Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $450,000)
The Child and Adolescent Protection Center (CAPC) at Children’s National Hospital (CNH) seeks to improve the mental health outcomes of children and youth by maintaining and enhancing mental health services by providing evidence-based, trauma-informed, and trauma-responsive mental health services to children and youth with PSBs and adolescents with histories of sexual offending behavior.
Because youth are developmentally different from adults, their actions must be interpreted and treated differently. Mental health treatment specifically tailored to meet the needs of children or youth exhibiting PSBs or sexual offenders is most effective when it focuses on their environment, including their family, peer groups, and school, and how these factors might impact their behavior.
This project aims to improve the quality of services currently provided and enhance access to mental health services for this special population of children and youth. These goals and objectives are aligned with the project goals and were developed with the goals of preventing sexual reoffending by youth with problematic or illegal sexual behavior, promoting healing, and providing services for victims and families/caregivers. Additionally, the evidence-based holistic approach of providing a continuum of intervention and supervision services for youth with problematic or illegal sexual behavior will inform the project’s goal to provide more humane and developmentally appropriate responses to at-risk or justice-involved youth with the development of a multidisciplinary team to foster a more coordinated response to this population. The goals are:
1) Reduce sexual behavior problems among school-age children and sexually offensive behavior among youth sexual offenders through the provision of Problem Sexual Behavior Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT), psychoeducation, and supportive services.
2) Ensure that mental health clinicians within the CAPC remain current in their knowledge and practice of evidence-based treatment models for PSBs and youth sexual offenders.
3) Establish a case review process that would involve partner agencies already connected to the CAPC through the multidisciplinary team for the District of Columbia (MDT).
4) Provide training and consultation to the MDT partner agencies, within CNH and other professionals in the community, regarding normal childhood sexual development and the mental health needs of children and youth with PSBs and youth sexual offenders.