TRAINING

TRAINING

We provide research-based training and mentoring in the areas of investigative interviewing, risk assessment, and other forensic psychological domains.

From brief and informal lunch-hour education sessions to intensive multi-day workshops (online or in-person), we can design a program that meets your specific learning and operational needs.

    A word about StepWise…
    The StepWise approach is an empirically-based, semi-structured model for conducting investigative interviews that modernized child abuse investigations, first in BC and then in countries around the world.  It is the foundation of many other forensic interviewing  approaches that are in use today.

Our training services include:

INTERVIEWING

StepWise 360: Interviewing Children and Youth (ICY)

StepWise 360: Interviewing Children and Youth (ICY) provides participants with BASIC knowledge and skills to conduct effective forensic interviews of children and adolescents.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 3.5 days (4 days if simulated interviews with actors are added).

Online workshop is 8 days (4 days/week over two weeks, including simulated interviews with actors) and specifically designed to increase engagement and reduce Zoom fatigue in the virtual setting.

Topics covered include:

  • The 11 steps of the StepWise 360
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Identifying and minimizing biases
  • Setting up interviews
  • Types of disclosures
  • Types of memory
  • Ways to cue memory while minimizing contamination
  • Developmental issues related to investigative interviews
  • Critiquing interviews and receiving constructive feedback

Suitable for professionals who interview young people, such as police, mental health specialists, social workers, child protection specialists, lawyers, etc.

StepWise 360: Interviewing Adults (IA)

StepWise 360: Interviewing Adults (IA) provides participants with BASIC knowledge and skills to conduct effective forensic interviews of adults – victims, witnesses, suspects, clients, patients, employees, etc.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 3.5 days (4 days if simulated interviews with actors are added).

Online workshop is in development (starting 2022).

Topics covered include:

  • The 11 steps of the StepWise 360
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Identifying and minimizing biases
  • Setting up interviews
  • Types of disclosures
  • Types of memory
  • Ways to cue memory while minimizing contamination
  • Critiquing interviews and receiving constructive feedback

Suitable for professionals who conduct forensic interviews of adults, such as police, correctional officers, mental health specialists, social workers, corporate investigators, lawyers, etc.

StepWise 360: Interviewing Adults in the Child Protection Context (IA-CPC)

StepWise 360: Interviewing Adults in the Child Protection Context (IA-CPC) introduces ADVANCED interviewing skills to child welfare practitioners who have previously completed a basic StepWise workshop (or equivalent).

Participants will learn:

  • How to collect reliable case-relevant information when investigating allegations of abuse, assessing a family’s strengths and needs, or developing/monitoring family plans.
  • How to work with reluctant, resistant, or hostile adults – such as offending and non-offending parents/caregivers.
  • Client-centered, strength-based, trauma-informed, and culturally-agile practices.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 5 days.

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

Topics covered include:

  • The role of the interview in the decision-making process
  • Self-awareness: identifying and neutralizing common biases
  • Dynamics of challenging characteristics and behaviours
  • Developing effective semi-structured interview plans
  • Using informed consent to promote engagement
  • Establishing rapport and repairing relationship disruptions
  • Working with a client’s reluctance and resistance within a motivational framework
  • Managing a client’s verbal and non-verbal behaviours
  • Effectively debriefing interviews to ensure safety and promote learning

Suitable for social workers who have a solid foundation in forensic interviewing and at least three years of experience in the field.

StepWise 360: Suspect Interview

StepWise 360: Suspect Interview introduces ADVANCED interviewing skills to police and other investigators who have previously completed a basic StepWise workshop (or equivalent).

Following the 11-step StepWise 360 framework, participants will learn:

  • How to motivate suspects to talk about the offence under investigation.
  • How to challenge resistant interviewees and utilize evidence in a strategic manner.
  • Differentiate between reliable and unreliable information.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 5 days.

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying and neutralizing common biases
  • Understanding suspect decision-making
  • Evidence gathering and analysis
  • Developing effective semi-structured interview plans
  • Types of memory and how to collect memory evidence
  • Identifying and addressing suspect motivation
  • Strategic ordering of topics
  • Strategic questions about evidence
  • Basic principles of reading people

Suitable for police and other investigators who have a solid foundation in forensic interviewing and at least three years of experience in the field.

StepWise 360: Complex Cases

StepWise Guidelines: Complex Cases introduces ADVANCED interviewing skills to police and other professionals who have previously completed a basic StepWise workshop (or equivalent).  

Participants will learn how to navigate complex interviews with adults, youth, and children, such as those involving:

  • Multiple victims/witnesses/perpetrators
  • Historical cases of abuse
  • Repeated events or lengthy events
  • Preschool-aged children
  • Minimizations, exaggerations, false allegations, recantations
  • Barriers to disclosing

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 3 days.

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

Topics covered include:

  • The impact of offending patterns on children and investigative interviews
  • Adapting the StepWise in urgent cases
  • Triaging witnesses/interviews
  • Identifying and neutralizing reluctance to disclose
  • Novel ways to cue memory
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Strategic use of evidence
  • Trauma-informed, client-centered, and culturally-agile practices
  • Factors to cover in historical cases and recantation interviews

Suitable for professionals who have a solid foundation in forensic interviewing, such as police, correctional officers, mental health specialists, social workers, corporate investigators, lawyers, etc.

StepWise 360: Tailoring for Special Needs

StepWise 360: Tailoring for Special Needs introduces ADVANCED interviewing skills to those who have previously completed a basic StepWise workshop (or equivalent).

Following the 11-step StepWise 360 framework, participants will learn how to conduct forensic interviews of individuals with disabilities, including physical, psychological, and behavioural challenges.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews.

In-person workshop is 3 days (4 days if simulated interviews with volunteers can be added).

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

Topics covered include:

  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Identifying and minimizing biases
  • Tailoring interviews to individuals with:
    • Visual or hearing impairments
    • Language deficits
    • Developmental delays
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Attention deficits and hyperactivity

Suitable for professionals with a solid foundation in forensic interviewing.

StepWise 360: Update and Practice

StepWise 360: Update and Practice is designed to support and enhance interviewing skills for individuals who have COMPLETED a basic StepWise workshop – either recently (and are struggling with implementation) or years ago (and are out of practice).

Tailored to the specific needs of each group, this workshop typically includes:

  • Relevant research updates pertaining to forensic interviewing
  • Question and answer period based on issues from the field
  • Troubleshooting hypothetical cases
  • Review of specific StepWise steps
  • Exercises and activities to cement learning

In-person workshop is 1.5 days.

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

StepWise 360: Child Abuse Investigations

StepWise 360: Conducting Child Abuse Investigations is a semi-structured investigative approach that was specifically developed to:

  • Maximize fact-finding and the collection of memory evidence;
  • Minimize the negative impact of investigations on the individuals involved; and
  • Reduce biases that could place the integrity of the investigation at risk.

Following the 11-step StepWise 360 framework, participants will learn how to conduct a child abuse investigation within the Canadian legal context.

Taught through a combination of interactive lecture, video analysis, transcript exercises, demonstrations, individual and group exercises, and practice interviews. Participants will work through a mock investigation in teams.

In-person workshop is 5 days.

Online workshop is currently unavailable (2021-2022).  

Topics covered include:

  • The four stages of the StepWise Investigation and the eleven steps of the StepWise 360 Interview
  • Relevant Canadian laws, child protection issues, and other legal considerations
  • Identifying and neutralizing biases
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Types and sources of evidence
  • Dynamics of child abuse, offending patterns, and impact on victims
  • Types of disclosures, barriers to disclosing, and ways to overcome them
  • Parent and disclosure person interviews
  • Tailoring interviews to various developmental levels and cultural backgrounds
  • Types of memory and ways to cue memory without contaminating it
  • The process of assessing credibility
  • Effective documentation and communication of findings
  • Working collaboratively in teams
  • Critiquing interviews and giving-receiving constructive feedback

Suitable for professionals who conduct child abuse investigations, such as police, social workers, child protection specialists, lawyers, etc.

StepWise Interview Mentoring (SWIM) Programs

Our approach to training focuses on:

    • Providing skill-enhancing education;
    • Tailoring training methodology to achieve specific operational needs;
    • Transferring learning from the classroom to the field; and
    • Maximizing the return on investment for valuable training dollars.

Research demonstrates that ongoing supervision and support is needed in order to successfully transfer newly acquired interviewing skills to actual workplace situations. Without ongoing quality assurance and performance feedback, trainees are at risk of reverting to old, ineffective, and inefficient practices; or of misapplying newly acquired skills. Not only does this reduce the cost-effectiveness of training, it also compromises staff competencies and exposes organizations to potential criticism.

StepWise Interview Mentoring (SWIM) programs were developed to mitigate these problems with training, and to support and enhance learning.  They are suitable for new and experienced interviewers who want to gain confidence in their ability gather valid and reliable information. Moreover, SWIM programs can maximize an organization’s training output, while minimizing disruptions to its operations – which is often the largest cost associated with training – and provide an independent and objective evaluation of their investigative interview practices.

      1. SWIM Interviews from the Field program This program is for individuals. Trainees submit recordings of interviews from the field to a qualified TFP mentor. The mentor reviews the recordings and provides personalized feedback (via phone or an online platform, such as Zoom) about what was done well, what could have been done better, and when different interviewing tools could have been used. For this program, simple cases are selected in order to assess basic interviewing skills and adherence to the StepWise Guidelines.  Trainees also have the opportunity to consult with mentors on topics related to investigative interviewing (e.g., eyewitness memory, special needs populations, offending patterns), providing them with rare, individualized access to experts in the field.

 

      1. SWIM Mock Interview program This program is for situations in which real-life interviews are not available (e.g., when interviews were not recorded in the field or when recordings cannot be released to outside agencies), and can be done in individual or group formats. In this program, a trainee will conduct a mock interview with an actor (in person or remotely). During the mock interview, the trainee will have the opportunity to be coached by a TFP mentor. Immediately afterwards, the interviewer will receive personalized feedback from the TFP mentor (and other observers from the group, if applicable). As with the Basic program, trainees will have the opportunity to consult with mentors on topics related to investigative interviewing.

 

      1. SWIM Challenging Cases program This program is for interviewers who work with challenging cases (witnesses with special needs, witnesses who are reluctant to disclose, etc.). In this program, trainees submit recordings of particularly challenging interviews for review and feedback from a TFP mentor. While individual feedback sessions are possible, we recommend group feedback sessions (in person or remotely) with a larger audience to allow for informative group discussions and a question-and-answer period.  Group SWIMs can be conducted within an agency or across agencies, with appropriate privacy and confidentiality precautions in place.

 

      1. SWIM Review program This program provides feedback on an organization’s overall interviewing practices. Through the review of individual and group SWIM programs, TFP mentors identify patterns across interviews that point to systemic issues.  Problems are addressed via lecture and practical exercises that are tailored to the needs of the organization’s interviewers and delivered in a workshop format over one to two days, depending on the number and complexity of issues to be covered. A question-and-answer period and a review of new developments in research and interviewing techniques is covered in the workshop.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Assessing Risk for Violence I: Foundational Knowledge and Skills
This workshop will give you the knowledge and skills required to conduct reliable, valid, unbiased, and defensible risk assessments. You will learn the best practices and latest tools used in the field.
Assessing Risk for Violence II: Case Formulation
This workshop will help you conceptualize cases so that you can identify the specific factors and situations that increase an individual’s risk for violence, and the ways to manage that risk. You will learn how to do this using a step-by-step approach that results in consistently valid and reliable assessments.
Assessing Risk for Sexual Offending: Using Static-99R, Stable 2007, and Acute 2007
This workshop will teach you how to reliably and accurately use three of the most widely used sex offender risk assessment tools in Canada. You will learn about the latest research and best practices in the assessment and treatment of sexual offending.
Treatment Considerations for Men Who Access Child Sexual Exploitation Materials
This workshop will give you an understanding of risk assessment issues with Child Sexual Exploitation Material offenders (CSEMOs), the effectiveness of treatment with this population, ongoing controversies, and appropriate treatment targets. Case examples will be used to prompt discussion regarding case formulation and treatment planning. Participants will also be provided with copies of publically available measures that can be used in day to day clinical practice.
Assessing Risk Mentoring (ARM) Program
This program will take your risk assessment skills to the next level. It allows individuals or groups to consult with our qualified experts and receive detailed feedback on their actual assessments.

CLINICAL

Assessing Decision-Making Capacity: Informed Consent
This workshop will teach you how to accurately assess a person’s ability to make decisions in general, and to provide informed consent in particular. You will learn about the myths and barriers that can result in biased evaluations and the ways to overcome them.
Working with Individuals with Special Needs
This workshop will help you work more effectively with people of diverse abilities. You will learn some of the myths and barriers that get in the way and the ways to overcome them. You will learn ways to adapt tools and procedures for individuals with development delays, brain injuries, mental illnesses, and personality disorders.
For more information, call  1-877-342-2434  /  604-239-2434   or email info@theforensicpractice.com