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This video portrays the Philadelphia Court School Project, which is designed to prepare children and parents to participate in child abuse and neglect hearings and trials.
This video is one of the products of the Child Abuse Victim Court Advocacy Project. The video first portrays a session for young children which uses puppets to engage children in dialog about court proceedings and personnel. All of the participants are children who will be witnesses in a hearing or trial. Photographs of court personnel are used to introduce children to the various roles of court personnel. Other issues discussed are the importance of speaking loudly, techniques to reduce the stress of the court appearance, and the importance of telling the truth. The session for older children involves a role play exercise in which the children assume the roles of court personnel and witnesses in a mock trial. Emphasis is placed upon court terminology and witness behavior. A session for parents of children involved in court proceedings is also portrayed. The parents receive information on court services and have the opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns and grievances about case processing and court procedures.