When is out of home treatment needed for teens who sexually offend?

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - When is out of home treatment needed for teens who sexually offend

When sexual abuse involving a minor occurs, the decision must be made regarding whether a teen sexual offender can remain in the home or if out of home placement is needed. This decision usually involves the parents of the teen as well as the authorities involved with the legal aspects of the case if the offense resulted in legal charges. Legal authorities typically include probation officers, DCFS workers and juvenile court prosecutors.

Studies of adolescent sex offenders suggest that most present as a manageable level of risk to the community and can be safely maintained in a community setting under supervision by probation officers and treated in outpatient treatment programs. However, a minority of teen sex offenders present as a risk to the community and require out of home treatment in the form of a residential treatment program, foster care or proctor care placement to ensure community safety.

A psycho-sexual assessment, also referred to as a sexual behavior risk assessment or psychosexual risk evaluation helps to identify higher risk youth sex offenders in order to make the most effective placement decisions. In some cases, recommendations from a psycho-sexual assessment include out of home treatment.

Out of home treatment may be recommended if the young offender is resistant to participating in outpatient treatment or if outpatient treatment services fails. Obtaining a quality assessment is the first step in determining the placement and treatment needs of a teen who has sexually offended. Star Guides Wilderness is a great option for obtaining an assessment as well as providing a young offer with a high-impact life changing experience.

References:

Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). (2000, March 11). The effective legal management of juvenile sex offender. Retrieved from http://www.atsa.com/ppjuvenile.html

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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