AEquitas - Champions for Justice

Child Witness Materials Development Project
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Child Victim/Witness Support Materials Now Available!

The U.S. Office for Victims of Crime has recently published the child victim/witness support materials created through the Center for Court Innovation’s OVC-funded Child Witness Materials Development Project, for which AEquitas served as a key stakeholder. The project resulted in a package of interactive support materials for children, teens, their caregivers and the justice system practitioners who work with them, including prosecutors, law enforcement, victim advocates, child welfare workers, and mental health professionals. 

Developed in collaboration with expert practitioners from around the country, the materials were designed to facilitate the provision of effective, developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed support to children involved in state, federal and tribal justice systems as crime victims or witnesses. There are two sets of materials, one on the criminal legal system and one on the child welfare system, with three age groups for each: 2-6, 7-12 and 13-18 years old.

The materials teach children about the legal system process, including potential paths their case may take, the roles of the practitioners involved in the system, their rights as a victim or witness, tools for healthy coping, and tips for those who testify. Accompanying practitioner and caregiver guides provide suggestions for how to use the materials with children and tips for supporting child victims and witnesses.

The legal system can be overwhelming for the child witness and/or victim and there are not many tools to help prosecutors prepare these most vulnerable of participants. The child victim/ witness materials are intended as a tangible complement to assist prosecutors and other allied professionals in giving children their voice.

All project materials are available for free download through OVC's website.