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The Minimal Facts Interview

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In this training, we delve into a crucial, yet often misunderstood, aspect of child protection – the “Minimal Facts Interview”. This approach is paramount for anyone involved with children, be it as a parent, educator, healthcare provider, police officer, or child protective services professional. At its core, the Minimal Facts Interview is a strategic method of inquiry designed to gather just enough information to establish the need for a more detailed investigation, without delving into deep or potentially leading questioning. The approach is carefully structured to avoid contaminating a child's account of events, which is crucial for ensuring the reliability and integrity of any subsequent forensic investigation. The primary objective of an MFI is to ascertain the basic 'who, what, when, and where' of the alleged incident. This focus deliberately avoids exploring the 'how' and 'why' aspects, which are more appropriately delved into during a comprehensive forensic interview conducted by specially trained professionals. By restricting the scope of questioning, the MFI minimizes the risk of inflicting further psychological harm on the child and avoids influencing their recollection of events – a common concern in cases involving young and impressionable victims.

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