Extended Forensic Evaluations

What is an Extended Forensic Evaluation?
The extended forensic evaluation (EFE) is a semi-structured method of assessing possible sexual or physical abuse in young children. It blends forensic interviewing skills with therapeutic techniques. It was developed for those children who are too young, too frightened, or unable to provide clear information in the initial investigation conducted by Child Welfare and/or Law Enforcement authorities.

How long does it take?
The EFE is designed to take anywhere from 6 to 8 sessions. The initial session is generally with a parent(s) or caregiver(s) while following sessions are with the child. Investigative and collateral information can be included if provided for a more comprehensive evaluation.

What is the goal of the EFE?
Many children do not respond to a one-time interview that is conducted in most child abuse investigations. Some children need more time. The EFE is a fact-finding method that preserves the investigation process while remaining sensitive to the needs of the child. The goal is to allow the child to tell their experiences more thoroughly or to rule out sexual or physical abuse and perhaps provide alternative explanations for concerns.

What age is appropriate?
This method was developed for children from age 3 to 9.

How much does it cost?
Fees for evaluations may vary, depending on the number of sessions or time involved.

What happens when the sessions are completed?
The EFE is an evaluation of the child. A written report is provided to the court. Sessions for children are video-taped and available if ordered for review by the courts. The EFE is NOT therapy. It incorporates therapeutic techniques, tools and training to meet the needs of the child while following forensically sound practices. The evaluation lays a foundation for treatment if needed and referrals to appropriate agencies/individuals may be made.

Forensically Sensitive Therapy (FST)
FST was created in response to the need for a therapy model that can be used effectively with child sexual abuse victims when criminal and family court cases are actively pending. It is employed at the conclusion of the investigative process, when a decision has been made that sexual abuse is likely to have occurred, the case is being sent forward for prosecution, and the child is exhibiting signs of trauma.

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