Working with pre-school children: interview to court

City Law School and IfJ joint CPD Courses

Event details


25 Nov 2021


9.30am - 4.30pm


Zoom Online
United Kingdom

Event Fees

1 day £ 120.00

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 over 50 years’ experience between them working as Speech and Language Therapists with children.

Course requirements: IfJ Member

Who is this course for: Experienced and newly qualified intermediaries.

This course will explore the specific issues relating to working with pre-school children from the police interview stage to giving evidence at court.
This course will provide an overview of early language and cognitive development and the implications for interview and cross examination, drawing on current research and the use of practical examples.

Course dates and times:

25th November, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Registration - 9.15 am
There will be regular beaks to avoid “zoom fatigue”.

Course aims / objectives:

Participants will:

  1. Gain 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. Be able to select and use appropriate communication aids/tools for pre-school children in order to 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. Explore approaches that facilitate the pre-school witness’ effective participation in the court process.

Course Content:

The day will have 4 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 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 of 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
  • Power point presentations
  • Guidance for further reading-Bibliography
  • Examples of resources

Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you wish to cancel your booking 30 or more days before the start date, you have the option of receiving a full refund minus an admin charge of £15. If you wish to cancel with less than 30 days notice, you have the option of receiving a credit note for another course minus an admin charge of £15. If you are unable to attend you may substitute another delegate by giving IfJ 24 hours’ notice - please email In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right the issue a full refund. Please inform IfJ at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel your booking please do so by emailing: We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within 2 working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within 7 days of you informing us of the cancellation.