The involvement of children in the court process is deemed to beef up the process of dealing with cases in the courts and more especially cases related to child abuse. It is deeply believed that allowing children to be involved in the process of the court will give them a voice. This empowers children to know and speak more about their rights freely and without reserve. It takes them to a position where their rights cannot be infringed.
Their involvement in the court process is thought to be informational in a unique way for the judge and other attorneys and parties in the courtroom. All the same, there is need to minimize the system induced trauma. This can be achieved through the provision of a child-friendly situation for child witnesses or victims together with their families. This must be the initial important step. The interview questions then must be few and lastly promote better communications in between the child's support agencies.
Interviewing a Child
While interviewing a child, the questions and interviews directed to him or her must be kept as low as possible. The atmosphere should be very relaxed and friendly to them as they answer the questions; not like in a provocative manner which could arouse emotions. The child needs to be handled in a manner that takes care of their feelings and in a way that leaves him or her without any discomfort.
The use of video taping technology in interviewing children is an efficacious way for collecting valuable information to help both the child and the system of justice. This would along with other processes and procedures explained above ensure that the material uncovered will be helpful to the case. Training and education is thus required for justice professionals in the court on the best practices to be used whilst interviewing child witnesses and victims. It requires careful and keen attention in getting the correct impression of what is being put across by the child.