Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings CHILD

Interviewing vulnerable and intimidated children and young people under the Ministry of Justice’s guidance: Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

This investigation of alleged sexual abuse was characterised by wholesale and serious breaches of the ‘Achieving Best Evidence guidelines’.” are not words that you, your professionals or the families and children or young people you work with want to hear at the end of a court case. And yet, disappointingly, phrases of this nature are still used by Judges when summing up trials or ruling on appeals. This course, delivered by experienced trainers and practitioners, will develop the attendees’ knowledge and understanding of the guidance as well as enhance their practical application of it through a totally interactive development programme.

Course content:

By the end of this module the attending participants will be able to, amongst other learning outcomes:

  • Define a “Vulnerable” victim and witness
  • Define when a person might be considered as an “Intimidated” victim or witness
  • List all “Special Measures” that a vulnerable and/or intimidated victim or witness may be eligible for
  • Explain when a victim or witness should be considered ‘competent’ under the relevant legislation
  • Explain those “Special Measures” in context of the participant’s local working environment
  • Demonstrate the ability to take notes during an interview in such a way that enables the identification and management of interview topics dynamically during a live-time interview
  • Explain the possible advantages and potential disadvantages of ‘open’, ‘specific closed’, ‘forced choice’ and ‘leading’ questions
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply those four question types appropriately during a live-time interview
  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain, in an ethical manner that complies with the Ministry of Justice’s guidance and recent court findings and case law, relevant detail
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the role of ‘lead interviewer’ in an interview conducted under the guidance “Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings”
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the role of the second-interviewer / note-taker in an interview conducted under the guidance “Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings”

Module duration and delivery methodology

The above list is not a definitive catalogue of learning outcomes that will be achieved during this five-day long learning event, merely a sample of the depth and nature of the attendees’ development thresholds. You will see that many of the learning outcomes start with “Demonstrate the ability to …”. This is because this is a very practical and interactive course where the learners will be working with experienced practitioners as their trainers in simulated interview exercises. Delegates will also work with professional role players who bring a vast amount of experience in this area of work. Feedback from the role-players is often said to be one of the most valuable elements of the course.

The full course is of five days duration. Alternative options exist for managers or those delegates who have received ABE guidance in the past and now need refresher /update training. Please enquire directly with us to discuss your specific needs.

Who should attend?

Children’s Services social care staff and Police officers are the most regularly employed personnel in joint-interviews and joint-investigations as endorsed in Her Majesty’s Government’s publication “Working Together to Safeguard Children”. That said this course is also extremely relevant for all professionals involved in face-to-face working with children and young people including health care staff, children’s charities workers and those from schools, colleges and other educational establishments. We often hear that many professionals are not sure what they can and cannot do when they receive a disclosure of abuse from a child. They certainly are anxious that they might do something that would jeopardise the potential criminal investigation that may follow. This course is exactly for those professionals too. It will go a considerable way to allaying those anxieties.

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