What We Do

Services

Child-friendly forensic interviews using the "Finding Words Indiana" technique, with a single interview that minimizes trauma to the child.

Family Advocacy to provide immediate and ongoing support, crisis intervention, education and information to victims and their families

Medical examination referrals for cases of physical and sexual abuse.

Mental health counseling referrals for the child victims and non-offending family members.

What is a Forensic Interview?

A forensic interview is a fact-finding interview that is used to assess whether or not abuse has occurred. Children/teenagers come to the CAC of SE IN because there has been a report that the child may have experienced some form of abuse or may have witnessed violence either at home or in some other circumstance.

The job of the forensic interviewer is to allow the child to tell about that event in a way that appears to be a one-on-one discussion, not an interrogation, completely non-threatening and in language not suggested to the child by the interviewer. The child is given the opportunity to describe an event in his or her own words, in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate to the child.

The goal of a forensic interview is to get a statement from a child. The information that the victims/witnesses give supports accurate and fair decision-making in the criminal justice and child welfare systems.

Why is the Forensic Interview So Important?

It is extremely difficult to sort out the facts of an alleged case of child abuse. Many lack physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. Errors in these cases can either leave a child unprotected and vulnerable to further abuse or subject innocent caregivers to criminal prosecution or loss of parental rights. (Olafson & Kenniston)

A forensic interview is performed by someone who is specially trained in interviewing and the many dynamics of child abuse. Using non-leading and age-appropriate questions, a forensic interview finds out the child's reality - in their own words - about what may have happened to them.