Documenting a Witness Statement from a Person in Service

*This guidance is for documenting statements for people in service.  This can be used for both virtual or in-person interviews; however, every attempt should be made to conduct the interview in person.*

   

Process to Document a Witness Statement from a Person in Service

  • Prepare the questions you need to ask the person. As the interview progresses, you may need to ask additional questions or ask the questions differently to obtain details.

  • For virtual interviews, the person being interviewed should have a staff member not related to the investigation present to support them.  Please note that interviews cannot be recorded.

    • If a staff member is present for any interview, remind them prior to the interview that they may only assist the person with questions and interpreting their responses.

    • Staff who are supporting an individual during the interview should sign the statement as a witness to the interview.

  • We recommend that the Typed Client Witness Statement Template is used when conducting virtual interviews with people in service.

  • When the investigator is asking questions, they should still slice the bologna as they were trained and ask open ended questions.

  • If the person cannot read or write, the investigator will write down the questions asked and then write the answer exactly as it is given. Do not rephrase the answer or put it in a sentence. Document the person’s responses exactly as they are given and if they use additional communication tools, note how the answer was given (i.e., pushed yes on an electronic communication device, or pointed to a picture of a staff member, etc.).

  • If the person is unwilling to answer a question or questions this should be noted in the answer part of the statement. Additionally, if the person provides a non-verbal response (i.e. shaking his or head “yes” or “no”), this should be noted in their answer.

  • If the person is unable to answer the question or questions, the investigator must continue asking all of the necessary questions and then note this in the answer part of the statement. Do not assume that the person cannot answer questions prior to the interview, and ask the necessary questions. 

  • An investigator should ask permission from the person in service to ask them questions. If the person indicates that they do not want to participate in an interview, then you should not continue with asking questions. Their refusal should be documented on the statement form, and you do not need to obtain their signature.  It is a person’s right to decline an interview. 

  • If a person is able to sign the statement, they should do so. If we are unable to get a signature, we should note that on the statement. 

  • If a statement is taken virtually, the Investigator or the Agency Investigation Coordinator should print a copy of the statement and take it to the person to sign.  Prior to signing, the investigator or coordinator should review the statement with the individual to make sure that the information is accurate and complete. 







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Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
Ċ
Morgan Christensen,
Sep 14, 2021, 10:50 AM
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