The purpose of a forensic interview is to gather factual information from a child or adolescent in an objective and developmentally sensitive manner once allegations of abuse have been made or allegations of abuse have been identified. Forensic interview professionals are trained in gathering pertinent information in a neutral, non-leading manner while taking into account the child or adolescent’s emotional needs and developmental level. Emphasis is placed on the child’s comfort level, conducting a minimal number of interviews, and conducting the interview in a child friendly environment. The forensic interview allows for all of the investigating parties involved (law enforcement, child protective services, etc.) to assess for safety issues and possible criminal violations.
The forensic evaluation was developed in order to gather further information or clarification after the initial forensic interview as determined by the professionals involved in the investigative process. After the initial forensic interview, children may be referred for forensic evaluation by law enforcement, child protective services, or the District Attorney’s Office. Forensic evaluations are conducted in a child friendly environment with professionals trained to gather pertinent information in a neutral, non-leading manner while taking into account the child or adolescent’s emotional needs and developmental level.