Guidelines for teachers to elicit detailed and accurate narrative accounts from children

Sonja P. Brubacher, Martine B. Powell, Pamela C. Snow, Helen Skouteris, Bronwen Manger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides interview strategies for teachers who talk to children about serious events, including bullying, truancy, and suspected maltreatment. With regard to the latter, teachers are among the largest group of professionals reporting child abuse, but also tend to evince low substantiation rates. We review research on best practice interviewing, with a focus on its application in school settings. Interview phases are described chronologically, with interview excerpts included for illustrative purposes. Gaps in knowledge about the appropriateness of techniques are highlighted, and recommendations for future research specifically within the school setting are made. It is proposed that teachers receive basic training in best practice interviewing so that, when required, they can confidently ask about difficulties in children's lives while minimizing the potential for contamination of children's responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Child maltreatment
  • Disclosure
  • Evidence-based interviewing
  • Institutional responses
  • Interview guidelines
  • Mandated reporters
  • Narrative

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