The day of the interview can be challenging, but Mission Kids aims to make it less so. Below you’ll find a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help give you and your child a clearer understanding of what to expect on Interview Day.
What happens when we arrive?
When you arrive, you’ll enter our child-friendly waiting room that offers fun kid activities like toys, books, a TV and iPads. When it’s time for the interview, the Interviewer will meet you and your child and then bring only your child to the interview room. We will ask that you remain in the waiting area for the duration. When the interview is over, the Interviewer will escort your child back to you.
Please note, if you bring other children who are not being interviewed, they must be supervised at all times. Also, you may not discuss your case in the waiting room with anyone, including Mission Kids staff and volunteers.
Who is a part of the multidisciplinary team?
Our team includes professionals from the Office of Children and Youth, the District Attorney’s Office and the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (MCCAP). It also includes mental health therapists, law enforcement officials, forensic interviewers, family advocates and medical doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Child Protection Team. Together, working as a team, these professionals support the goal of Mission Kids to reduce the number of interviews—and the number of times children must retell their stories—as part of the investigative process.
Who will speak to my child?
On the day of the interview, your child will meet with a Forensic Interviewer who is specially trained. The role of an Interviewer is to speak to your child in a friendly, age appropriate and objective manner that encourages open and honest discussion. Your child’s safety and well-being are always our priorities. This is why we have other professionals observe the interview from a closed-circuit TV in an adjacent room.
What happens during an interview?
The goal of Mission Kids is to make the process as child-friendly as possible. That’s why your child speaks with only one member of our multidisciplinary team, the Forensic Interviewer, instead of several people. This method limits the retelling of your child’s story to just one person, one time. The Interviewer will only ask non-leading, open-ended questions, allowing your child to tell what has happened in his or her own words.
Who can I speak to about my child’s case?
While your child is being interviewed, one of our Family Advocates will take a moment to speak with the caregivers in greater detail about their visit. Our Family Advocates guide parents through the process as well as provide support and various services, including referrals for specialized medical exams and counseling.
Can I watch my child’s interview?
We understand your urge to be there for your child throughout the entire process. We even encourage it, with one important limitation. When it comes to the interview, Mission Kids only allows professionals who are directly involved in the investigation to watch. But, once the interview is over, you will have the chance to meet who was involved and voice any questions or concerns you may have.
How long does the interview last?
Because all children are so different and each case is handled with that in mind, there is no standard duration for an interview.
Download our Caregiver Handbook for more information.