Psychological characteristics of child victims and witnesses
Guidance for police officers to understand the psychology of children and to better communicate with them
This publication details guidelines, developed by UNICEF in 2019-2020 and implemented within the frames of the “Psychological characteristics of child victims and witnesses: The development of interview skills and abilities for working with them” project. The project consisted of six-day intensive courses for around 78 police officers and aimed to improve the psychological knowledge and skills of police working with children.
All the material presented has been revised and edited after the course. The guidelines serve as a handbook for police; and contains comprehensive theoretical and practical information about the most difficult part of their daily work – interviewing children.
By following the guidelines and advice in this publication, the police officer can achieve tangible results, not only in terms of understanding the psychology of children in difficult life and crisis situations, and communicating with them in an educated and safe manner; but also in terms of collecting all the necessary information and effectively performing their own duties.
The guidelines consist of two sections. The first section includes the theoretical analysis of the issues and the second section is primarily focused on how to communicate with the child as well as practical steps and skills for structuring an interview.