FORENSIC INTERVIEW TRAINING

What is the Finding Words/Child First NJ - Forensic Interview Training Program? 

Finding Words/ChildFirst® NJ (FW/CF NJ) is an intensive five-day training course in which students learn the necessary skills to conduct a competent investigative interview of a child abuse victim using the ChildFirst forensic interview process.

It is an interactive course, which combines lectures with demonstrations and hands-on experience. Students will be required to interview a child about a non-abuse event and be critiqued by an expert forensic interviewer. Students will also conduct a 30-minute interview with an actor playing the role of an abused child and will be critiqued on their performances.

FW/CF NJ is the ideal course for child welfare investigators, law enforcement, mental health clinicians and prosecutors seeking to enhance their ability to speak to and for abused children.

FW/CF NJ is a course taught by faculty trained and certified by the Zero Abuse Project’s National Child Protection Training Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Why attend?

FINDING WORDS can be difficult for a child victimized by abuse. Conflicting emotions of fear and love for the perpetrator may cause a child to be reluctant to reveal abuse. If a child tries to speak of abuse, he or she may lack the verbal skills to adequately communicate the event to an adult. FINDING WORDS can be difficult for a police officer, social worker or prosecutor who must speak to a child about abuse. In order to communicate competently with a child, the interviewer must be able to speak in a manner consistent with the child’s linguistic and developmental abilities. FINDING WORDS can be difficult for a child forced to tell a jury about abuse. FINDING WORDS can be difficult for an investigator or prosecutor forced to defend an interview from an attack by defense counsel that the child was “led” into making a false accusation. CHILD FIRST/FINDING WORDS is an intensive five day training course in which students learn the necessary skills to conduct a competent investigative interview of a child abuse victim using the ChildFirst forensic interview process.

Who can apply?

Finding Words/Child First New Jersey runs Forensic Interviewing Training for specific individuals throughout the state. Please click "Read More" and review the criteria and eligibility requirements before applying for a training. Forensic Interview Training Requirements and Eligibility for participation in: MDT Training: ­­Must be employed by or a part of a NJ Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Children and Families - Child Protection and Permanency Local Office or part of a NJ Multi-disciplinary Team. Must be part of a county team organized by your county’s Multi-disciplinary Team Coordinator. If you are unsure of who your MDT Coordinator is please reach out the Training Coordinator and they will assist you. Please note: When applying for a training be sure to apply to your regions specified training or your application will not be approved or accepted. Municipal/Law Enforcement Training: Individuals must be employed by a NJ Police Department in a position relevant to the protection and safety of children.

Choose one of these three classifications of registration when applying.

FORENSIC INTERVIEWER: This classification identifies law enforcement, forensic interviewers, assistant prosecutors, and child protection workers (Division of Child Protection and Permanency; Institutional Abuse) that conduct interviews of children for both criminal and family court matters. They will be responsible for attending all 5 days of investigative training, they will both conduct and provide feedback for the actor and child interviews and must successfully complete the written exam.

OBSERVER: This classification includes mental health providers, victim advocates and medical personnel that provide services for children that are victims of abuse. They will be responsible for attending all 5 days of training; they will observe and provide feedback for the actor and child interviews and must successfully complete the written exam.

UPDATE TRAINING (Prior to 2014): This classification includes forensic interviewers that were previously trained in Child First/Finding Words prior to 2014 and have never attended an update training course. Applicants must provide a copy of their Finding Words certificate attached to the application. 1. Forensic interviewers that will be actively conducting forensic interviews of children must complete the entire 5-day training. Please check off “Forensic Interviewer”. 2. Supervisors that will be observing/supervising forensic interviews must attend: a. The second day of training to observe the instruction on the forensic interview protocol. b. The fourth day of training to observe the forensic interview protocol during the actor interviews. Please check off “Updated Training” for this option.

MDT Trainings

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Northern MDT Training

 

June 5th - 9th , 2023

Location: Morris County Public Safety Training Academy

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Central MDT Training

 

October 16th - 20th, 2023

Location: DCF Professional Center

New Brunswick, NJ 

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Southern MDT Training

 

March 13th - 17th, 2023

Location: Emergency Services Training Center 

Burlington County 

Municipal/Law Enforcement Trainings

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Northern Municipal Training

 

September 18th - 22nd, 2023

 

Location: Morris County Public Safety Training Academy

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Central Municipal Training

 

April 24th - 28th, 2023

Location: DCF Professional Center

New Brunswick, NJ 

Finding Words/ Child First NJ

Southern Municipal Training

 

February 27th - March 3rd, 2023

Location: Emergency Services Training Center 

Burlington County 

 

Questions?
Contact: info@findingwordsnj.org