In Search of the Perfect Interview
Is your team searching for the perfect forensic interview? Although a “perfect” outcome might not be possible, the journey is important. In this episode, I speak with two forensic interviewers from the Commonwealth of Virginia about that journey. We discuss some of the challenges that might get in the way and what interviewers and team members can do to overcome the obstacles that impact the journey toward perfection.
In the last 5 years, over 1 million children have received forensic interview services at Child Advocacy Centers across the United States. In this second episode of a 4-part series, I speak with Michele Thames and Christina Rouse about what forensic interviews and multidisciplinary teams can do to remove some of the hurdles that get in the way of forensic interviewing programs operating at their best. We discuss tools and resources that forensic interviewers can utilize to enhance their skills as well as what team members can do to support the interviewers on their team. We begin to talk about what the team can do on a systems level, to help ensure that children and families are having the best possible experience they can when coming to the CAC for a forensic interview, but you will have to tune in to part 3 of our series to hear more on that topic!
Michele Thames is the Executive Director of SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center in Fairfax, VA. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College. She was previously the Supervisor of the Forensic Interview Program at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Child Abuse Program in Norfolk, Virginia. Michele is a trained Forensic Interviewer that has conducted over 3,000 forensic interviews in a multidisciplinary team setting for local, state, federal and military agencies. She is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia and faculty for ChildFirst Virginia.
Christina Rouse, MSW, is the CAC Program Director/ Lead Forensic Interviewer at Children’s Trust in Roanoke, VA. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech where she received a degree in Psychology, and then a Masters in Social Work from Radford University. Christina has been at her CAC for 13 years and has interviewed over 2000 children and has testified as an expert witness in forensic interviewing in Virginia. Children’s Trust CAC program serves ten MDT’s that cover fourteen jurisdictions and Christina has helped coordinate and facilitate these teams to ensure that best practices are being met. She has been a member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) since 2009, ChildFirst faculty since 2012 and served on the Virginia state chapter board for CAC’s during her career.
SafeSpot CAC: www.safespotfairfax.org
Children’s Trust: www.roact.org
NCAC Calio Library: https://calio.org/
Tend Academy: https://www.tendacademy.ca/
National Children’s Alliance: https://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/