Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 3: Identifying and responding to concerns about children 96 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Joint Investigative Interviews (JII) Outline guidance on JII purposes, components and processes. 3.48 An IRD may decide on the need for a JII, the purposes of which are to: • learn the child’s account of the circumstances that prompted the enquiry • gather information to permit decision-making on whether the child in question, or any other child, is in need of protection • gather sufficient evidence to suggest whether a crime may have been committed against the child or anyone else • secure best evidence as may be needed for court proceedings, such as a criminal trial; or for a children’s hearing proof Approach 3.49 Taking a child-centred approach to planning interviews is vital in securing best evidence and providing the necessary support for the child before, during and after the interview. The analysis of interviews will help lead professionals in co‑ordinating with others in planning for the support, protection and recovery of the child. The analysis of interviews will also aid decision-making in respect of any crime committed. Strategy 3.50 The IRD determines the overall strategy for the child protection investigation; the need for a JII; and the purpose of the JII. IRD participants oversee the overall child protection investigation. The strategy must continue to be developed in light of new information as it emerges. A pre-interview briefing identifying the aims and objectives of the interview is necessary before any JII. Interviewers must suggest changes to the strategy if information about the child’s needs, which indicates this is required, comes to light. 3.51 A JII is planned in detail and undertaken by a police officer and a social worker, one of whom takes the lead role in the interview. Roles will be agreed in pre-interview planning, after due consideration of all relevant factors. Teamwork and flexibility are essential. In some situations the needs and responses of the child require the second interviewer to take on the lead role. Planning 3.52 Supporting the child’s needs before, during and after the interview requires consideration of their strengths and resources; any complex needs; cognitive factors; experiences of trauma and adversity; context and motivation; and relationships. To address this complexity, effective interview planning is essential, and must consider practicalities such as location, transport, timing, breaks and communication between interviewers during interview. 3.53 The blend of social workers and police officers in the development of the Topic Identification Plan where all relevant topics to be covered during the interview are identified for the interview is crucial.