Child Forensic Interviewing in Finland: Investigating Suspected Child Abuse at the Forensic Psychology Unit for Children and Adolescents

October 2017

Julia Korkman, Tom Pakkanen & Taina Laajasalo

In Finland, specialised university hospital units have been set up to ensure a child-friendly and expert setting for investigating suspected crimes against children. The units conduct investigative interviews especially in cases involving young children or particularly vulnerable child victims, and provide expert assistance when requested by the police. In this chapter we present the legal and theoretical framework of these units. We focus on two specific elements within the Finnish system: the use of (forensic) psychological expertise within the pre-trial investigation and the hypothesis-testing approach. During the investigations at the units, particular care is made in collecting and assessing the background information of each case and planning the investigation accordingly. The scientific framework and its practical applications are demonstrated through case vignettes.

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