Interviewing children for investigative purposes is a specialized skill that requires considerable knowledge and training. Recent concerns over children's reliability as eyewitnesses have highlighted the potential pitfalls of the investigation process. This text summarizes the research and offers guidelines to help professionals conduct the kind of interviews that bear scrutiny from outside agencies. The authors advocate a neutral, open-minded approach in which the interviewer tests out alternative hypotheses and the child determines the content of the conversation. It is divided into four main sections. Part 1 provides background to the current "child protection crisis", discussing the difficulties of investigating alleged abuse cases, as well as children's strengths and weaknesses as witnesses. Part 2 reviews the most respected protocols for interviewing children and presents a "generic" protocol that reflects areas of consensus. Part 3 shows the reader how to customize interviews. It discusses children's language development and comprehension and evaluates ancillary techniques, such as using dolls or drawings. Part 4 emphasizes the importance of continuing education and staying abreast of the latest techniques and research.