Forensic Interviews

Forensic Interviews

Forensic Interviews are supportive, non-leading conversations designed to elicit information about what a child has experienced or witnessed.  Interviewers at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass are specially trained to talk to and interact with children while assessing their developmental capabilities. The interview is conducted to assist law enforcement in gathering factual information regarding the abuse allegations.  Each interview is recorded on DVD and observed remotely by the assigned law enforcement officer and social worker. Interviews are conducted at the Center to limit the number of times a child must recount their story of abuse.


All interviews are conducted in a safe, child-friendly environment and provided at no cost to a child’s family.

Before The Interview

How should I tell my child that he/she has to talk about this situation with a stranger?

Tell your child that they will be meeting with someone who is a specialist (or you pick the word that will best relate to your child, i.e. a counselor, an interviewer, a helper) in talking to children about very difficult things. Some parents will designate this person as a friend of the investigator who has opened the case (CPS or Police) if the child has had a good connection with that person. Tell your child that even though they’ve told things to you (or someone else), it’s important that the information is given to a specialist.

When should I tell my child this will be taking place?

Give your child enough notice so that they don’t feel it’s a surprise, but also don’t give them too long to worry about what they may have to do. Usually a day or two is enough time for them to feel comfortable with this appointment.

What if my child questions me about what they will have to say?

Tell your child that you don’t know exactly what they will be asked but that you believe in them and know they’ll be honest. Reassure them that the interviewer will make them feel comfortable and that it is their job to talk to kids about difficult things. Tell them you want him/her to answer all questions the best they can and to tell the truth. Be general in what you tell your child, but give the child permission to talk about what they have disclosed and don’t ask them any questions; let the professionals do all the asking.

What if my child wants to know why they can’t just tell me?

Tell your child that a special interviewer is needed because you might not know what questions to ask and how to ask them. Assure them that they are not in any trouble and that they are doing what every child should always do: which is to tell someone when another person has done something wrong.

What if my child wants me to be in the room with them?

Assure your child that while they are talking to the interviewer, you’ll be in another room talking to someone else and getting information on how to make sure they will stay safe.

What if my child says they don’t want to do this because they already told their story?

Tell your child that you understand their feelings of frustration, especially since it’s a difficult story to tell. But also tell them how brave they were for telling it in the first place and how proud you are of their honesty. Tell them that because they were so brave, they’re going to be helping to keep other children safe by telling their story to the people who are in charge of keeping all children safe.

After The Interview

Should I ask my child about his/her experience?

You can certainly ask about how things went but don’t press them for specifics. The purpose of this interview is so the child doesn’t have to keep repeating the discomforting details. Asking things like what room was like and if the interviewer was nice are perfectly acceptable questions. It shows you’re interested in their experience but respects that they may be uncomfortable sharing too many details.

What if my child wants to tell me everything?

This is unlikely. Children are very protective of their parents and caregivers, which is why they are reluctant to talk about such sensitive things in the first place. If your child appears to want to talk more to you, then certainly be a good listener. Be careful not to react in a way that makes your child feel guilty or makes them feel ashamed. Let them say what they have to say and thank them again for their honesty. If you feel disturbed by what they say, please call us and we’ll help you process the information.

Will my child show signs of sadness or shame?

Most children feel relieved that they’ve been able to finally get their “secret” out, so they may actually show signs of relief. They may just seem like their normal selves and want to play or do an activity that is fun. Some children may show other feelings, such as sadness or fear about the circumstance, especially if their perpetrator is a family member or someone trusted by the child.