The NICHD Protocol


The most well known and widely studied interviewer training system is the freely available NICHD Protocol. It has been developed with reference to child development issues, including linguistic capabilities, memory, and suggestibility, forensic needs, interviewer behavior, and the effects of stress and trauma by a team of researchers, interviewers, police officers, and legal professionals. More than a decade of research has shown that effective interviewer training can begin with the proper use of the NICHD Protocol because it allows interviewers to maximize the amount of information obtained from free-recall memory by using open-ended prompts. The NICHD Protocol requires fewer more risky focused questions be used and does not advocate the use of anatomical dolls and other risky techniques. The overarching goal for effective training is to operationalize these evidence based professional recommendations.

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