What Should Parents Do Prior to the Child Being Interviewed by Social Services, Police, or Law Enforcement Regarding a Child Abuse or Molestation Incident?

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Many child abuse in molestation incidents are investigated by the police, social services, law enforcement and / or the state attorneys office. As part of the abuse / molestation investigation of abuse or molestation, a child is frequently subjected to one or more interviews by law-enforcement officers regarding the facts and circumstances underlying incidents of abuse and / or molestation. Parents often ask a Child Injury Lawyer the following question:

What should be done to prepare a child for the interview by law enforcement?

First, it should be noted that parents should not conduct an interview or practice interview with child before law enforcement does so. While parents may honestly attempt to make the situation easier for the child, the interference and meddling of parents may end up ruining or coloring the criminal investigation. Because of this, parents should refrain from asking too many questions or coaching the child before law-enforcement takes a statement from the child. Second, rather than coaching the child or conducting a practice interview, parents should only reassure the child by telling the child that it is safe to speak to the investigators and that the investigators will work to keep the child safe. Finally and most importantly, the parents should tell the child to be honest and to do the best to cooperate with the investigators. Parents along with the child should cooperate fully with the criminal investigation. If requested by law enforcement, parents should make the child available for more than one interview. Furthermore, if the investigators need to visit the child at home or at school, parents should allow for this as well.

If a child is abused or molested, there may be a civil case to pursue for the injuries and related damages. The basic elements of a case against each party are as follows:

1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Child Abuse, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.