Forensic interview webinar mini-series

This webinar mini-series presents the importance of a forensic interview for child victims and witnesses of violence, how one is conducted, and how to adapt it to the special needs of the child.

The importance of a forensic interview for child victims and witnesses of violence in criminal proceedings

In this webinar, Símon Sigvaldason, an Icelandic judge, speaks about the value and results of when child victims and witnesses of violence give evidence via a forensic interview at the Barnahus. He speaks about why Barnahus is positive for the judicial process and how it protects the child. He also discussed due process and the rights of the defence in the context of the forensic interview in Barnahus. We hope this webinar will support your efforts to lobby for change and commitment in your own countries.

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Adapting the forensic interview to the needs of the child

With reference to Barnahus Quality Standards 3 and 6, this webinar presents strategies for meeting the individual needs of every child and ensuring equitable access to child-friendly justice at the Barnahus. This includes adaptations for children with disabilities or language barriers, including using interpretation. The webinar also discusses adapting the interviews to different age groups and what you can expect from children of different ages. Presented by Gordana Flander, Director of the Child and Youth Center in Zagreb.

Preventing re-victimization when conducting forensic interviews at the Barnahus

With reference to Barnahus Quality Standard 6, this webinar will explore how a forensic interview is conducted. In doing so, the speakers will present the preparation, protocol, and follow-up involved with conducting a forensic interview of a child victim or witness of violence. Presented by Ólöf Ásta Farestveit, Director of Barnahus Iceland.

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About the speakers

Gordana Buljan Flander (PhD) is a psychologist, psychotherapist and Director of the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb. She has been working with children for over 30 years and was amongst the first professionals in Croatia who recognized the importance of the issue of child abuse and neglect. In 1997 she founded the helpline for abused and neglected children; in 2002 she initiated the foundation of the Child Protection Center of Zagreb – the only health care institution specialized in working with traumatized children in Croatia.

Besides working directly with children and families, she is active as an academic and wrote 7 books and several scientific papers. She works as a lecturer on many universities and is Court Expert for psychology, conducting trainings in domestic, regional and international settings, sharing experiences with other professionals in Croatia and worldwide.

Ms Ólöf Ásta Farestveit
has been a therapist and a forensic interviewer at Barnahus since 2001, becoming its Head in 2007. She has conducted over 700 forensic interviews with children aged 3-18 in instances where sexual abuse was suspected. Additionally, she is the author of the book “Verndum þau” (“Lets protect them”, Reykjavík, 1st ed. 2006, 2nd ed. 2013) about how to respond to suspicions of neglect or violence against children and youth. In 2016, she received a diploma in Family Therapy from the University of Iceland.

Born in 1969 in Reykjavík, Iceland, she holds a BA in Criminology and another in Child Pedagogy from the Stockholm University, Sweden. In the following, she worked in a state treatment centre for youth and for a short time in an Icelandic prison and probation administration monitoring and helping young offenders.

The PROMISE Webinar Series is co-organised with Terre des Hommes, a partner of this project, as part of the ChildHub’s child protection webinar series.