What is a forensic interview?

A forensic interview is a formal investigative interview aimed at gathering reliable.

What do I tell my child about the forensic interview?

Inform your child that he or she will be meeting with someone to talk about what happened to them.  Assure your child that you will accompany him or her to the CAC, but that he or she will be talking alone to a kind and safe person who listens to children.  You can encourage your child to talk about what happened, but do not prompt them about what to say and do not promise them a reward.  Tell your child the interview will be observed by a person or two who need to know what is said and that the interview will be video recorded but kept as private as possible.

Who will by child talk to during a forensic interview?

Your child will talk to a child forensic interview.  The interviewer has specific training and experience in asking children about alleged abuse.  The interviewer’s goal is to make your child as comfortable as possible while gathering information for the investigation.  Your child will talk to the interviewer in a room with video cameras.  The assigned investigators (law enforcement and CPS if they are involved) will observe from a separate room.

Can I watch the interview?

No. Only those people are directly involved in the investigation are allowed to observe the interview. This reduces stress that can be placed on a child and provides a neutral setting.  Before and after the interview, you will meet with the investigator(s) to discuss questions, concerns, and the investigative process.  If possible, please bring an adult support person to wait with your child during these times.

Medical Exam

The purpose of the medical examination is to:

  • Ensure the child is healthy
  • Provide medical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment as needed
  • Provide education to the child and family, and
  • Collect forensic materials for the investigation, if appropriate

CAID provides specialty medical evaluations for children suspected of being abused.  The medical exam takes place in a welcoming, child friendly room.  The appointment will include a medical history from the child’s caregiver, as well as from the child.  The child will receive a thorough head to toe examination.  This examination will also include an external inspection of the genital area.  It is important to understand that the child’s examination is different and less invasive than an adult examination.

A special instrument called a colposcope is used during the examination.  A colposcope is a pierce of specialized equipment that provides light and magnification.  It allows the medical provider to see the child’s genital and anal areas more closely, but it never touches the child’s body and is not felt by the child.

For most children the examination is not painful, but nevertheless your child may be worried or anxious about the examination.  The medical staff will take as much time as necessary to help your child through the examination, explaining every step along the way.  Children are never forced to complete examinations.  We will guide them through the process, but the child is in charge during our appointments.