Joint Investigative Interviews of Child Witnesses

Child protection and justice partners are continuing to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to take forward recommendations of the Evidence and Procedure Review (link to Scottish Courts and Tribunals) to improve the quality and consistency of Joint Investigative Interviews (JIIs) of children.

The aim is that joint investigative interview (JII) statements are of a sufficiently high standard that they can be used as Evidence in Chief and contribute to the range of improvements being made, to remove the need for children to give evidence in court and so reduce the potential of further trauma for child victims and witnesses.

This work started in 2017 by the National JII Project Team, made up of experienced social workers and police officers, with a remit to develop a new approach to JII’s in Scotland, drawing on national and international research and best practice.

It led to the development of the Scottish Child Interview Model for joint investigative interviewing and to a new, comprehensive training programme for child interviewers. Supported by the National Team, this new model is now being implemented across all areas in Scotland, led by local authorities and Police Scotland who both have statutory responsibility for the investigation of concerns about children.

The National Team are responsible for training, delivery and on-going practice development for practitioners involved in forensic interviews with children. Embedding those changes requires the team to be involved in the evaluation of practice and development of interviewer’s skills beyond initial training, drawing on messages from research about this crucial shift in focus to viewing joint investigative interviewing as a specialist skill. 

The National Team is made up of five social workers, including a social work team lead and three police officers – with plans for the police side of the team expand to four by the middle of 2023. The social work component of the National Team are presently hosted by Social Work Scotland.

Please click the link for more information, detail on emerging learning and data capture. The Children and Young People Team leads on education and children’s services for COSLA.