Police, Child care officers, others trained to interview abused children

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Police and officers of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) along with health officials this week participated in a four-day forensic interviewing training.

Forensic interviewing is a child-friendly way to talk to children about events that may have occurred in their lives.

It is expected that the training will lead to more successful prosecutions in child sexual abuse cases.

According to a statement from the CPA, the training which commenced on Tuesday and concluded on Friday was done in collaboration with Blossom Incorporated and Child Link- two Non-Government Agencies.

Founder and Managing Director, Blossom Inc., Ayo Dalgety Dean, according to the statement, explained that the training is necessary particularly for police officers so they can be properly prepared to deal with child sexual abuse cases.

“The police station is the central entity that deals with child sexual abuses cases so we thought it was necessary to train police officers in forensic interviewing and also other persons apart of the team so that they will be well equipped to handle situations like that,” Dean was quoted as saying.

Topics discussed during the training are child development and trauma.

(R-L) Founder and Managing Director, Blossom Inc., Ayo Dalgety Dean and Programme Coordinator, Blossom Inc. Michelle Amsterdam

Programme Coordinator, Blossom Inc. Michelle Amsterdam noted that it is crucial for officers to learn how to interview children who have had terrible experiences, in a child-friendly and trauma-sensitive manner in order to have a successful interview.

“We would like to see more police officers conducting child-friendly trauma-sensitive interviews and we would like a collaborative effort among the police officers, medical officers and CPA officers and other persons involved. We would also like to see more prosecutions for cases and that is the ultimate aim. Because once these persons are trained and we can conduct these interviews in the ideal setting and format then we’re hoping that there will be more convictions,” Amsterdam underlined.

Discussions will continue with the relevant stakeholders to have similar trainings held in other regions, the CPA said.

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