Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Child interviews should be recorded

The court-appointed psychologists insist on interviewing small children (as young as 5 years old) without any witness, advocate, or recording.

I would think that an honest psychologist would want a tape recording of the interview in order to protect herself. In the interview, she asks probing questions as part of an effort to fish for abuse allegations. (In my case, she admitted doing this; fortunately my kid's answers assured her that there was no abuse.) If she gets evidence of abuse, then she is under a legal obligation to report the evidence, thereby drastically escalating the conflict. A case that might have been amenable to mediation turns into open warfare, and the mediator becomes a party to the conflict.

If I were a child psychologist, then I would record everything. Anything else seems irresponsible. If I were to make an abuse allegation based on the ramblings of a 5-year-old, then I'd want to be able to present the precise evidence.

Psychologists, police, judges, teachers, lawyers, etc. all have different roles in our society. If I were a psychologist, I would just want to do my job as a psychologist, and not try to play judge or cop. Those who try to play judge or cop cannot possible do their jobs as psychologists properly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, just chanced upon your blog. Hope you don't mind me commenting here. I can try to understand your feelings.

With regards to this particular issue, I totally agree with you that child interviews should be recorded.

I studied Psychology before. And have learnt that usually the session between psychologists/police/etc and kids would be recorded, or at least, supervised. Like in a room, with a one way mirror, or etc. Because behind closed door, the adult can say and ask ANYTHING, claim absolutely anything, and worse still, 'brainwash' the poor kid into believing what the adult wants him/her to believe.

It isn't ethical to interrogate kids without any proper supervision and recordings. And with no other familiar adults around, it might be a traumatic experience for the kid!

So sorry that you and you kid have to gone through all these. Hope all works out fine for you, and God Bless.