Frequently Asked Questions About the MDIC
Who schedules MDIC interviews?
MDIC interviews are usually scheduled by law enforcement and/or child protective services. All professionals involved in the investigation are invited to attend and may include a detective, social worker, deputy district attorney, a mental health clinician or additional parties that may be involved in the case. Information from the interview is shared solely with people involved in the investigation. A trained advocate will be present and available to support you and your child or dependent adult throughout the process.
What happens at the MDIC?
When you first arrive, you will be led to a waiting room. An advocate will be present to greet and orient you to the process. You may also request a tour of the center. The child will then be taken to the interview room by a trained forensic interview specialist whom has extensive knowledge about child development and abuse considerations. The other team members will be present, but in another room where they will view the interview via a closed circuit camera. This process keeps the number of times a child or dependent adult must tell what happened to them to a minimum. Interviews last about an hour (average) and are video and audio taped.
Can I observe the Interview?
Knowing that a parent/caregiver is listening can influence the ability of a child to disclose. In order to maintain the neutrality of the interview, parents and caregivers are not allowed to be present or to observe an interview. Only those people who are directly involved in the investigation may observe the interview. Families will have the opportunity to meet with an advocate so that the legal process and all available resources can be addressed with them, in addition to answering questions that they might have.
What do I tell my child about coming to the MDIC?
It is important that a child or dependent adult be informed of what to expect when coming to the MDIC. A parent/caregiver may say:
“We are going to talk to someone who needs to know what happened. This person talks to kids and dependent adults all the time about similar things. When you talk, it will be videotaped. This is so that there is a record of what you talked about. The detective will keep the recording. It will not be on TV or on the internet. Only people involved in the case will see it. You need to tell the truth and tell everything that you remember. You’re not in trouble. We just want to make sure that we understand everything that happened and that you are safe. I will not be in the room with you, but will be waiting for you right outside if you need me.”
What will happen after the MDIC?
You will be able to speak with the detective and ask questions after the interview. Your child may still need to testify in court about what happened. Supportive services may be available to you and your child throughout the process. Speak with your advocate for additional information. Medical evaluations may sometimes be necessary to determine injuries and/or collect physical evidence. Our medical providers have extensive experience in child abuse. They will conduct the evaluations and may make additional treatment recommendations. They will reassure your child or dependent adult about his/her health and answer any questions for the child and their family. If a medical evaluation is determined to be necessary, an advocate is available to remain with the child during the evaluation.