Comprehensive, Culturally Approriate, and Competency-Based Workforce Development.

CWDS Curriculum

Interviewing Children Who Have Witnessed Violent Death

Level: Advanced Practice – Lineworkers

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: New and current child welfare personnel interested in advancing their interviewing skills with children who have witnessed violent death

Intended Objectives:

  • Steps for preparing the interview
  • Interviewing techniques to be used for reducing the risk of additional trauma to the child during an investigative interview
  • Identify coping mechanisms children utilize in traumatic situations
  • Identify resources for workers experiencing vicarious trauma.


  • Children’s Grieving Process
  • Characteristics of the Successful Interviewer
  • Components of the Interview
  • People present at or conducting the interview
  • The Importance of Obtaining Parental Permission
  • Interview Aids
  • The Interview Process

CalSWEC Competencies Addressed:

1.4 Student can develop relationships, obtain information, and communicate in a culturally sensitive way.

3.2 Student conducts effective on-going case assessment and planning.

3.3 Student demonstrates the ability to evaluate and incorporate information from others, including family members and professionals in assessment, treatment planning, and service delivery.

3.7 Student understands crisis dynamics, identifies crisis and conducts crisis counseling activities.

3.8 Student uses a variety of methods and strategies to interview and elicit information from children and adolescents, that are age appropriate, and consistent with social work values and ethics.

3.13 Student has knowledge of and understands how to work collaboratively with other disciplines that are routinely involved in child welfare cases.

4.1 Student understands children’s developmental needs and how developmental level affects a child’s perception of events, coping strategies, and physical and psychological responses to stress and trauma.

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