Child Abuse Investigations: Intentional or Accidental?
Number: 707
MemberFee: No Fee
Contact: 309-268-8430 or mtu8training@heartland.edu

This course is specifically designed to provide law enforcement investigators with the tools necessary to effectively assess child physical abuse injuries and child death cases. Childhood injuries are extremely common. Accidents happen - but so does child abuse. Law enforcement personnel play a critical role in investigating injuries to a child and determining if a crime has been committed. This dynamic and interactive course relies on the intuition of participants to “investigate” real cases by examining evidence from injury photos, medical information, scene investigation, and interviews.
Topical Overview:
Knowledge of Child Abuse and Neglect
• Medical and Physical Findings
o Physical Abuse
▪ head injuries/”shaken baby syndrome”
▪ abdominal trauma
▪ burns
▪ broken bones
▪ bruises/marks/welts
o Neglect
▪ medical neglect,
▪ failure to thrive/starvation
▪ Lack of supervision/preventable deaths
o Medical Child Abuse/Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
• Understanding types of infant death cases
• Understanding “medical speak” and getting what you need from doctors
• Using medical information to help differentiate abuse from an accident
• Understanding the triggers/causes for child abuse and neglect
• What’s important
• Evidence preservation/Photo Documentation – “It’s the little things”
• Matching evidence with medical findings
Interview/Interrogation Strategies
• Specific questions to ask in child abuse investigations
• Sensitivity to the situation
• The importance of family dynamics
• Cultural/language issues
• Getting to the “truth”
• The importance of documentation
Working with Multi-Disciplinary Teams
• How to ask the right questions to get the information you need
• Navigating the complexities of the DCFS system
• Collaborating with medical teams/social workers
• Working with the coroner and the autopsy process
Emotional Impact
• Why it’s worth the effort
• Keeping your bias in check
• The importance of debriefing and multi-disciplinary collaboration
• Taking it home: How to Cope
Upon Completion the Participant Will Have Acquired:
1. Knowledge of the prevalence of child abuse and the children at greatest risk
2. Working knowledge of child maltreatment terminology
3. Working knowledge of the medical assessment of child physical abuse
4. Skills on how to integrate the unique dynamics of child abuse into your investigation
5. Specific information needed to gather for every type of child abuse/neglect/death case
6. Insight into the behavior of victimized children/Working with non-verbal victims
7. Understanding how to interpret “medical speak” and gain solid medical information
8. Skills to collaborate effectively with a multi-disciplinary team
9. Enhanced ability to effectively present cases to the state’s attorney

Instructor & Location Date/Time