Social Workers Interview: Interviewing a Child Protection Investigator
The five questions to ask the child protection investigator during the interview are listed in Appendix 1.
I had an interview with Ms. Z, a Child Protection Investigator based in New York. The interview took place in her office on February 8, 2022, at 10 am. I had met Ms. Z before in court as she was handling a case of interest to me. Scheduling the interview was not difficult as I approached her and inquired if I could interview her regarding her professional experiences representing children and families in court. She was receptive and agreed to the interview, though our initial timetable had to be changed twice due to disruption on her court schedule. I appreciated that she kept me informed on the disruptions, and she was genuinely disappointed with the cancelations. I looked forward to the interview since it would offer insights into how the court system handles cases of children and families, and Ms. Z was more than willing to provide the information I sought. When securing the interview, the only challenge I faced was agreeing on a suitable location. Initially, we had thought we could do it at a coffee shop, but we realized we might be discussing some sensitive information regarding some of the cases she handles, which would have affected the privacy and confidentiality of the children. We settled on her office since it was more private, and she could lock it to prevent any disruptions.
Ms. Z ushered me into her office when I arrived for the interview. She had been expecting me and had told me to let her know when I entered the building. The reception was welcoming, which eased my anxiety since I had not met her outside the court, and she always looked serious in court. It was a pleasant surprise to see her smile and welcome me like an old friend. My expectations were different since I assumed we would have a direct interview and there would be no small talk. The initial small talk focused on what I was doing and what I wanted to become after completing my studies. These questions made me feel welcome as she gave me advice on the different career paths one can pursue and some of the challenges she had faced. It all led to my first question, What are the major responsibilities of a Child Protection Investigator? According to Ms. Z, a child protection investigator investigates reported incidences of child violation, collects court evidence of child abuse, and keeps children under safe custody for protection. A child protection investigator will conduct field investigations, interview witnesses, and analyze similar violence cases.
From the get-go, the interview proceeded like a conversation we were having with each other. I liked the mode used since it made the discussion enjoyable, and I could gather more information than a formal method. There was no tension experienced, but I figured some hesitation when I asked her, How do you prepare for court? The hesitation could have been her way of…their abuse and pretend they hurt themselves playing. The final question for Ms. Z was, How do you collaborate with probation officers to assist clients? She responded by saying, most probation officers willingly accept assistance from child protection investigators because they will receive information regarding their adult clients behavior at home. Probation officers dealing with children are glad to have someone investigating a child to discover if they are following the requirements of their probation and they welcome the services offered,
In summary, this was a pleasurable experience, and I gained more information regarding the work and duties of a child protection investigator. Understanding how social workers fit into the court system was insightful, too, since I always assumed social workers only get involved when representing a client. Social workers will have to work closely with child protection investigators and probation officers when offering their services to ensure the client follows and does what is required of them by law. I was glad I was interviewing a person who was willing to share information, and they also gave me some career advice that I found practical and genuine. I now understand the role social workers play and how I can plug in my knowledge to further the work of social workers.
1. What are the primary responsibilities of a Child Protection Investigator?
2. How do you prepare for court?
3. What challenges do you face with the court system?
4. Do other professionals working in the courts respect social workers?
5. How do you collaborate with probation officers to assist…
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