At The Tree House we offer many different services to help families and children heal from child abuse. In this post I will be highlighting our forensic team and the role they play at The Tree House. Our forensic team includes two forensic interviewers, Jason who is our Director of forensic services. Heather, who is a forensic interviewer, and our family advocate Christina. Our forensic interview team does a great job of making kids feel as comfortable as possible when talking about their trauma.
So how does a forensic interview come about? When suspected abuse is reported, the child comes to our organization for a forensic interview. During a forensic interview, a highly trained professional will have a recorded conversation with the child to gather a statement of any possible abuse that occurred or was witnessed. The referring agencies are present at the time of the interview, but they do not talk with the child so that the child can feel as comfortable as possible when at our organization. When I first started working at The Tree House, I was able to sit in on a couple of forensic interviews so that I could learn what goes on during an interview and how they are conducted. I found it really incredible the lengths that our forensic interviewers go to make the children feel comfortable talking with them.
It’s important to us that we give support and education to the caregivers during this whole process. Before the interview occurs our family advocate meets with the family to let them know how the process will work. Once the forensic interview is finished the caregivers meet with our family advocate again. The meeting after the interview includes our family advocate as well as law enforcement to give the caregivers updates about how the interview went. Also we provide the caregivers with any resources we believe will be helpful for them. Our family advocate continues to be accessible to the family even after the forensic interview process. Our family advocate plays an important role in helping the family feel safe and secure.
Forensic interviews can be tough. The children that come to us have suffered abuse and trauma. It can be difficult to listen to the stories you are hearing of the situations these kids have endured. Our forensic team and family advocate do a great job of going above and beyond for the kids and families that come in for forensic services. Making children feel comfortable and heard when telling their stories. Forensic interviewing is an important part of The Tree House, and we are proud to have such an amazing forensic interview team! #GreatChildhoodsBeginWithAllOfUs