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Forensic Interviews


A forensic interview is a method for gathering facts from a victim of alleged child abuse while being sensitive to the child's emotional needs and developmental level. The interviewer talks to children in an objective, non-threatening, comfortable and non-leading manner in a child focused environment. The interview rooms have child-sized chairs, tables, floor pillows, markers, and an easel. Children are free to talk about or draw pictures about their experiences. The Forensic Interviewers have received extensive training and are qualified to conduct legally defensible, age appropriate, interviews.


Referrals are received from the Department of Children's Services (DCS) and the Metropolitan Police Department who are members of the Child Protective Investigative Team.

 

A time is scheduled for the child to come to NCA to be interviewed. The interviewers are also available to the Child Protective Investigative Team members daily for emergency interviews. The interviewer, case manager, and detective will meet with the caregiver to briefly explain the interview process and to answer any questions the caregiver may have. The child is then interviewed while being observed by a representative of DCS and the Police Department by way of closed circuit television.

 

All involved Child Protective Investigative Team members will meet again with the caregiver to explain the next step in the investigation process. All interviews are video taped and the DVD's are property of DCS. The case is then presented to the Child Protective Investigative Team for further review and possible prosecution.

 

Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT)

 

The Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) consists of a group of professionals in Davidson County who investigate allegations of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. This team is mandated by Tennessee law and consists of representatives from the Department of Children's Services, the District Attorney's Office, Metropolitan Police Department, and the Nashville Children's Alliance.

 

The mission of the Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) is to investigate all allegations of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of children under the age 18, which have occurred in Davidson County. The CPIT team has case reviews four times a month at the Nashville Children's Alliance. The purpose is to evaluate interviews of the child, discuss, plan and monitor the progress of the investigation, review medical exams, discuss child protection and other safety issues, provide input for prosecution and sentencing decisions, and discuss emotional support and treatment needs of the child and non-offending family members and strategies for meeting those needs.

 

The CPIT Coordinator assists the Child Protective Investigative Team in meeting its goal of an effective, coordinated, and comprehensive multidisciplinary response to cases of child maltreatment. The Coordinator facilitates case reviews and is responsible for all the docket distributions to the team. The CPIT Coordinator coordinates training for the team, as well as new team member orientation. The CPIT Coordinator meets weekly with team supervisors to discuss referrals of child sexual and severe physical abuse and is available to CPIT members for case consultations.

 

Clinical Program

 

Nashville Children's Alliance provides therapy to children and adolescents between the ages of 3 to 17 who have been sexually abused, physically abused, or witnessed a violent crime.

 

NCA Clinical Program specializes in treating child traumatic stress. Therapists at NCA are trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Therapists are knowledgeable about child abuse dynamics and work with children individually and with their parents. Therapy is offered in English and in Spanish.

 

All services are provided free of charge to families.

 

Child clients who have witnessed or been victims of trauma have special needs, which may involve support by their therapist during the court process. Therapists at NCA are knowledgeable about the court process and have close working relationships with members of the Davidson County Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT).

 

Non-Offending Parent Support Groups (NOPS)

 

 

The NCA Clinical Program also addresses the needs of non-offending parents or caregivers of children who have been sexually abused by offering Non-Offending Parent Support Groups. These groups lend support to parents during the lengthy court process, enable parents to learn about issues related to child sex abuse that affect their children and families, and provide a safe environment for parents to meet others who have “walked in their shoes.”

On-going Non-Offending Parent Support Groups are offered in English and in Spanish.

Child care is provided. Attendance is open to all parents/caregivers of children who have been sexually abused. Services are provided free of charge to families.

 

 

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