Children’s Interview Center

Established in January 1998, the Children’s Interview Center (CIC) was designed to provide a child-friendly place where children who allege sexual abuse have an opportunity to tell their story. A unique team approach is utilized so that all of the professionals who need to be involved are present for the interview at one time.

Why was it established?

The CIC was established with the goal of reducing the trauma suffered by a child telling his or her story. This is accomplished by minimizing the number of interviews as well as the number of interactions the child has with different adults. The unique team approach provides each team member the opportunity to gain the information they need from a single interview instead of subjecting the child to multiple interviews by each of the different agencies involved in a particular case.

What does it do?

When a child enters the CIC, they are greeted by a family/victim advocate who is present to provide information and support to the child and their family throughout the interview process. The child is given a tour of the facility and has an opportunity to ask the staff questions about the interview process. Once the interview is under way, a Forensic Interview Specialist asks non-leading questions of the child in order to ascertain the truth about what happened. When appropriate, children may also be referred for a forensic medical examination.

Who is part of the collaborative?

The CIC is a collaborative effort of the following agencies: Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services, Contra Costa County Law Enforcement Agencies, District Attorney’s Office and Community Violence Solutions (CVS).

Representatives from each of these agencies may be present for an interview, including a Social Worker, Detective, and District Attorney.

Related links

The National Children’s Alliance

The Child Abuse Prevention Network

California Family and Domestic Violence Referral Directory

Child Abuse Training & Technical Assistance Centers

The National Children’s Advocacy Center