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VICTIMS & WITNESSES

Children Testifying in Court
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“Court School helps children relax during a trial so they can remember things more clearly while testifying, often shortening their time on the witness stand and limiting their potential trauma from this experience.”

KEZIAH CAMERON
Supervisor
Victim & Witness Services

JUVENILE JUSTICE: COURT SCHOOL FOR YOUNG WITNESSES

When children are required to testify in court either as a victim or witness, they can become confused, anxious, and frightened. Our Court School is designed to prepare and support them through these challenges.

Open to children between the ages of 4 and 16 who are scheduled to testify, Court School sessions are run by a compassionate Victim & Witness Services Coordinator specially trained in child abuse cases. 

Children who attend the program visit a courtroom while it’s empty and practice sitting on the witness stand so they can become familiar with the setting prior to testifying. To know what to expect, they also learn about the roles and responsibilities of each court staff member, and they learn other children have gone through this process.

They practice being sworn in, using the microphone and answering questions, not tied to their case. They’re also taught court language, what terms like “objection,” “overruled,” and “sustained” mean. We also teach them the difference between a lie and the truth. 

Parents are also provided information that they can use to help their child with additional support prior to trial. If you are interested in registering your child for Court School or would like more information about this resource, please call (215) 686-7604 or email [email protected].