Interviewing children who may been sexually abused is a daunting task fraught with far-reaching consequences for the children, families, institutions, and professionals involved. With no room for error, forensic and clinical interviewers must navigate the complex and often contradictory evidence that informs their decision making.
Here, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, a leading expert on child sexual abuse, critically analyzes the research on assessing child sexual abuse. Noting that issues such as memory and suggestibility, questioning techniques, the use of media, and false allegations remain hotly contested, chapters guide readers in applying available research to professional judgment while drawing also on best practice guidelines and conceptual, clinical, and consensus-based writings. The only up-to-date resource of its kind,Interviewing Children About Sexual Abuse covers the entire interview process, showing professionals how to structure, document, and follow up on children's responses in interviews; work with children who are very young, have special needs, or come from diverse backgrounds; use standardized tests and measures; formulate conclusions about sexual abuse; and defend those decisions in a courtroom or clinical setting.
Mental health, forensic, and child welfare professionals will find in this volume a wealth of expert information that will guide them through the often murky, always emotional process of interviewing children about sexual abuse.