One of the primary activities of child abuse or neglect investigations involves interviewing children, parents, and others who may have knowledge that can assist the investigation. Interviews may be conducted to gather information for assessments or to gather evidence; the latter are called forensic interviews. Resources include State and local examples.
Assessing Children's Statements for Investigative and Court Purposes (PDF - 899 KB)
CenterPiece, 1(6), 2009
Provides civil and criminal attorneys, administrative officers, juries, and judges with an understanding of how to conduct interviews with alleged child victims and assess their information for reliability by utilizing specific factors to evaluate children's statements.
Half a Nation by 2010: Final Report
American Prosecutors Research Institute (2006)
View Abstract and Document
Discusses the activities and outcomes of a project to provide forensic interview training to child protection professionals who interview children.
Interviewing Preschool Children [Video]
National Children's Advocacy Center (2012)
Discusses ways professionals can interact with preschool children to gather the best information and interpret their statements to understand the message conveyed.
The Investigative Windows of Opportunity: The Vital Link to Corroboration in Child Sexual Abuse Cases (PDF - 485)
CenterPiece, 1(9), 2009
Discusses the importance of the Investigative Window of Opportunity—the optimal time to conduct investigative tasks in child abuse cases—and emphasizes the need for a coordinated response of law enforcement and child protective services.
Key Factors in Forensic Interviews With Native American Children (PDF - 109 KB)
APRI Update, 18(6), 2005
Discusses the key factors to consider when interviewing children of Native American or Alaskan Indian descent with regard to sexual abuse allegations.
Toward a Better Way to Interview Child Victims of Sexual Abuse
NIJ Journal, (267), 2011
Discusses challenges involved in interviewing children about child sexual abuse. The article shares results of a study that evaluated the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development interview protocol.
What is My Next Question? Using Question Frameworks to Clarify Children's Narrative Accounts of Abuse
Snider & Everson
APSAC Advisor, 23(4), 2011
Reviews the use of narrative interview techniques. These techniques are used to obtain more accurate and detailed information from children for a forensically defensible interview that maintains the integrity of interview protocols and improves medical, mental health, child protection, and legal outcomes for children and families.
When the Child Has Spoken: Corroborating the Forensic Interview (PDF - 507 KB)
Center Piece, 2(5), 2010
Explores the role of the forensic interviewer in cases involving children and discusses tips for corroborating a child's statement.
Child Interview Guide (PDF - 454 KB)
Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, & Washington Department of Social and Health Services (2009)
Assists those conducting investigative interviews with children to incorporate research-based interviewing techniques with their own styles while allowing for the individual differences of each child.
Field Guide: Children's Protective Services Investigations
Michigan Department of Human Services and Michigan State Police (2007)
View Abstract and Document
Provides information to child protection investigators on the rules and procedures for conducting an investigation, including assessments and resources.
The Forensic Interviewer at Trial: Guidelines for the Admission and Scope of Expert Witness Testimony Concerning an Investigative Interview in a Case of Child Abuse (PDF - 256 KB)
William Mitchell Law Review, 36(1), 2009
Explores the need for forensic interviewers and offers attorneys concrete suggestions for offering expert testimony and defending these interviews in court. The article includes guidelines for challenging the testimony of experts called to critique a forensic interview.
New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Provides interviewing strategies when working with a child abuse case involving children with special needs or disabilities. Includes points to consider, reference articles, and video or audio clips.
Investigative Interviewing in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program (2010)
Examines safety and risk assessments used during a child sexual abuse investigation and how to implement protective measures accordingly. The workshop also presents methods for interviewing the alleged child victim, non-offending caregivers, alleged perpetrators, and collateral contacts.
Working With Resistant Families
Missouri Department of Social Services (2007)
In Child Welfare Manual
Examines skills needed to effectively work with clients who may be resistant to treatment and to prevent the potential for violence, including information on interviewing techniques for establishing a relationship.