Staff at Child Center trained to interview child crime victims -

Staff at Child Center trained to interview child crime victims

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A wall at The Child Center (Credit: KMOV) A wall at The Child Center (Credit: KMOV)

ST. CHARLES, Mo. ( – The Child Center in St. Charles County focuses on interviewing child crime victims.

The center is the first place authorities go to when a child has been abused or is the witness to a violent crime.

Staff at the center then interview the victims and help authorities get the child’s version of the story in their own words, which means there’s little to no inconsistencies when the case goes to trial. All of the center’s staff is trained in forensic interviewing.

“We use a child first model. That model says that if a child is willing to talk, we proceed with the interview, if the child is not willing to talk then we follow the lead of the child,” said Elphanie Swift, the center’s executive director.

The center also has Reka, a trained dog, to help calm the child’s nerves.

“Her role is to make sure that she can comfort kids during their forensic interview. As an interviewer I can’t provide them with that support and comfort. I can’t provide that empathy that kids really need in the interview process when they are talking about these horrible things but Reka can,” Amy Robins, Reka’s handler, said.

When a child has to testify in court, the center gives them a stuffed animal replica of Reka to provide some type of comfort.

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