Danielle Hughes, Team Coordinator of the Child Protection Team (CPT) at the Child Protection Center (CPC), has been selected to provide the upcoming Forensic Interview Training through the Florida Department of Health for CPT Case Coordinators across the state.
11 teams are partaking in the specialized 40-hour training, which will enable the participating CPT Case Coordinators to provide forensic interviews. These interviews are child-friendly, non-leading, and legally sound conversations with alleged victims of child abuse, which are recorded and submitted as evidence. The coordinators meet with the child, ensure they’re comfortable, build report, and are then able to transition to the topics of concern and explore the details of disclosure if abuse has occurred.
By having the Case Coordinators within Child Protection Teams trained in forensic interviewing, it alleviates the need for children to be interviewed by DCF and law enforcement. “Child Protection Teams are a neutral party that assist in the investigations held by DCF and law enforcement,” Danielle states. “It’s not ideal for law enforcement to do these interviews because officers are often perceived as intimidating with the badge and gun, and DCF makes the decision about whether a child should be removed from their home. Having Child Protection Teams conduct the forensic interviews removes a lot of that fear and hesitancy because they are the neutral party.” This training enables more teams around the state to provide these interviews, which will benefit numerous children across Florida.
Doug Staley, the Executive Director of the Child Protection Center, commented, “Danielle is the perfect candidate to be leading this training for the state. She is qualified as an expert through the 12th Judicial Circuit and beyond, she has received high level training in both entry level and advanced forensic interviewing, and is a member of the Department of Health’s Quality Assurance Team as well as appointed to the Child Forensic Interview Advisory Committee. There is no person better than Danielle Hughes to take on this training for coordinators state-wide to make sure their skills are current and meet the proper thresholds to make a difference in the lives of children.”
The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse, as the organization envisions a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. For over 40 years, CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. For more information on CPC, visit www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277.