What is a Forensic Interview?
Forensic interviews are used to elicit testimony from a witness or suspected victim. They are triggered by an outcry, a suspicion, or when authorities believe a child is a material or bystander witness to a matter under investigation. Forensic interviews are conducted in both criminal and civil matters.
Forensic interviews employ careful strategies to maximize the accuracy and completeness of children's testimony (while avoiding confirmatory lines of questioning). They possess two defining features: (1) they are investigative in nature; they are neutral, fact-finding conversations that inform legal-decision making, and (2) they are child centered, meaning they are developmentally appropriate and encourage children to tell their story in their own words.