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As part of the Child Advocacy Center’s (CAC) Multidisciplinary Model, the CAC provides a number of services, including child forensic interviews. The CAC reduces the number of times a child has to endure interviews by facilitating joint interviews or by replacing multiple interviews with one comprehensive forensic interview. All of the interviews are recorded for future reference. Highly trained professionals conduct the interviews in a physically and psychologically safe environment for children.
The CAC requires peer review for all forensic interviewers as a part of adherence to the National Children’s Alliance accreditation standards. All peer reviews are organized and coordinated through the CAC. During peer review, forensic interviewers are able to critique in an open, positive environment, and share best practices and methods. Peer review also supports team building, and continued growth.
“Both new and veteran interviewers participate in peer review, and work best in a supported team environment.” said Ian Danielson, CAC Coordinator. “Everyone has something to contribute.”
To stay informed on best practices and new resources, the multidisciplinary team member’s refer to The National Children’s Alliance which promotes discussions, offers debates, and provides shared documents. The CAC staff and partners also refers to CALiO, The National Children’s Advocacy Center online library.
The CAC also participates in regional peer reviews promoted by the CAC state chapter, CACVA. This allows the local team to interact with forensic interviewers in cities throughout the region.
The impact of peer review for forensic interviews reaches every aspect of the investigation process.
“Peer review enhances the quality of interviews and supports the integrity of criminal investigations.” Ian Danielson said.
The CAC’s goal is for children to feel as safe as possible during the investigation process. Peer review helps the forensic interviewers work as a team and view the CAC as their headquarters and an agency for children.