Enlightenment as to your reason for being there

Acknowledgement that this may be a difficult conversation

Tell the child it is time to begin talking about “what you told your mom”

Confront Confounding Statements

Open to the needs of the child

Praise the child for participation in the interview (not any answer)

SAY, “yes, yes, yes” with your body language to encourage conversation

Sum up what has happened and tell child what will happen next

“FFF” “ Feel, Felt, Found” is a handy mnemonics:

- I understand how you feel. I have felt like that myself. I found that when I told someone about it, I … (felt better, got help, etc)

- I think I understand how you feel. I’ve never felt exactly like that before, but I did feel scared/confused/angry. I found that when I talked to somebody about it, I felt better, and got the help I needed.


Baladerian, N.J., Heisler, C., & Hertica, M. (n.d.) Child abuse victims with disabilities: A curriculum for law enforcement first responders and child protective services frontline workers-participant manual. California: Child abuse and neglect disability outreach program of arc riverside. Retrieved from