White paper on forensic child interviewing: Research-based recommendations by the European Association of Psychology and Law

J. Korkman*, H. Otgaar, L.M. Geven, R. Bull, M. Cyr, I. Hershkowitz, J.-M. Mäkelä, M. Mattison, R. Milne, P. Santtila, P. van Koppen, A. Memmon, M. Danby, L. Filipovic, F.J. Garcia, E. Gewehr, O. Gomes Bell, L. Järvilehto, K. Kask, A. KörnerE. Lacey, Jennifer Lavoie, M. Magnusson, Q.C. Miller, T. Pakkanen, C.E. Peixoto, C.O Perez, F. Pompedda, I.A. Su, N.E.J. Sumampouw, Celine van Golde, G.F. Waterhouse, A. Zappalà, R. Volbert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This white paper consists of evidence-based recommendations for conducting forensic interviews with children. The recommendations are jointly drafted by researchers in child interviewing active within the European Association of Psychology and Law and are focused on cases in which children are interviewed in forensic settings, in particular within investigations of child sexual and/or physical abuse. One particular purpose of the white paper is to assist the growing Barnahus movement in Europe to develop investigative practise that is science-based. The key recommendations entail the expertise required by interviewers, how interviews should be conducted and how interviewers should be trained. Interviewers are advised to use evidence-based interview protocols, engage in hypothesis-testing and record their interviews. The need to prepare the interview well and making efforts to familiarise the child with the interview situation and create rapport as well as acknowledging cultural factors and the possible need for interpretation is underscored, and a recommendation is made not to rely on dolls, body diagrams and the interpretation of drawings in the interviews. Online child interviewing is noted as showing promising results, but more research is warranted before conclusive recommendations can be made. Interviewers should receive specialised training and continuous feedback on their interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-44
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Early online date18 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • child forensic interviews
  • child abuse investigations
  • interview recommendations
  • European Association of Psychology and Law
  • EAPL white paper


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