RADAR Child Forensic Interview Model
RADAR (Recognizing Abuse Disclosures And Responding) is a structured, child-friendly model for interviewing children and adolescents in cases of suspected child maltreatment. To ensure interview quality and ease of learning, the model provides suggested scripting for novice interviewers and scaffolding for more experienced interviewers, while offering sufficient flexibility to accommodate varying types of maltreatment experiences, developmental levels, and disclosure histories. By design, RADAR places special emphasis on forensic balance, with the dual objective of minimizing false positive as well as false negative errors in case decisions. RADAR is adapted from the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol developed by Michael Lamb and colleagues, the Cognitive Interview developed by Ronald Fisher and Edward Geiselman, and 80 years of combined experience in child forensic interviewing by the RADAR Model developers.
RADAR works best with individuals who are functioning developmentally at age 5 and above. For preschool ages 3 - 5 1/2 see RADAR Jr.
Approved use of the RADAR model requires completion of authorized RADAR training. Ongoing peer supervision with experienced RADAR interviewers is highly recommended to maintain model fidelity.
The latest model version is August 2023
RADAR JR Child Forensic Interview Model
RADAR JR is the preschool version of RADAR, a semi-structured, child-centered model for interviewing children and adolescents in cases of suspected child maltreatment. Like its predecessor, RADAR JR emphasizes forensic balance, with the dual objective of minimizing interview errors contributing to either false positive or false negative case decisions. RADAR JR offers a practical, teachable model for interviewing preschoolers that is grounded in current research and three decades of forensic practice.
RADAR JR is designed for children who are functioning developmentally between age 3 to approximately age 5 ½. In contrast, the original RADAR protocol works best for children who are functioning at age 5 or 5 ½, at a minimum.
RADAR JR is designed as a two-session interview protocol in order to better accommodate the developmental level, socio-emotional needs, and attentional limitations of 3 to 5 year-old children. Interviewers and MDTs have the flexibility to add a third session as needed or to forego the second session, if contraindicated.
Approved use of the RADAR JR model requires completion of authorized RADAR JR training. Ongoing peer supervision with experienced RADAR JR interviewers is highly recommended to maintain model fidelity. Attending RADAR is a prerequisite to attend RADAR JR.
The latest model version is RADAR JR - December 2023
FirstCall Initial Investigative Interview
The FirstCall Initial Investigative Interview was developed through a grant collaboration with CACNC. Firstcall is designed to assist first-line responders from child protective services and law enforcement in obtaining information from potential child and adolescent victims or witnesses at case initiation. FirstCall is designed to aid in determining the need for a formal forensic interview and/or medical evaluation at a specialized evaluation center such as a local Child Advocacy Center. FirstCall is a child-friendly, best practice interview model that offers sufficient flexibility to accommodate varying types of cases and children’s developmental levels.
RADAR authors are working with NC Department of Health and Human Services to implement FirstCall training for DSS workers statewide starting in FY 20-21.
The latest model version is FirstCall v1.4.
Advanced Interview Mapping Tool
AIM is a practical, easy-to-learn tool for use in peer and self-review, regardless of the forensic interview protocol used. AIM offers an objective method for assessing questioning strategies and guides the interviewer in developing better questioning habits. AIM provides a methodology that enables interviewers to visualize the trends in their decision making and identify areas of growth.
This class provides instruction on the use of AIM’s unique methodology and is open to all interviewers and expert/peer reviewers regardless of forensic interview protocol.