Through a partnership with Bexar County Community Resources a child or teen (ages 3-18) can receive a forensic interview on-site at ChildSafe. Forensic interviews are provided to children who may have experienced physical or sexual abuse or have been a witness to a violent crime, including domestic violence. Forensic interviewing is non-leading and conducted by a professional trained in the Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas forensic interviewing model. Interviews are provided in a safe, child-friendly environment, are recorded, and are remotely observed by representatives of the investigating agency.
What is a forensic interview?
The forensic interview is a recorded interview provided to obtain your child’s unique information when:
- there are concerns of possible abuse, or
- when your child may have witnessed violence against another person.
Why is it needed?
The goal of the forensic interview is to ensure the safety of your child or teen as well as the safety of other children in the community.
Where is the interview conducted?
Forensic interviews are conducted in a safe and secure environment.
Who conducts the interview?
ChildSafe professionals are specially trained in the Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas Interview model and conduct all forensic interviews.
The forensic interviewer is part of the Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) approach. The MDT consists of family support specialists, police officers, assistant district attorneys, forensic interviewers, mental health professionals, pediatric nurses and doctors, and child protective services.
Each MDT member plays an important part in determining the safety of the children involved in the alleged incident. The forensic interviewer will ask the child questions about what happened to him/her or what he/she may have witnessed, and they will be a part of the MDT discussion following the interview.
How can I help prepare my child or teen for the interview?
Children are usually more comfortable when they know what to expect. It may be helpful to tell your child that someone wants to talk with them about what happened. You can be a great source of comfort to your child and give them permission to talk openly. However, it is important not to rehearse or tell your children what to say.
What happens after the interview?
Depending on what your child says during the interview, he or she may be referred for a medical exam. If your child is referred for a medical exam, your Family Support Specialist (FSS) will discuss the medical process with you, and address any concerns you may have about the medical exam.
At the end of the interview process, the CPS investigator and police officer will discuss with you the next steps.
Finally, at the end of the session, you’ll meet with your FSS one last time. Your FSS will explore additional services that you and your child may require, and if your child is being referred for a medical evaluation, will discuss the medical process.
Please do not leave until you have an opportunity to meet with your FSS to ensure you have all the help you and your child need.