Who will my child talk to?
Your child will talk to a Forensic Interviewer. The Interviewer has special training and experience in talking with children about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate manner. The Interviewer’s goal is to make your child as comfortable as possible while gathering the necessary information for an investigation. Questions are asked in a non-threatening and non-leading manner. The Interviewer moves at a pace that is comfortable with your child and never forces a child to talk to them. A DVD recording is made of the interview that is released to law enforcement or child protection for further investigation.
Can I watch my child’s interview?
No, according to the Louisiana Children’s Code, only those people who are directly involved in the investigation are allowed to observe the interview, such as law enforcement, child protection workers and prosecutors.
What do I tell my child about the interview?
You might tell your child, "We are going to go to Pine Hills Advocacy Center. It is a special place where kids go to talk". The person you will be talking to talks to lots of kids about what happens to them. They need to know everything that you remember so that we can make sure you are safe and okay. It is important that you tell the truth and only talk about what really happened. It is okay for you to talk to them. YOU ARE NOT IN ANY TROUBLE.
Should I talk to my child about the abuse before the interview?
No, not unless your child brings up the subject and wants to talk about it. In that case, listen to your child without commenting or questioning. Be sure to tell your child that he/she will be alright. While you want to be open and available to your child if they need to talk, you should not question your child about it, or suggest things to your child concerning the interview. The goal of a forensic interview is to make sure your child does not have to repeatedly discuss a traumatic experience, and that your child’s disclosure is as complete, accurate and free of outside influences as possible.