When concerns about abuse arise, investigators refer children to Mission Kids for a forensic interview. At our Child Advocacy Center, the child tells his or her story to a trained forensic interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not re-traumatize the child.
Children are interviewed by a trained forensic interviewer in a safe and child friendly environment while partners such as the police, caseworkers and prosecutors, who need the facts witness from another room via closed circuit television.
The Process: When child abuse is suspected, investigators refer the child to Mission Kids for a forensic interview. Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner that is legally sound, neutral, fact-finding, and coordinated to avoid repeated interviews and trauma to the child. Children are interviewed by a trained forensic interviewer in a safe and child friendly environment while partners such as the police, caseworkers and prosecutors, who need the facts witness from another room via closed circuit television. Forensic interviews are audio- and video- recorded.
The Team: Mission Kids provides a center for the team investigation of child abuse cases. Representatives from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and social services work together as a multidisciplinary team and observe, but do not participate in the interview as it takes place, thereby reducing the number of interviews a child victim must undergo. This team approach supports and protects children throughout the legal process, preserving their physical and emotional well-being. Click here to learn more about the Multidisiplinary Team.
Forensic interviews at Mission Kids allow investigative parties to thoroughly assess child safety issues and possible criminal offenses that may have been committed and to ensure successful outcomes.
Successful Outcomes: Successful prosecution of child abuse cases begins with a thorough investigation. At the core of that investigation, the ability to ensure the safety and protection of children often starts with the initial forensic interview conducted by a trained professional at Mission Kids.
The forensic interview process allows partner agencies to observe the interview as it is being conducted, allowing for a collaborative team approach to taking a child’s statement and therefore protecting the integrity of the information gathered. This approach allows investigative parties to thoroughly assess child safety issues and possible criminal offenses that may have been committed.
The forensic interview is often a critical part of not only the initial investigation but also the criminal prosecution at trial. Mission Kids’ Forensic Interviewers are often called upon to provide both fact and expert witness testimony to aid in successful prosecution of offenders.
Since our inception, Mission Kids has conducted over 5,000 forensic interviews.
Mission Kids and our partners work closely on a case-by-case basis to address any barriers, special needs, or accommodations required by any child.
Accommodations: Mission Kids has bilingual staff members and the ability to accommodate any language in which the child is most comfortable communicating. We also work with every family to address any additional barriers or special needs of each child.