Mentoring and Consultation Groups for Child Forensic Interviewers

MCGIntensive training programs provide an excellent foundation for a professional who is new to child forensic interviewing. Such programs, usually a week in length, familiarize trainees with basic memory principles, the best questioning approaches for eliciting information, a review of children’s developmental capabilities and issues, and recommended techniques for transitioning the child to the allegation-focused portion of the interview and gathering a detailed description of experiences.

However, research demonstrates and practitioners agree that training alone is not adequate for developing the sophisticated skill set necessary for eliciting the best quality and quantity of information from a child. Mentoring or supervision by an experienced and skilled child forensic interviewer or an opportunity to participate in an effectively run peer review group increases the likelihood that the new interviewer will put their newly acquired skills into practice. While strongly recommended, some forensic interviewers do not have access to these types of support and oversight for a variety of reasons (financial, geographic, lack of administrative support).

The purpose of the NCAC formalized mentoring and consultation process is to provide participants, trained in a nationally-recognized child forensic interview model, the opportunity to receive personalized feedback on two recorded forensic interviews, engage in group discussion, examine current research and literature related to the field of forensic interviewing, as well as hone basic interviewing skills.

Each participant provides two recorded forensic interviews to their assigned Group Leader. The Group Leader reviews the recordings supplied by participants and provide feedback to the individual interviewer. Professional peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. Highly skilled Forensic Interviewers and/or Trainers serve as Group Leaders.

Additionally each month, participants of the Mentoring and Consultation Groups are assigned a current research article related to challenging and emerging issues in child forensic interviewing. Participants are expected to read the assigned article in preparation for group discussions via webinar. The schedule for group webinar discussions is provided to the right.

Goals of Mentoring and Consultation Groups:
  • To provide structured feedback to Child Forensic Interviewers
  • To provide an opportunity to discuss issues and challenges in conducting forensic interviews of children
  • To increase knowledge of peer-reviewed literature related to the field of forensic interviewing
  • To provide a networking forum for Child Forensic Interviewers

Individuals interested in participating in the Mentoring and Consultation Groups must complete an application. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of experienced Forensic Interviewers to determine if the applicant meets specific criteria for participation in the groups. Four Mentoring and Consultation Groups, with up to 10 participants in each group, will be created.

Qualifications for participation will be based on specific criteria:
  • Completed a nationally-recognized Forensic Interview protocol training
  • Conducts forensic interviews of children as a primary job duty
  • Has little or no access to local supervision or peer review
  • Faces challenges to regular peer review
  • Has permission and the ability to provide a minimum of two recorded interviews for review by Group Leader
  • Must commit to monthly, 90-minute discussion groups via webinar-type format, provided by Group Leader
  • Must commit to two individual consultation meetings with Group Leader
  • Written permission from a supervisor and/or Prosecuting Attorney to participate in this process

Groups will meet together for the initial Kick-off/Introduction webinar. After the initial webinar, each group will meet separately for the webinars, following the schedule specified below.

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Applications will be accepted through November 15, 2016.

Applicants will be notified on December 9, 2016 via email whether or not they have been selected for the class.

For more information, email Sarah Hubbard.

Dates of the 2017 Group Webinars (each 90 minutes in length)

All webinars begin at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.

Group AGroup B
January 19 – Kick OffJanuary 24 – Kick Off
January 31February 9
February 28March 9
April 4April 13
May 23May 18
June 20June 22
July 18- Wrap upJuly 27- Wrap up

 

This project is supported by Grant No. 2015-CI-FX-K003 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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