PASAC’s Forensic Program is designed to assist law enforcement, social services and the medical community in the investigation of suspected cases of child sexual abuse. The program consists of forensic interview and specialized child sexual abuse examination services. Forensic interviews and exams are only provided at the request of law enforcement or DCBS as part of their investigations.
A child forensic interview is a legally sound, structured conversation between a trained interviewer and a child. The interviews are conducted at PASAC to provide a child-friendly environment for the family. Questions are asked in an age-appropriate, neutral and non-leading manner in order to gather information to further the investigation of abuse allegations.
All interviews are conducted with a Family Advocate present to provide emotional support to the family, provide information about the forensic interview and specialized child sexual abuse exam processes and additional services available through PASAC, answer questions to caregivers, and ask questions of investigators on behalf of caregivers.
Specialized child sexual abuse examinations are conducted at PASAC on a referral basis and are performed by specially trained physicians. Prior to the exam, the child’s mental health is briefly addressed by one of PASAC’s mental health professional. Lab testing for sexually transmitted diseases and screening for HIV are provided to the child as needed. The child’s medical well-being is evaluated and recommendations for the family’s and child’s mental and medical health are made immediately. This process aids investigators in their case while ensuring the health needs of the child.