We had a prosecutor come talk to us about this very issue just this week in a presentation that had social workers, child life specialists, sexual assault nurses, forensic interviewers from Children’s protective services and physicians present and all gave some good info.
For our ED, we have a stepwise approach:
1.the patient and parent check in with chief complaint. (Little to no details taken just yet).
2. The Social worker is immediately called who then talks to the parent alone and gets the story and history and if the patient is old enough or an adolescent, will get history.
3. The case is hotlined accordingly. If an acute injury is suspected or present, the social worker notifies the physician right away.
4. The physicians don’t ask any history about the events and does more of a medical screen and past medical history. If bruising or injuries seen on exam, photos are taken that go directly into our child abuse database photos that our Child Abuse specialists look at daily and make recommendations such as “the patient needs a forensic interview to be set up with a child forensic interviewer who specializes in children interviews.” This will often be set up within the next couple of days. We limit the story being told to the social worker only as often as we can.
5. If police needs to be called, they come and interview the parent alone and get their own story. We again try to limit them asking the children any questions if possible since they may have a forensic interview set up and the prosecutors can use that interview as part of their case. Parents can be asked as many times as long as everyone quotes things being said by parent and not the child.
6. After all the players have all their key info given to them by the social worker or parent, the patient is sent home or admitted accordingly with follow up in the appropriate location.
Hope this helps.
Sent from my iPhone
On Dec 13, 2017, at 10:07 AM, Doc Holiday <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
*** This message was sent to you from an External Source. Please do not open untrusted links or attachments. ***
The goal of minimizing the number of interviews sounds a compassionate one, although I get the impression from my police friends that in this, as in other types of cases, multiple interviews are used by them to ensure they are getting the most accurate recall. No deceit implied - the details which change as the story is repeated are often not as reliable as the details which are recalled identically every time. They also tend to vary interviewers and interview techniques.
Still, my surprise here is that you are planning to interview them in the first place. In my experience & training (UK) as soon as there is suspicion of any criminal activity, we call in the relevant police experts and the idea is to avoid "contamination" - both verbal & physical. We also leave the examination to their medical experts, so as not to damage any forensic evidence. We are told that there is a risk is quite small that talking through things will cause a problem, but they would rather do it themselves, before any risk of the patient getting bored/tired/anxious. The police have highly-trained personnel for this purpose and, by implication, if you have time to interview, then the emergency is no longer there, so there appears to be no harm in passing the task to the legal experts. Also, they have indicated to us that this means far less chance of medical personnel being required to leave work to testify and, if they do, the less "interviewing" we did, the shorter the time spent being questioned!
Does the police where you are have such specifically-trained people/teams? Do they (like here) have a special location/venue to go to for this purpose (not on hospital site)?
From: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Discussion List <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Rishi <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Sent: 13 December 2017 15:36
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Alleged abuse
Do you have a protocol for interviewing the patients in the emergency department that come with the chief complaint of suspicious trauma or sexual abuse ?
Our goal of minimizing the number of times the patient is interviewed ?
Long Beach memorial
Long Beach , CA
For more information, send mail to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> with the message: info PED-EM-L
The URL for the PED-EM-L Web Page is:
Electronic mail from Children's Mercy Kansas City. This communication is intended only for the use of the addressee. It may contain information that is privileged or confidential under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient or the agent of the recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copy or disclosure of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately forward the message to the Children's Mercy Information Security Officer via return electronic mail at [log in to unmask] and expunge this communication without making any copies. Thank you for your cooperation.
For more information, send mail to [log in to unmask] with the message: info PED-EM-L
The URL for the PED-EM-L Web Page is: