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March 2014Vol. 15, No. 3Interviewing Children With Disabilities

Interviewing children with disabilities about alleged abuse can be challenging for even the most seasoned child welfare professional and/or investigator. In its October 2013 newsletter, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) Missing and Exploited Children's Program (MECP) featured data from the 2012 National Survey of Abuse of People With Disabilities. Survey results showed that more than 70 percent of respondents were victims of abuse, and more than 90 percent said they had experienced multiple incidents of abuse. The October issue of the MECP newsletter builds on the August issue that focused on victimization of children with disabilities.

The first article links to the webinar "Interviewing Children With Disabilities II," which offers information on the various stages of interviewing children with disabilities, a follow-up to the first webinar that was held in August. The second article, "Building a Better Model to Serve Child Victims with Disabilities," provides an overview of the Sanford Health Dakota Children's Advocacy Center's Accessible Justice Conference, as well as its Accessibility Toolkit available for professionals who provide services to children with disabilities who have been abused. The third article includes information about the perspective of law enforcement and child protective services in interviewing children with disabilities. In addition, this article includes a section on investigating cases involving children with disabilities when there are ethical dilemmas.

The OJJDP MECP newsletter for October 2013, and other issues, is available on the MECP training website: