​Child witness support and preparation: are parents/caregivers ignored?

Author(s) Crawford, Emma and Ray Bull
Title Child witness support and preparation: are parents/caregivers ignored?
Source Child Abuse Review; July/August 2006; Vol. 15; Issue 4; p 243-256
Date 2006
Document type Journal article
CoverageUnited Kingdom
Summary This article explores the support given to child witnesses and in particular the role of the parents and caregivers and the support the family may need. The psychological literature that supports the involvement of parents/caregivers is reviewed and the role that parental attachment can play in children's ability to cope with stress and how it links with their memory for events is explored. The relevance of these findings for child witnesses is discussed, both in court preparation and during court. Barriers to parental involvement are identified including the lack of a single body overseeing child witness support in the United Kingdom and the fear that witnesses may be coached. The authors recommend increased support and preparation to be provided to the child's non-offending parents/caregivers and suggest that this will be of benefit to the child witnesses. It is further recommended that a consistent service is provided to child witnesses and their families through a unified approach to court support which includes evaluations of what works well.
Keywords Court support; child witnesses; vulnerable; testimony; coaching; preparation.
Topic Vulnerable witnesses; children