For more than 12 years, the One Place Child Advocacy Center has provided hope and healing to children from birth to age 17 who have experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, serious neglect, and/or violence.
To ensure the experience is as safe and supportive as possible, our multidisciplinary team of professionals performs forensic interviews. During this process, a child tells their story only once to a trained interviewer, which prevents any additional retraumatization from occurring.
How Forensic Interviews Work
When child abuse or neglect is a possibility, talking with a child about their experiences and gathering information on the circumstances is critical—however, without the right approach, this can be a traumatizing process.
Child Advocacy Centers are designed to ensure that every child feels as comfortable, safe, and supported as possible. Forensic interviews help by:
Some forensic interviews are conducted with a child speaking with a highly-trained interviewer while additional team members observe through a one-way mirror. Other options include recording the conversation so members of law enforcement and child abuse investigators can observe the interview and reduce the number of times a child has to retell their story. At One Place, multidisciplinary team members are able to observe the interview between the child and the forensic interviewer in real-time via closed circuit tv. This allows for a collaborative team approach to taking a child’s statement and protects 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 if a case goes to trial. Forensic Interviewers are often called upon to provide both fact and expert witness testimony to aid in the successful prosecution of offenders.
Forensic Interviews at the One Place Child Advocacy Center
When a child has a forensic interview at the One Place Child Advocacy Center, we follow a few key steps to ensure that children and families feel as relaxed and safe as possible.
Our child-focused approach is based on a nationwide model of child advocacy centers and we are accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. In addition to forensic interviews and forensic medical exams, we also offer resources and referrals to evidence-based mental health services to reduce trauma and improve the lives of children and their families in Onslow County.