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CWDS Curriculum

Interviewing Skills and Special Considerations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Level: Advanced Practice – Lineworker, Supervisor

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: This training is intended for those lineworkers whose job duties involve information gathering and assessment in referrals for child sexual abuse. Professionals who supervise workers responsible for such assessments would benefit in learning the proper techniques for child interviews and decision-making in child sexual abuse cases based on information shared by the child.

Intended Objectives:

  • Trainees will increase self-awareness of how their own values, beliefs, experiences, and bias may serve as barriers to interviewing sexually abused children and/or investigating sexual abuse cases.
  • Trainees will understand barriers to interviewing sexually abused children as it relates to child dynamics, family dynamics, abuse dynamics, and cultural dynamics.
  • Trainees will understand developmental considerations and differences when interviewing children.
  • Utilizing an interview transcript, trainees will learn to identify proper and improper questioning techniques.
    Utilizing a case scenario, trainees will practice interviewing skills with a sexually abused child and identify credibility issues.

Topics Include:

  • Barriers to interviewing children believed to have been sexually abused
  • Goals of the child interview
  • Stages of the interview
  • Question design
  • Developmental considerations
  • Veracity of children’s disclosures
  • Alternative explanations for allegations of sexual abuse

CalSWEC Competencies Addressed:

3.4 Student demonstrates understanding of the influence of culture on human behavior and family dynamics.

3.13 Student demonstrates the ability and self-awareness to assess his or her own values conflicts and emotional responses to clients, co-workers, and situations and seeks consultation when needed.

4.1 Student demonstrates skill in interviewing children and families for assessment, intervention, service planning, and forensic purposes.

6.5 Student demonstrates understanding of the dynamics of human sexuality and gender identity.

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