Ten-Step Forensic Interview Continuing Education Course


Child maltreatment is widely recognized as one of the most serious threats to children’s well-being. Forensic interviews are considered to be the cornerstone of a child abuse investigation and must be conducted in a non-duplicative, neutral and legally sound manner to ensure effective case outcomes. Tom Lyon, JD, PhD, developed the Ten-Step Protocol for interviewing children, which is used widely to interview children and has been translated into multiple languages. The protocol is a research-based, child-friendly interview structure that builds on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) protocol.

This course provides an introduction to the Ten Step Forensic Interview Protocol and is intended to be utilized as a continuing education course for professionals whose primary responsibility is conducting forensic interviews of children at Children’s Advocacy Centers. Please note: This course does not meet the foundational training requirement outlined in the National Children’s Alliance Accreditation Standard 3: Forensic Interviews, Essential Component A; however, it does meet the continuing education criteria outlined in the National Children’s Alliance Accreditation Standard 3: Forensic Interviews, Essential Component B. Also, it is approved for 33 Social Work CEUs through the Minnesota Board of Social Work.

Topics include an overview of the Ten Step interview, rapport-building and narrative practice, question-types, interview instructions, the allegation phase, questions about time and number, questions about thoughts and feelings, secrecy and disclosure, reluctance and recantation, peer review of an interview, questions about children’s preferences, the admissibility of children’s hearsay, establishing truth-lie competency, and understanding suggestibility research. Guest lecturers will discuss cultural competency and tips for testifying in court. Throughout the course, the implications of child development for interviewing will be discussed.

Please download the syllabus and access guide before completing your registration.


Instructors Length Type
Tom Lyon, JD, PhD
Lisa Aronson Fontes, PhD
Justin Fitzsimmons, JD
33 hours Self-Paced Online Course Lessons

*Last day to register for course is May 1, 2019. Participants must complete the course before the closing date of August 31st, 2019. 

SKU: FI002-17 Category:

tom_lyonThomas D. Lyon, JD, PhD, is the Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Chair in Law and Psychology at the University of Southern California. His research interests include child abuse and neglect, child witnesses, and domestic violence. He is the Past-President of the American Psychological Association’s Section on Child Maltreatment (Division 37) and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Justice, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the California Endowment, and the Haynes Foundation.

lisa_fontesLisa Aronson Fontes, PhD, has dedicated two decades to making the mental health, social service, and criminal justice systems more responsive to culturally diverse people. She is the author of the books: Under His Thumb No More: Ending Domination in Intimate Relationships, Interviewing Clients Across Cultures: A Practitioner’s Guide and Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. She has written numerous journal articles and chapters on cultural issues in child maltreatment and violence against women, cross- cultural research, and ethics. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts. She has worked as a family, individual, and group psychotherapist, and has conducted research in Santiago, Chile, and with Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and European Americans in the United States. Dr. Fontes is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. For seven years, she trained school guidance counselors, including five years as director of the School Counseling Master’s Program at Springfield College. She is a popular conference speaker and workshop facilitator. Dr. Fontes completed a Fulbright Foundation Grant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a volunteer, Dr. Fontes worked for three years with Somali refugees in Springfield, Massachusetts.

justin-fitzsimmonsJustin Fitzsimmons, JD, is the Program Manager of the High Tech Training Services division of SEARCH Group, Inc. He is a nationally-recognized legal authority on technology-facilitated crimes against children. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois and has significant experience as a prosecuting attorney.

Prior to joining SEARCH Group he was a Senior Attorney with the National District Attorneys Association’s National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. Before joining NDAA he was the supervisor of the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. He was also assigned to the Child Advocacy Center where he prosecuted sexual assault and severe physical abuse of children.