ChildFirst™ Virginia is an intensive five day course in which students learn the necessary skills to conduct an investigative, forensic interview of a suspected victim of child abuse. This interactive course includes lectures; skill-building exercises; the review of recorded interviews; homework reading assignments; and a written examination at the end of the course. Participants also must conduct a 25-minute interview of a professional actor portraying the role of a sexually abused child. Upon completion of the mock interview, the interviewer receives constructive feedback from a professional forensic interviewer and a group of fellow students.  Successful participants will receive a Certificate of completion.

This program is specifically designed for investigative teams of law enforcement officers, social workers, prosecutors, child protective attorneys, and forensic interviewers.

ChildFirst™ brings the field into the classroom to enhance the education of front-line child abuse professionals.

CACVA offers three trainings annually across the State.  Each training is limited to 40 students and is conducted by esteemed ChildFirst™ faculty, many of whom have been volunteering their time and expertise for nearly a decade.

Trainings scheduled for 2018 are March 5-9 in Harrisonburg, VA, June 4-8 in Williamsburg, VA, and TBD.

Online applications and additional information will be available approximately 3 months prior to each training date and are accessible via link on home page or requested by email from Deanne Weatherly, CACVA Program Coordinator, at

CACVA is appreciative of the dedicated professionals working with victims of child abuse and looks forward to assisting all those professionals by providing ChildFirst™ Virginia training opportunities going forward in partnership with Department of Criminal Justice Services and VA Department of Social Services.  Our children deserve our best efforts.

ChildFirst™ is developed by the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center in Winona, Minnesota