Forensic Interviewing of Children


You are a forensic interviewer with the Hawksville Police Department. Well, we say “forensic interviewer” but really you work in the special victims unit at the HPD. As such, you have been to multiple (many) trainings involving the forensic interviewing of children.

This past Thursday, you receive a phone call from Wanda. Wanda has a son, Kevin, who told Wanda the following things (what follows is from your notes):

a. Kevin is 10-years-old

b. Kevin is an only child who is small in stature but enjoys soccer

c. Kevin has been seeing a psychiatrist for the past 6 months; this was suggested because Kevin was caught breaking into a neighbor’s house when the neighbor was out-of-town (the neighbor’s name is Bill); formal police intervention did not occur

d. Wanda is a single mother, working long hours at a local retail establishment; sometimes Wanda works at night, sometimes during the day

e. Wanda has a boyfriend (Will), whom she has been seeing steadily for about 1 (one) year

f. Wanda started to notice some changes in Kevin once Will moved in on a part-time basis (first, Kevin started wetting the bed – something Kevin had not done since Kevin was 4-years-old; second, Kevin started being very clingy, always wanting to be around Wanda when she was at the house; and third, Kevin had shown knowledge about things children his age should not know about – specifically using the word “oral” (slang for oral sex) and “hard-ons” (slang for a male erection))

g. Will is great, according to Wanda. Since Kevin’s dad has not been around for 5 years (divorce), Wanda is happy to have a “male figure” in Kevin’s life (free babysitting is nice too)

h. Will does not have a criminal record that she knows about. Wanda believes in the good of people and just thought Will was a nice guy. After all, Will was always driving Kevin to the psychiatrist, to the mall, to Target, and hanging out with Kevin on the couch watching Netflix

i. Last Monday night, Wanda became concerned; she related how she told Kevin that “Will [was] coming over” and Kevin’s eyes got big, his face got red, and asked if he [Kevin] would “have to suck anything.”

j. Wanda was shocked and dismayed. She had heard Kevin use the words “oral” and “hard-on” before, but she just assumed it was from watching television or hanging out with his older cousin, Phil

In tears, Wanda told Will to “not come over” and immediately called the Hawksville Police Department. She made a plea once she got through to you via phone: please talk to Kevin – figure out what is going on.


Your Mission

A. Create/describe your local Child Advocacy Center (make up a name, a purpose, and give physical description of the the interviewing rooms) [more information can be found here when coming up with your CAC: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/iia/investigation/multidisciplinary/advocacy/].

then

B. Assume you drove Kevin to your CAC in #1. Conduct a forensic interview of Kevin, considering the materials discussed this week. You need to have at least 30 (thirty) questions, free of spelling and grammatical errors. (Provide Kevin’s hypothetical answers to transition from one question to another, as called for in the lectures/videos)

Helpful hints: regarding this week’s materials, consider the age of Kevin, the people involved, the acts that allegedly took place, the relationship between the two, any existing issues with Kevin, the best way to get this information (dolls, drawings, etc.), and open-ended vs. closed questions (or even leading questionsiqu), etcetera.

Use only sources provided



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