetrators are not allowed on CHERISH property. There is also no cost involved in a visit.
After the Interview
Following the victim interview, the team collectively decides upon the course of action regarding additional investigation and/or services for the child or family members. A representative from law enforcement and the Department of Child Services will speak with you about what next steps are needed. Law enforcement and the Department of Child Services are the only agencies with information about the interview. A victim advocate will talk with you about additional services that may be needed.