The validity and reliability of the General Child Assessment model as pre–forensic screening instrument for children between three and five years old
Du Plessis, Minette
MetadataShow full item record
The forensic assessment of young children is a difficult and often daunting task for professionals working in the field of child sexual abuse. A forensic assessment with pre-school children requires that the professional have knowledge of various aspects of the children themselves and the disclosure of abuse, and remain as neutral and objective as possible while conducting the assessment. Literature indicates that the knowledge of the child’s social, behavioural and developmental level is essential in order to conduct a developmental sensitive forensic interview. Although the term “pre-forensic screening” is relatively new in the field of forensics, Hewitt (1999) and Carnes (2006) refer to “pre-screening” and “developmental, behavioural and social assessment”, respectively. The study examined the usefulness of the General Child Assessment Model as a pre-forensic screening technique specifically for children aged 3-5 years. The researcher adopted a qualitative approach to explore the usefulness of the General Child Assessment Model as a pre-forensic screening instrument with professionals working in the clinical as well as forensic field. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals trained in the general child assessment model. The interviews focused on the professionals’ use of the model in general, the value they attached to the model, its usefulness as a pre-forensic screening instrument with children aged 3-5 years, strengths and limitations of the model as a pre-forensic screening instrument, and practical recommendations for using the model in the forensic context. The data from the semi-structured interviews was analysed and divided into themes and sub-themes, which were further described and linked with relevant literature .It became clear that the use of this assessment model had value in the therapeutic as well as forensic context. The model was described as an important and valuable part of the forensic process as it provides a holistic view of the child in context. The strengths and limitations of the model as a pre-forensic screening instrument were also explored and the participants made practical recommendations to optimise the use of the model as a pre-forensic screening instrument. In addition, a case study was used to evaluate the model as a pre-forensic screening instrument.
- Humanities