Lightford081219SPRINGFIELD – Children taken into protective custody under suspicion of abuse could soon take part in a forensic interview without parental consent as a result of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

House Bill 909, signed by the governor on Friday, addresses issues in cases where an abused minor’s parents do not wish for the child to participate in a criminal investigation that may implicate a family member or close friend.

“No one should feel obligated to protect their abuser when participating in a criminal investigation,” Lightford said. “Unfortunately, our children are often put in a position where they do not feel empowered to report their abuser and we’re hoping to bring that to an end.”

A forensic interview is an interview between a trained forensic interviewer and a child in which the interviewer obtains information in an unbiased and fact-finding manner, with the goal of supporting accurate and fair decision-making by caseworkers in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The measure goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

Category: News

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