Protocols for Interviewing People Who Receive Services

Required steps for interviewing an individual with special needs during an abuse or neglect investigation.
Protocols for Interviewing People Who Receive Services


The Justice Center has developed protocols to ensure the safety of individuals receiving services during interviews for abuse and neglect investigations.  The protocols apply to all investigations of abuse and neglect conducted by the Justice Center, State Oversight Agencies, and facilities and provider agencies under the Justice Center's jurisdiction.  

Under these protocols, provider agencies will be required to notify personal representatives of service recipients who are identified as victims as well as those identified as potential witnesses.  Personal representatives will also be asked for additional information regarding the most effective ways to communicate with the service recipient to support the interview process.

Elements of the protocols:
  • Key terms
  • Process for notifications
  • Interview protocols
  • Training 
  • Implementation date

Personal Representatives

A personal representative can be notified that the person receiving services may be interviewed as part of the investigation into the allegation of abuse and neglect.  A personal representative will not be notified if:

  • the person receiving services objects to notification; or
  • such notification would compromise the investigation; or
  • it would violate relevant confidentiality laws; or
  • it is contrary to court order or otherwise contrary to the best interests of the potential witness.

The service provider or the investigator will notify personal representatives regarding when the interview will occur either verbally or in writing.  During the notification process, the service provider will ask the personal representative if they have information regarding the most effective ways to communicate and support the interview process.  A personal representative cannot refuse to allow an individual to be interviewed.

Personal representatives can accompany a service recipient during the interview as long as confidential information will not be disclosed. They may not answer questions directed toward the person receiving services or disrupt the interview in anyway.

At the end of the investigation,  a personal representative of a victim is entitled to the results of the investigation.  Witnesses and their personal representatives are not entitled to the results of the investigation. 


Contact Us

Who should a personal representative contact for additional questions?

Please contact the Individual and Family Support Unit 

Phone: 800-624-4143 

Email: [email protected]


Who should a provider contact for additional questions?
  • Region 1: Edward O’Leary, Assistant Chief: 518-549-0201
  • Region 2: Mike Daly, Assistant Chief: 315-570-2006
  • Region 3: Bryan Lendy, Assistant Chief: 585-371-9173
  • Region 4: Salvatore Salerno, Assistant Chief: 516-490-1026
  • Region 5: Eric Fisher, Assistant Chief: 845-224-2311