Investigative Interviews of Children: A Guide for Helping Professionals
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Interviewing children for investigative purposes is a specialized skill. Professional interviewers need to be able to conduct interviews that bear scrutiny from outside agencies and also serve the best interests of children. In clear, engaging language, this eye-opening book corrects the common misunderstandings about adult–child conversational exchanges and provides guidelines for interviews, based on the most up-to-date research. It also presents a flexible interview protocol that can be tailored to meet individual needs. Topics discussed include
- The current child protection crisis
- The difficulties of investigating alleged abuse cases
- Children's strengths and weaknesses as interviewees
- Characteristics of the most respected interview protocols
- Children's language development and understanding of "interview rules"
- Ancillary techniques, such as the use of drawings and anatomically detailed dolls
- How to improve one's decision-making skills
- How to stay abreast of the latest research and techniques
The principles outlined in his book can be generalized to a variety of situations in which the interviewer wishes to gather information untainted by the dynamics of adult-child questioning. Thus, Investigative Interviews of Children will be invaluable not only to child protection workers, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and psychologists, but also to other mental health professionals, educators, and parents.
This softcover version is a re-release of the 1998 hardcover edition.
I. The Backdrop for Investigative Interviews
- Children as Witnesses: The Tragedy and the Dilemma
- Strengths and Weaknesses of Children as Witnesses: Implications for Developmentally Sensitive Interviewing
II. Interview Protocols
- The Development of Interview Protocols
- A Flexible Interview Protocol
III. Customizing Interviews
- Talking to Children
- Ancillary Techniques
IV. Professional Development Issues
- Improving Judgment and Decision Making
- Keeping Pace With Changing Standards
About the Authors
[Investigative Interviews of Children] combines theory, research, and practice, and provides practical instructions for conducting effective, noncontaminating interviews of children…This important book should be read and studied by all professionals who conduct investigatory interviews of children. It is the best available resource for understanding how to interview children properly. It is also useful to anyone who wants to know the current research on child witnesses and how they must be interviewed to obtain reliable and accurate information.
—Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 1998, Vol 10
Sensational child-abuse trials have led to research into how to interview children accurately and sensitively. Recommended techniques are taught…in texts like Investigative Interviews for Children: A Guide to Helping Professionals (APA, 1998).
—The New York Times, 8 September, 1998