Conducting forensic interviews of children and adolescents is always a complex task requiring interviewers to establish and maintain rapport with a child, understand and track the child’s information, form appropriate and non-leading questions, and adjust interview strategies to accommodate each child’s linguistic style and developmental abilities. Research has provided interviewers with a roadmap, questioning approaches, and recommendations for interviewing children in active disclosure.
However, forensic interviewers receive little direction from research to guide them in adapting their practices with children who are primarily Spanish-speaking and who come from widely varying cultural backgrounds. Additional challenges for professionals when conducting a forensic interview with a Spanish-speaking child/adolescent include variations in family dynamics, cultural and social norms, perception of and relationship with the legal and child protection systems, degree of assimilation of child and family, socio-economic and educational concerns, and the complexities of language (grammar, word meaning, linguistic structure, and styles of communication including non-verbal communication).
This training will begin with a review the principles of recognized “best practice” forensic interviewing; but will quickly move to addressing the unique challenges faced by forensic interviewers who work with the variety of culturally diverse Spanish speaking populations. The training will focus on how to accommodate the needs of these children without compromising the integrity of “best practice” interviewing approaches.
This training will provide an opportunity for observation of each other’s recorded interviews followed by discussion, feedback, and suggestions. Participants are asked to bring recordings of challenging interviews to share with the class. Completion of a recognized forensic interviewing basic training and current forensic interviewing practice is required.