Successful prosecution of child abuse cases begins with a thorough investigation. Forensic interviews are legally justifiable, fact-finding interviews with a child conducted by specially trained professionals at the request of law enforcement or Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
The goal of a forensic interview is to collect vital information from a child in a neutral, non-leading way to be utilized during a child abuse investigation. The purpose of a forensic interview is to minimize the number of times a child must tell their story. Forensic interviewers provide an opportunity for a child to disclose abuse. If abuse is disclosed, the interview is used to gather details about their victimization. CPS and law enforcement observe the interviews to assist in their investigations.
Interviews are recorded to minimize the number of times a victim must detail their trauma. The recording also increases the accuracy of information provided to professionals investigating the case.
Although the video recording itself is not typically admissible in court due to hearsay rules, the interview is utilized by the multi-disciplinary team as part of the investigation and must meet certain legal criteria.