How can the investigators and therapists obtain the information they need without manipulating the child’s memory?

First response to classmate posted by Sunday

First response is at least 150 words
First response employs at least 2 citations; one can be text; other must be from an academic source
Second response to classmate posted by Sunday
Second response is at least 150 words
Second response employs at least 2 citations; one can be text; other must be from an academic source

FIRST PERSON TO RESPOND TO

Tina Lofton(Jun 27, 2018 9:57 PM)– Read by: 2

1. How do you think that investigators and therapists, in their quest to find the truth, may have contributed to children making false or exaggerated allegations in these cases?

The investigators and therapists may have been suggestive in their questioning of the children in these cases where false accusations were made. Research has indicated that suggestions by others, especially adults, may strongly influence a young child’s reporting of past events (Bruck et. Al. 2006). Since these children were young, they may have been likely influences by false information.

2. What implications do these types of cases have for people who run childcare centers?

I am an Assistant Director at a center. I know first hand that there can be many negative implications that can come from a situation such as this. The center can gain a bad reputation and loose business. The teachers and staff involved may loose their standing in the community, face embarrassment, and be arrested. The false accusations can lead to untrue rumors to spread throughout the community about the center and staff. Also, there is the possible legal fees that might incur.

3. What are the lessons learned from these cases?

One lesson that investigators and therapist need to make sure that they are not asking children questions that may seem suggestive. Another lesson involves how the situation was handled, the letter that was sent caused mass hysteria among the parents and community. A thorough investigation should have been done about the accusations, then parents should have been notified of the outcome of the investigation. Or, they could have gone ahead and sent the letter but excluded the names of all parties involved until it was found whether the accusations were true or false. They should also have made sure that they therapist used to interview the children were well qualified to question the children. In my personal experience Child Protective Services from the Department of Social services are well trained in these specific matters. They should have been used along with better qualified therapist ant investigators.

4. How should investigators and therapists proceed when a child or their parent makes such allegations?

The investigators and therapist involved may receive more accurate information form the children involved if they are kind and supportive. They also need to assess whether a threat really does exist that threatens the child’s safety but interviewing all parties involved. Also, they need to interview the child as soon as possible because time can be crucial in a child’s memory about the situation.

5. How can the investigators and therapists obtain the information they need without manipulating the child’s memory, even if inadvertently.

They should refrain from using suggestive questioning and lead more toward using open ended questions. Also, they can engage in conversations with the children that would allow the child to speak in a narrative form

SECOND PERSON TO RESPOND TO

Jessica Candelaria(Jun 27, 2018 9:46 PM)– Read by: 2

1. How do you think that investigators and therapists, in their quest to find the truth, may have contributed to children making false exaggerated allegations in these cases?

Investigators and therapist want to know the truth so they can do their jobs correctly when they have a case, especially in a case that involves mistreatment of children. This can be a very hard job however because children are not necessarily going to want to confine in an adult what happened to them and when or if they do it can be hard to ask questions without feeling that you are leading them to answer a certain way, it can make that job that much harder. Then their is the question of when did this abuse happen? Will there be any evidence other than a child’s statement? So this could lead to the only evidence is the child’s statement. “This leaves social service and legal professionals with little else than the statements from children themselves (and, potentially, conflicting statements from suspects) to prosecute this crime, making it critically important to obtain complete and accurate reports from children.”(Malloy, 2013) With that being said I think that either the investigators or therapists could lead the children into confessing about the abuse or other things even if they didn’t happen. Also think that a child could be intimidated by an adult, officer, or therapist. Even when I know I have done nothing wrong I get nervous when speaking to a police officer, even though I have complete respect for them. That intimidation could lead a child to say what they think someone wants to hear.

2. What implications do these types of cases have for people who run childcare centers?

It could be positive or negative for these centers. As a mother, reading these cases it makes me more and more nervous about where and who watches my daughter. Having these cases out there could make it really hard for childcare providers to do their job properly in fear that they could get in trouble for something that they didn’t do. “Preschools closed down as people who worked with children began to fear that they would be the next accused.” (History.com Staff, 2009) On a positive though it could make the childcare center really step up their game and really pay attention to the hiring process and having technology that can help keep their employees and most importantly the children in their care safe.

3. What are the lessons learned from these cases?

I think the most important lesson is that while going about these cases, investigators, therapists, and even parents need to be careful with how they approach the matter with the children. Also I think it is important to note that children have been very successful witnesses in many court cases. “Children’s testimony has been vital to the success of many legal cases.” (Mallory, 2013) Also be careful what you say in front of your child about the matter. As a mother I know how much my daughter wants to make me happy. If she thinks it’s something I want to hear because she overheard me speaking about the matter she would say it just to make me happy.

4.How should investigators and therapists proceed when a child or their parents make such allegations?

They need to be able to conduct an interview without sounding suggestive about what they want to hear. having multiple people doing their own interview might help as well to see if there is consistency in the child’s information like they did in the little rascal case. “The children in the Little Rascals case were treated by therapists from different cities.” (Durkin, 1992)

5. How can the investigators and therapists obtain the information they need without manipulating the child’s memory?

They need to make sure they are interviewing in the form that will make the interview credible. “Investigators are trained to interview suspected abuse victims in ways that foster credibility.” (DeBenedictis, 1990) From all the readings I also find that it is very important that all the interviews are videotaped. This way you can see if someone is leading on the witness. They also mentioned that there be more than one interviewer so they can hold each other accountable and compare interviews. “Can corroborate each other and protect against flaws in any one interviewer’s technique.” (DeBenedictis, 1990)

Thanks

Jessica

DeBenedictis, D. J. (1990). McMartin Preschool’s Lessons. ABA Journal, 76(4), 28.

Durkin, M. (1992). N.C. Day-Care Operator Convicted: Defense blunders, independent therapists, credible witnesses aid prosecution. ABA Journal, 78(7), 36.

History.com Staff (2009) Teachers are indicted at the McMartin Preschool.https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/teachers-are-indicted-at-the-mcmartin-preschool A+E Networks. Retrieved from

Malloy, L. C., Johnson, J. L., & Goodman, G. S. (2013). Children’s Memory and Event Reports: The Current State of Knowledge and Best Practice. Journal Of Forensic Social Work, 3(2), 106-132. doi:10.1080/1936928X.2013.763672

 
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