WHAT IS A FORENSIC INTERVIEW?
A forensic interview is a non-leading, developmentally sensitive method of gathering information from children. These recorded statements are conducted by a specially trained, unbiased professional in a legally defensible manner.
Children and teens are interviewed at the Center in a safe, non-threatening environment. In a separate room, partner agencies observe the interview as it is being conducted, which allows for a collaborative team approach, therefore protecting 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, all while meeting the emotional needs of the child.
Can I schedule a Forensic Interview for my child?
No. All interviews are a part of an official investigative process and are scheduled with the Center through law enforcement or a DFPS Investigator. If you suspect your child is being abused, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.
My child was scheduled for a Forensic Interview, what should I tell her/him?
It is important to let your child know they are going to a safe place to talk about what happened. The most important thing your child should know is to tell the truth.
Who do I call if I need to cancel or reschedule my child’s appointment to be interviewed?
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment you need to contact the detective or caseworker who initially called to schedule your appointment. If you need their phone number, you can call the Center for Child Protection at 512.472.1164 and we will assist you in getting their phone number.
Where do I go for my child’s scheduled Forensic Interview?
When your child’s appointment is scheduled you will be given a date, time and location. There are two locations so please make note of the address when the interview is scheduled.
Center for Child Protection Main: 8509 FM 969, Bldg. 2, Austin, Texas 78724
Center for Child Protection Lakeway: 1927 Lohmans Crossing Rd., Suite 103, Lakeway, Texas 78734
Who can come to the scheduled Forensic Interview?
We want to respect the confidentiality of all families who are present for appointments so we ask that a supportive parent(s) or caregiver bring the child(ren) who are scheduled to be interviewed. Anyone who is accused of harming children are not allowed to be present at the Center.
What should I expect when I arrive for my child’s Forensic Interview?
When you arrive, you will enter a small lobby where you will let the reception know you are present for an appointment for your child. The receptionist will then buzz you into the building and provide you with some paperwork for the check-in process.
You will then be greeted by a staff member or volunteer or will escort you and your child upstairs to the Kid’s Play Area, a comfortable waiting area where your child can play as you wait for the appointment to begin.
A Center for Child Protection Family Advocate or law enforcement victim services personnel will invite you to a private family room where you will stay for the duration of the appointment. While in the family room, your child is allowed to stay in the Kid’s Play Area so information can be provided to you about your child’s case. Once your questions have been answered your child will be invited to join the appointment where they will meet the Forensic Interviewer who will conduct the interview in a separate room.
While your child is being interviewed, the Family Advocate or victim services personnel will remain with you in the family room to provide you with information, answer your questions and offer support. Once your child’s interview is completed, you will meet with the investigators on your case, and they will provide you with additional information about your case.