Want to join the Baltimore forensic interview team? We are currently hiring for the following positions:
- Forensic Interviewer. Read the full job description and apply here.
- Bilingual Forensic Interviewer (Spanish)
- Coordinator, Forensic Interview Research and Education Department
Forensic Interview Toolbox (FIT) Training
FORMAT: Live Webinar (Zoom)
TOPICS COVERED: Current forensic interview research, tele-forensic interviewing, child development, use of media/evidence, memory & suggestibility, interviewing with cultural competence, and dynamics of abuse.
This NCA accredited 32.5-hour training includes comprehensive instruction on BCAC’s Forensic Interview Toolbox (FIT), forensic interview protocol. FIT is a research based, narrative, semi-scripted, and phased approach to interviewing. FIT methods can be applied to obtain both accurate and complete narratives from victims and witnesses. The FIT class teaches a broad range of best practice tools while also providing interviewers a clear guideline for questioning. Interviewers can use the FIT guideline as it is taught or utilize best practice tools learned to adapt to their individual jurisdiction’s population and protocols. The participants will be provided comprehensive narrative materials to accompany them in any interview or in preparation for defending their interview in court. Participants will learn best practices for questioning children and vulnerable adults (elder abuse and adults with disabilities). Practice interviews and mock trial will enhance learning along with content experts from legal, elder justice and interview research.
DATES: Monday – Friday, May 3 – 7, 2021, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
TUITION: In state MDT partners (Maryland): $700/$650 early bird (paid by April 4, 2021) | Out of state: $1000/$950 early bird (paid by April 4, 2021)
APPLY HERE by April 22, 2021.
For additional information, contact Crimson Barocca at email@example.com or 443-923-7007.
Our FIT Training is now also being offered in Spanish by request. Contact Cassandra Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Forensic Interview Toolbox (FIT)
The Forensic Interview Toolbox (FIT) is structured to help interviewers understand and access all of the best practice methods available to the field of forensic interviewing with children and vulnerable adults. In recent years, research in the field of forensic interviewing has been published at a rapid rate. This expansion in the field allows interviewers to refer to a wide range of best practice methods to obtain both accurate and complete narratives from witnesses (including victims) of not only sexual abuse, but a myriad of other crimes. Previously, adherence to a specific interview protocol was prudent; today interviewers are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with ongoing research, a variety of interview approaches and best practice guidelines, the basis for FIT.
This forensic interview technique is used with a suspected victim/witness central to a crime, as well as with those witnesses on the periphery of alleged incidents. FIT can also be used to interview individuals (siblings or other household members) exposed to alleged suspects. Vulnerable individuals with sexualized or other unusual behaviors concerning for abuse are also appropriate for this interview model. FIT is a flexible, semi-scripted, phased approach offering a range of choices at every stage of the interview while emphasizing methods supported by research. With the understanding that every individual and every community has differing needs for the interview, a “one-protocol-fits-all” approach may not be suitable. These guidelines utilize the concept of a toolbox approach that teaches a wide variety of best practice methods for every phase of the forensic interview. There is no one right way to conduct a forensic interview. FIT offers many options but is not exhaustive. Interviewers may choose other questions instead. FIT helps interviewers understand best practices to inform and explain their choices. As best practices dictate, FIT focuses on the use of open-ended invitations for transition statements and within each phase. A range of more focused questions are used with caution where open-ended prompts are unsuccessful.
FIT is appropriate for the novice or experienced. It was created for dedicated forensic interviewers, and for those who conduct interviews as part of an investigatory role such as Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) members in law enforcement, legal, education, or adult and child protection fields. FIT is designed for those who conduct forensic interviews and for those who observe them. FIT interviewing is not dispositive, as it is not intended to prove or disprove allegations. FIT is a tool to obtain complete narrative responses from individuals by which investigators can proceed their inquiry and make determinations.
Tele-Forensic Interview Resources
With the arrival of COVID-19, forensic interviewers across the nation were looking for innovative ways to safely conduct forensic interviews. Tele-forensic interviewing has come to the forefront as a viable and defensible option. To help support our colleagues across the country, BCAC has set up a hotline for questions regarding TFI or TFI set up: 443-934-4396. Give us a call! We’re here to help!
Since March 2020, the forensic interview team in Baltimore has emerged as a national leader in tele-forensic interviewing (Tele-FI/TFI) practice and education. In 2021, the team continues to support a Tele-FI helpline to those who need assistance setting up or have questions about tele-forensic interviewing practice. We also have our previously recorded tele-FI webinars posted for viewing.
Below you will find our archived webinars as well as some additional resources we have put together to help you:
Tele-Forensic Interviewing: A National Panel (recorded on 1/5/21)
A panel of forensic interviewers from across the U.S. discuss how they implemented TFI. We review screening tools, choices on technology and security, safety and protocol decisions, successes and challenges. Responses to the TFI process by the interviewers, team and children are discussed along with ideas about what role TFI has in our future. Includes Q & A with the audience. Panelists: Christina Copland, forensic interviewer, Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center, Maryville, TN; Katie Ashburner, MSW, forensic interviewer, Blue Sky Bridge, Boulder, CO; Rachel Booker, manager of forensic services at Safe Shores, Washington, D.C.; Ray Olszewski, Jr., LMSW Forensic Interview Specialist at the Metropolitan Children’s Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC; Miriam Wolf, MS, LCSW Director of the Forensic Interviewing Program at the Keller Center in San Mateo County, CA; Annie Waller, LMSW Forensic interviewer at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center. Moderated by Crimson Barocca, LCSW-C Forensic Interview Program Supervisor at Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
Tele FI Practice & Protocol Development Webinar (recorded on 11/13/20)
With no clear end of COVID-19 in sight and hundreds of tele-forensic interviews (TFI) under our belt we have many successes and challenges to share. This training provides real case examples and direction on how to create and improve existing protocols on TFI practice. As skepticism fades on TFI, we discuss emerging scenarios of the benefits of this practice beyond COVID.
Tele-Forensic Interview Webinar (recorded on 4/8/20)
With the arrival of COVID-19, forensic interviewers across the nation are looking for innovative ways to safely conduct forensic interviews. Tele-forensic interviewing has come to the forefront as a viable and defensible option. We review new research, how to implement into practice and discuss guidance from National Children’s Alliance.
- Updated Tele-Forensic Interview Shopping List
- Tele-Forensic Interview Poll – Is your CAC currently conducting Tele-forensic interviews? Let us know!
- Tele-Forensic Interview Survey – BCAC’s FI Team, with guidance from Montclair State University, developed a tele-forensic interview survey/questionnaire for interviewers and CAC staff to complete to help gather national tele-FI information for the development of future training and practice. Please take a moment to fill out this survey to aid in the development of resources that may be beneficial to your agency following each tele-forensic interview you conduct. The survey is intended to be used/completed immediately following each tele-forensic interview and can be completed multiple times.
- Introducing Tele-Forensic Interviewing to Child Victims (Montclair State University)
- NCA Tele-Forensic Interview Guidelines
- Tele-Forensic Interview Decision Tree
- Tele-Forensic Interview Room Setup