Monthly Archives: April 2021

Forensic Interviewing Skill Development

In the last five years, over 1 million children have received forensic interview services at Child Advocacy Centers across the United States.  In the first of four episodes dedicated to this topic, Rita Farrell, Director of ChildFirst® for Zero Abuse Project, discusses the value of peer review and how forensic interviewers can continually enhance their skills through coaching, mentoring, and program development.  

Episode summary

Forensic interviewers are dedicated professionals passionate about helping the children and families they serve.  Like any other professional skill, forensic interviewing skills can deteriorate if not developed.  Forensic interviewers should continually work on enhancing their knowledge and skills in an ongoing effort to do their job effectively.  In this episode, NRCAC Training Specialist Tony DeVincenzo speaks with Rita Farrell, Director of ChildFirst® for Zero Abuse Project about ways interviewers can receive additional training, identify gaps in their skill development, and make a plan to hone their skills to remain effective in this critical MDT role.

Rita manages the ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Training Program, ChildFirst® Arkansas state program, and the development of advanced training courses and programs for forensic interviewers. She is a certified law enforcement instructor and provides training and technical assistance for child protection professionals. Rita currently conducts forensic interviews and has interviewed more than 2,500 children. She serves as an expert witness on child sexual abuse, authored many peer reviewed articles specific to forensic interviewing and continues to champion the cause of child advocacy and the field of forensic interviewing.

Recommended resources

Zero Abuse project.

For more information about the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, visit our website at

Disclaimer: This project was sponsored by NRCAC from Grant Award Number 2019-CI-FX-K005 and CFDA #16.758 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, OJJDP or NRCAC.



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