On January 20, a new study was published dedicated to the involvement of psychologists in interviewing children – victims and witnesses during the investigation. The survey was conducted by the Rehabilitation Initiative for Vulnerable Groups with the support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation.
The study offers an analysis of the practice of providing services of a psychologist to children victims and witnesses and of the local legislation, comparing it with the international standards and practices.
The study shows that the decision-making process involving psychologists is unclear; they do not know exactly what their function is in this process. Despite the need, the services of a psychologist are not available everywhere and the qualification of psychologists does not meet the existing needs. With few exceptions, the environment is not child-friendly (infrastructure, inventory), and children’s privacy is systematically violated during the interrogation.
The results of the study show that the psychologists, regardless of the agency they are affiliated with, do not receive any additional remuneration for participating in the interrogation process, this is not even part of their functions and as a result, motivation to work in this field is low.
Based on these findings, recommendations have been developed that are reflected in the study and are provided to all the relevant agencies for response.