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Child witness interviewing master class to be held at Abertay

27 May 2013

A master class for those involved in the interviewing of child witnesses will be held at Abertay University on Tuesday, May 28th.

The event – entitled “Forensic interviews with children: theory, research and practical advice” – will be hosted by Dr David La Rooy, Reader in Psychology at Abertay.

The master class is targeted at anyone working with child witnesses, including lawyers, social workers and the police.

Children can be required to act as witnesses in criminal proceedings for a variety of reasons, and sometimes for the most serious of crimes, including physical and sexual abuse.

Their testimony is often the key to understanding what happened, and is in many cases the only available source of information for investigators.

In past high profile cases, however, doubts have been raised over the reliability of child witnesses, and their ability to communicate and remember key information.

To this end, the Scottish Government published (December, 2011) the new ‘Guidance on Joint Investigative Interviewing of Child Witnesses in Scotland’ for those working with these children.

The Scottish guidelines advocate a structured approach to investigative interviews and the focus of this master class will therefore be on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Interview Protocol which is the most well researched and widely known structured approach to interviewing children.

The master class will also provide practical advice about child interviewing, as well as important information about the Scottish guidelines.

The event will run from 9am to 5pm. Sessions will be delivered by Dr David La Rooy – Reader in Psychology at Abertay University, Dr Fiona Gabbert – Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Dr Lloyd Carson – Lecturer in Psychology at Abertay University.

Drs La Rooy and Gabbert are both experts in investigative interviewing techniques. In addition, Dr La Rooy is a child forensic interviewing expert witness.

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