Working with pre-school children: Interview to court

IfJ CPD Courses

Event details


6 Oct 2023




Zoom Online
United Kingdom

Event Fees

One-day subsidised course £ 50.00

Booking info

Max participants: 20

Course facilitator(s): Catherine Chamberlain and Sarah Barker

Course facilitator(s) bio:

Both Sarah and Catherine have worked as RIs since 2014 and have many years' experience betwen them working as Speech and Language Therapists with children.

Course requirements: IfJ members

Who is this course for: Both experienced and newly qualified intermediaries

This course provides an overview of working with pre-school children in the criminal justice system. Namely, pre-school children's cognitive development, improving their recall and communication, interview preparation, and considerations of the court process.

Course Content

The day will have four main sessions: 

  1. An overview of communication and cognitive development in the pre-school child.
    • key skills/areas to assess
    • assessment techniques
    • resources
  2. Studies of strategies for improving children's recall and communication of forensically relevant information.
  3. Preparation for ABE-VRI:
    • feedback to the interviewing officer
    • planning
    • selection of appropriate "tools"
    • preparation of the witness
  4. The court process. Particular considerations when working with pre-school children:
    • the court report
    • pre-trial familiarisation
    • memory refreshing
    • GRH
    • reviewing xx questions
    • options for cross examination

Course Aims/Objectives

  1. To have an understanding of developmental norms in pre-school children in key areas, including: 
    • attention and listening
    • memory
    • concept development
    • receptive and expressive language skills
    • symbolic understanding/representational skills 
  2. Understand the implications of assessment findings and developmental norms for the police interview process and factors to consider when planning for the ABE-VRI. 
  3. To be able to select and use appropriate communication aids/tools for pre-school children in order ro achieve best evidence. 
  4. Have an awareness of current research and evidence-based approaches relevant to working with pre-school children at police interview
  5. To explore approaches that facilitate the pre-school witness' effective participation in the court process. 

Course Method

We are aiming this course at both newly qualified intermediaries and experienced intermediaries who may wish to reflect on their practice and share experiences on working with pre-school children in the criminal justice system. 

Information will be presented using slides/handouts and the presenters will invite high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas.

The following materials are provided: 

  • Timetable
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Guidance for further reading - Bibliography
  • Examples of resources

- Participants to log on 15 minutes prior to start of each session.

- It is required that all participants keep their cameras on throughout the workshop.

- Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking with 14 or more days notice, you will receive a full refund minus a £15 admin charge. If you cancel your booking with less than 48 hours' notice, we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. However, you may substitute another delegate or transfer to another course by giving IfJ at least 24 hours’ notice.

In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right to issue a full refund. Please inform us at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please do so by emailing:

We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within two working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within five-ten days of refund confirmation.

Places are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. There is a minimum requirement of 12 participants. If the minimum number is not met, IfJ reserve the right to cancel the course with at least two weeks' notice and a full refund will be issued.