We Care...
by responding to a disclosure of abuse

Minimal Facts Interview

If a child discloses to you information that could involve abuse, it is important to gather only as much information as is needed to report so that the local agency can begin an investigation. This is called a minimal facts interview.

The purpose of the minimal facts interview is to allow the person reporting to obtain the very basic facts concerning what happened to the child. Use short, simple questions that a child can easily answer, for example, who it was that hurt the child, when things happened, and did anyone else see them? A minimal facts interview may include the following questions:

Touching and Nontouching behavior table

Ask open-ended questions

  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who did those things?

Additionally, you may ask:

  • Are there other kids who were hurt?
  • Are there witnesses?


  • Did this happen in the bedroom, kitchen, or somewhere else? (multiple choice)
  • Did this happen in the kitchen? (forced choice, yes/no)


  • This happened in the kitchen, didn't it?
  • Did he put it in your mouth too?
  • Mom did that to you, didn't she?

Detailed follow-up questions, especially facts related to the details of the abuse, should NOT be asked during the minimal facts interview.

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