First Witness ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Training

General Information

The ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol training brings the field into the classroom, enhancing the proficiency of front-line child abuse professionals. This course is designed for investigative teams of law enforcement officers, social workers, prosecutors, child protection attorneys, and forensic interviewers. Students receive training on the ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol, child development, memory and suggestibility, testifying in court, legal issues, and preparing children for court. This training incorporates lecture and discussion, review of electronically recorded interviews, skill-building exercises, and an interview practicum with professional actors.

If you ARE from a ChildFirst® State (AK, AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, MD, MN, MO, MS, NJ, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, VA, WV)

ChildFirst® states reserve the right to train their residents. If you wish to attend the ChildFirst® First Witness Forensic Interview training in Duluth, Zero Abuse Project (ZAP) will need to grant permission. This process can take up to a week, but it’s easy, and we will help.

To begin registration;
1. Complete and submit the online registration form.
2. You will receive a confirmation of registration email.
3. First Witness will follow up with the correct authorizing agents to approve or decline your attendance.
4. You will receive an email confirmation of training approval or rejection.

If you are NOT from a ChildFirst® State (AL, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, HI, ID, IA, KY, LA, ME, MA, MI, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, ND, OR, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)

The ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol is still for you! Even if your team has been trained in different protocols, we provide further training in one of the very best in interview protocols. ChildFirst© is one of a few National Children’s Alliance accredited protocols, and First Witness offers ongoing technical assistance to participants following completion of the training. With the ChildFirst© protocol, your or your staff will be able to screen for multiple forms of maltreatment. This protocol is also excellent for professionals that conduct a limited amount of interviews as it is highly adaptable and easy to learn. ChildFirst© specializes in bringing the latest and best researched-backed forensic interviewing techniques to professionals.

ChildFirst® is a unique approach to forensic interviewing for several reasons:

ChildFirst® was designed by and for the front-line child abuse professional.

Courses teach students to apply the latest research to real-world situations.

Students watch numerous videotaped child sexual abuse interviews as a means of bringing the course material to life.

The program requires students to demonstrate their interviewing skills.

ChildFirst® models the multidisciplinary approach.

The education incorporates a practicum forensic interview with a trained actor portraying a child abuse victim.

The program encourages ongoing critiques of students’ interviewing skills to improve their technique.

The ChildFirst® forensic interview course has been approved by the National Children’s Alliance to meet accreditation standards.

What’s new?

We know that narrative practice and invitations are the best way to reduce suggestibility and create a child-centered interview. The narrative invitation is utilized throughout the interview process and taught in the forensic interview training. We have made subtle yet essential changes in how interview instructions are incorporated in the interview.

First Witness’s updated protocol and training information will prepare each attendee to conduct a purposeful and legally defensible interview. This training is designed for child protection workers, tribal social service workers, law enforcement officers, and county attorneys whose primary responsibility is investigating and prosecuting child sexual abuse cases.

Continuing Education Credits

P.O.S.T. and C.L.E. credits available for Minnesota participants. For other states, with some notice, we will do our best to help you obtain pre-approved credits before you attend.

DHS Scholarship Eligibility

Yes, scholarships are available for county, tribes and other local professionals responsible for child maltreatment investigations and prosecutions in the State of Minnesota. When selecting from our training options, choose from options under “If you work in MN – Dept. of Human Services Scholarship Applicant“.  *Scholarship recipients are responsible for a $100 non-refundable registration fee. This fee is invoiced if the applicant receives and accepts the scholarship. Recipients are also responsible for any other costs of attending this training, including travel, lodging, and meals. Scholarships provided through the Minnesota Department of Human Services using state and federal funds provided through a Children’s Justice Act grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

You will be notified following registration whether or not you have been awarded a scholarship.