Ann Longfield, England’s Children’s Commissioner, is to be warmly congratulated for suggesting the use of a ‘Children’s House’ to interview children in abuse cases.
The idea, which comes from Iceland’s ‘"Barnahus", is simple, effective and humane. It allows a child to be interviewed in a safe and comforting location, by a specially trained interviewer, only once and for the interview to be recorded for future use in trials and court hearings. The child is spared further interviews, attending court and, importantly, cross examination. And the child can be offered counselling and other therapeutic help following on from this single interview.
It is not only a simple, effective and humane idea, but it is a Lean one too. Re-work and unnecessary process steps are anathema to Lean. Keeping it simple, doing it only once and avoiding any unnecessary repeated work helps to promote high quality and to reduce unnecessary costs, so allowing more resources to be directed to adding value in an improved service to the child.