Parents do not sit with their child during the interview. Although it is often difficult for children to talk about what has happened, most children are comfortable in separating from their parents and talking with the Forensic Interviewer.
Parents are not permitted to sit with the Team during an interview. Because this is an investigation, the Team members need to carefully observe, assess, and document the interview and would be unavailable to respond to your concerns or questions during that time. You will be able to meet with the Team after the interview to hear about what happened and to ask any questions.
Children are most comfortable when they have been informed about what to expect. It is important to explain to your child that he or she will be meeting with someone to talk about what has happened to him/her. You can let your child know that the interviewer is a person who talks to many children. You should not tell your child what to say, but simply encourage your child to tell the truth. Some children may need to be reassured and told that they have done nothing wrong. You can let your child know that a medical exam may be conducted but it is not a painful exam and you will be able to be with them.
Participation in this interview does not mean that your child will never have to speak about the incident(s) again. The Assistant District Attorney and Victim Witness Advocate will consult with you about the decision to prosecute the case and discuss your family’s involvement in the court process. In addition, some children choose to continue to speak about their experiences with family, friends, and/or are encouraged to speak with counselors as a way to address their thoughts or feelings about what has happened.