Investigations involving children – whether they’re the subject of the investigation, the alleged victim or a potential witness – are not handled in the same way as matters involving adults. Intertel has established a working relationship with a number of child specialists, including child psychologists, pediatricians, social workers, and child advocates, and we’re able to call upon their expertise and assistance in child-related investigations. In addition, we would work closely with the police’s FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences) unit and the National Prosecuting Authority in any child-related criminal matter.
Any matter involving a child would be classed as, and handled as, a child-related investigation. We do not investigate children unless instructed to do so by the child’s parents or legal guardians, and only if we’re satisfied that such an investigation is absolutely necessary and can be carried out without placing children at risk or in fear. Child-related investigations can be broken down into four types depending on the role of the child or children involved.
Usually criminal in nature, these investigations are often undertaken in cooperation with the Police or Courts. They may involve allegations of neglect, endangerment, physical or sexual abuse, or other offenses against children. These investigations may be initiated by one or other, or both, parents, family or other concerned individuals.
These matters may not be entirely focused on a child, but rely on the testimony of, or evidence from, a child. For example, an investigation in preparation for a maintenance hearing may necessitate the interviewing of a child in order to gather information regarding their standard of living and care.
This is where a child is alleged to have committed a crime or been instrumental in the incident or activity under investigation. These types of cases are rarely undertaken without the involvement of the Police, Social Services or Courts unless requested by the parents of, or the victim, of the alleged incident or event.
This a catch-all for any other type of investigation in which a child is involved, implicated, will be affected by the outcome of the investigation, or is believed to have information material to the matter under investigation – but where the child is neither the victim, the offender nor an official witness. An example might be a child-custody investigation.