A Guide to Interviewing Children: Essential Skills for Counsellors, Police, Lawyers and Social Workers

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Allen & Unwin, 2003 - Social Science - 136 pages
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This book has been written by two people who really understand children. [They show how to] create opportunities to reduce the trauma of the interview and significantly improve the quality of the information obtained.

Chief Constable A.J. Butler Gloucestershire Constabulary

A few years ago, a Chief Justice said that it was unnecessary to educate lawyers and judges in the techniques of interviewing children because it was 'just common sense'. The authors show that successful interviewing requires much more than 'common sense'.

Freda Briggs, Professor of Child Development, University of South Australia

...an excellent book for students and professionals in forensic psychology, policing and social work.

Helen Westcott, PhD, The Open University

It is critical that children are interviewed properly in cases of suspected abuse or where the children may be witnesses to or victims of a crime. Poor questioning can upset the child further and contaminate evidence that may be needed in court.

Interviewing Children is a practical guide to interviewing techniques for a range of professionals including welfare workers, psychologists, schoolteachers and counsellors, police officers and lawyers. Step by step, it outlines the key stages of an interview, and how to respond to the child's needs during an interview. It explains how to deal with children of different ages and from different backgrounds, and also how to work with their parents. Particular attention is paid to the sensitive issue of sexual abuse, and the problems created by multiple interviews.

Clare Wilson lectures in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Martine Powell lectures in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. Both have trained police officers, social workers and legal professionals in interviewing techniques in Australia and the UK.

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Full quotes to go on half-title page:

This book has been written by two people who really understand children. In passing on their knowledge to professionals who engage with children in the interview room, they create opportunities to reduce the trauma of the interview and significantly improve the quality of the information obtained. Writing in a clear and fresh style, the authors have produced a book which is valuable as a point of reference, a day to day tool and as a training aid to develop skills.

Chief Constable A.J. Butler Gloucestershire Constabulary

This book should be read by all professionals who work with children and could find

themselves receiving disclosures of abuse. It is practical, easy to read and full of examples and hints. It should be a compulsory text for social work studen
 

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Contents

TABLES
11
q What does a child remember? How accurate
16
consider? qAre there questions I can prepare in advance?
28
Essential elements of the interview
41
ask? q What does it mean to be childfocused? What does
55
Tailoring the interview to the childs needs
69
tailor an interview to a child who has an intellectual
80
Evaluating the process and outcome of an interview
89
after the interview is completed? What will debriefing
110
References for interviewing different cultural
123
Bibliography
129
Index
135
Copyright

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Page xiii - he said, 'if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — ' 'Sir?' '- — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
Page 18 - Attorney: What made you decide to tell? Child: My brother and I talked about it, and he said I better tell or dad would just keep doing it.
Page 17 - At this point, it looked as if the child had completely recanted her earlier testimony about the sexual abuse and had only fabricated the story because her brother told her to. However, the experienced prosecuting attorney recognized the problem and clarified the situation: Prosecuting Attorney: Jennie, you said that you didn't put your mouth on daddy's penis. Is that right? Child: Yes. Prosecuting Attorney: Did daddy put his penis in your mouth? Child: Yes. Prosecuting Attorney: Did you tell your...
Page 19 - And did your mother ever say to you that if somebody asks you the questions I am asking you, you should say that we didn't say what was going to be said?
Page 22 - I don't know' they may be unable to maintain it against the insistence of an inquirer who repeats his question, hammering it home in persistent phrases. As Hughes and Grieve (1980) concluded: Psychologists and linguists — and all others who rely on questioning young children — can no longer treat the child as merely a passive recipient of questions and instructions, but must instead start to view the child as someone who is actively trying to make sense of the situation he is in — however bizarre...
Page 22 - You must answer." They dare not confess their ignorance. Even when they start with an " I don't know," they may be unable to maintain it against the insistence of an inquirer who repeats his question, hammering it home in persistent phrases. Here, of course, we come to the central point of the whole complex of problems — suggestion. It was one of the most important conclusions of the Aussage experiments that leading questions are capable of exercising a well-nigh fatal power. If the expectant tone...
Page 35 - ... 1. If I misunderstand something you say, please tell me. I want to get it right. 2. If you don't understand something I say, please tell me and I will try again. 3. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, please tell me or show me with the stop sign. 4. Even if you think I already know something, please tell me anyway.
Page 35 - Please remember that I was not there when it happened. The more you can tell me about what happened, the better.

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About the author (2003)

Clare Wilson lectures in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Martine Powell lectures in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. Both have trained police officers, social workers and legal professionals in interviewing techniques in Australia and the UK.

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