A report into the use of video interviews in cases of suspected
child abuse has bolstered calls for a national framework to improve
procedures and techniques.
The research is based on 38 videotaped interviews with social
workers, police and children, aged between three and 16, involved
in abuse cases.
Improvements are needed in evaluating training courses, as some
interviewers fail to implement practices they have been taught,
concludes the research.
Interviewers must be kept up to date with psychological research
and there must be wider consultation between social services and
police, it adds.
Undertaken by the Medical Research Council in conjunction with
the NSPCC and the Crown Prosecution Service, the research was
funded by Cambridgeshire social services department and the North
West Anglia Health Authority.
Co-researcher John Dennet said: ‘We are positive this research
will lead to even better working practices between agencies and a
wider acceptance that video techniques are effective in disclosing
evidence from children.’
* Evidential Interviews with Children: Observations and
Recommendations on Video Procedures and Interview Techniques, from
David Perry, general manager of client services, Cambridgeshire
County Council on 01733 327647.