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Investigative Interviewing Skills for Social Workers 

The interview skills that are developed in this course are transferrable to most contexts in which social workers need to engage and assesses vulnerable children and adults e.g. care assessments, s47 Inquiries and Age Assessments, Return Home Debriefings (post missing incidents). 

Aim To establish best practice within ‘Achieving Best Evidence’ and Lord Justice Thorpe’s Working Party (Re:W) guidelines for the investigation of crime or abuse in which children are witnesses or victims.  Objectives • Demonstrate knowledge of the guidance and the relevant legislation in relation to their roles and responsibilities. • Demonstrate skills in the interviewing of children in accordance with the guidance framework. • Recognise and apply the principles of multi-agency working. • Develop strategies for planning and co-ordinating interviews. • Describe the requirements for the support and preparation of witnesses. • Recognise the emotional impact of the work and identify support systems. 


Day 1 . Introduction to Guidelines and Standards 
• Overview of the ABE Guidance and Guidelines in Relation to Children Giving Evidence in Family Proceedings, provisions and special measures. 
• Categories of abuse including criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery offences and trafficking, standards of evidence. 
• Reasons for children not wanting to, or unable to disclose. 
• Joint working issues and information sharing 
Day 2. Trauma Informed Practice 
• Patterns of perpetrator behaviour and the dynamics of the abusive relationship 
• The impact of trauma 
• Interviewing children with special needs 
• Role of the Intermediary: Pre-interview assessment, interview and Giving Evidence 
Day 3. Planning The Interview 
• Comparing the Criminal and Civil systems and requirements 
• Standards of proof 
• Structure of the interview: The interview plan, phases of the interview, Evaluation 
• Presentation of evidence and applications for “Special Measures” (comparing the civil and criminal requirements) 
Day 4 Conducting the Interview 
• Practical day with feedback 
Day 5 Conducting the Interview and Evaluation 
• Practical day with feedback 
• Review and reflection on the process and impact of conducting investigative interviews. 
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