Forensic interviews are conducted with children when there has been an allegations abuse that meets the county's agreed upon protocol. Children that have witnessed a violent crime may also require a forensic interview.
A forensic interview is a child’s opportunity to share in detail their experiences. All forensic interviews are conducted by a trained professional. Forensic interviews are conducted to elicit the child’s statement in a way that is developmentally and culturally sensitive, unbiased, and fact-finding in nature. Forensic interviews are recorded and the investigative agencies involved in the child’s case will be present to observe the interview through closed-circuit television.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
CAN I SCHEDULE A FORENSIC INTERVIEW FOR MY CHILD? No. Southwest Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center accepts forensic interview requests from local law enforcement and Child Protection Services only. If you suspect your child is being abused, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-222-8000.
MY CHILD HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR A FORENSIC INTERVIEW. WHAT SHOULD THEY EXPECT? Support and comfort your child by telling them they are going to a safe place to talk about what happened. Most importantly, encourage your child to tell the truth. WHERE WILL MY CHILD'S FORENSIC INTERVIEW TAKE PLACE? Your investigator or caseworker will provide you with a date and time of the scheduled forensic interview. Forensic interviews are conducted at: Southwest Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center 420 Delaware Avenue McComb, MS 39648
HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT THE FORENSIC INTERVIEW TO LAST? The duration of forensic interviews varies depending on a child's age, participation, etc.
WHO IS ALLOWED TO COME TO A SCHEDULED FORENSIC INTERVIEW? In order to respect the confidentiality of families and children, we ask that a supportive parent or caregiver bring the child to be interviewed. Alleged offenders are not permitted to be present.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN ARRIVING FOR A SCHEDULED FORENSIC INTERVIEW? Upon arrival, you will be checked-in by a Southwest Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center Member. You will both be in our waiting room where your child is free to watch a movie or play. Soon after, a Southwest Mississippi Children's Advocacy CenterFamily and Victim Advocate will invite you into their office to discuss a brief family history and answer any questions you may have. At this time, you will also sign consent paperwork, giving Southwest Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center permission to interview your child. Next, your child will be invited to participate in a forensic interview by one of our trained forensic interview professionals. Once your child's forensic interview is complete, your Family and Victim Advocate will meet with you again to discuss next steps and appropriate referrals for services.