Forensic approach to interviews is the method of communicating with an individual to find out facts about a case (Eisen, Quas, & Goodman, 2002). Cognitive approach to interviews is the method of interviewing the witness of a criminal case to get facts about the case. In Comparison, Forensic and Cognitive approaches are both methods of establishing facts about a case. Forensic approaches to interviewing are capable of producing evidences that are qualified to be used during the court proceedings if the interview eventually leads to the prosecution of the criminal, while the Cognitive approach is not that effective in this regard.
The Forensic approach helps the interviewer to achieve his or her objectives, while the cognitive approach might not help the interviewer accomplish his desired task as to the establishment of the truth on a case. The Forensic approach stresses the proper documentation of the communication of the individual being interrogated, while a cognitive approach does not ensure the proper documentation of the interrogation with the witness. When interviewing a child, the interviewer must take into cognizance the fact that the reporter is a child makes the case a critical one.
There are various concerns that the interviewer must be aware of, when interviewing a child on a criminal case. The safety, welfare or wellbeing of the child must be the interviewer’s priority. The parents of the child must first be contacted before interviewing the child as parents seem to be protective of their wards as many parents do not want their children to be involved in a case that would give their child a bad name or put them in the limelight for the wrong reasons.
Another thing that the reporter must be aware of is that since the reporter is a child and if interviewing him or her for a criminal case, he should not be interviewed in the premises of the police station to avoid intimidation. The interviewer should not wear police uniforms and should not expose any firearms as these could scare the child and could prevent the interviewer from obtaining an accurate report from the child.
Also, the child must not be interviewed in school as he may become stigmatized by his peers. The fact that a child is usually of the habit of speaking in a low voice makes the handling of the interview a huge concern as the audio recorder used must be capable of recording such voices. Reference Eisen, M. , Quas, J. A. , & Goodman, G. S. (2002). Memory and Suggestibility in the Forensic Interview. Chicago: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.