We believe children begin to heal the moment they are truly heard.

A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child intended to elicit detailed information about a possible event(s) that the child may have experienced or witnessed. The purposes of a forensic interview are:

  • To assess the child’s safety
  • To obtain information from a child that may be helpful in a criminal investigation
  • To obtain information that will either corroborate or refute allegations or suspicions of abuse and neglect
  • To assess the need for medical treatment and psychological care

A forensic interview is conducted at the Child Advocacy Center when there has been a report to law enforcement or Child Protective Services that the child may have been a victim of sexual or physical abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime.

For caregivers coming to our center for a forensic interview CLICK HERE for more information about visiting the CAC.


Preparing Your Child For A Forensic Interview


  • Tell your child she/he will be visiting a safe place to talk with a person whose job it is to talk with kids and young adults.
  • Be sure your child is fed and well rested.
  • Give your child permission to talk about anything with the interviewer. Let her/him know they will not be in trouble for anything they talk about.
  • Allow your child to bring a comfort item if it would be helpful.


  • Ask your child questions about what happened.
  • Tell your child what to say.
  • Promise rewards or treats for talking with the interviewer.
  • Ask your child why they didn't tell you or why they didn't tell you sooner.

What if my child talks to me about what happened before the interview?


  • Remain as neutral and calm as possible when talking with your child.
  • Be aware of your words and actions; show interest in what your child is communicating and do not react with horror, shock, or indifference.
  • Don't introduce names of possible offenders or possible types/acts of abuse.
  • Listen to what your child says, but do not ask for further details. Do not record your conversation with your child.


  • Allow your child to talk about what happened in their own way and time.
  • Communicate to your child that you believe what she/he is telling you.
  • Reassure your child it is not her/his fault, nor are they in trouble.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou