Personal, Professional, and Intervention Experiences While Providing Alternative Treatment During a Pandemic
Like other clinical and non-clinical service providers, the pandemic required Radius to develop and deliver alternative assessment and treatment services and supports. After approximately 12 months of alternative services, Radius’ clinicians have established new practices while also experiencing personal impacts of the pandemic. To date, there is minimal evidence to indicate whether alternative treatment and personal functioning relate to clients’ treatment experiences and outcomes. Radius developed two studies (qualitative and quantitative) to explore clinicians’ experiences and views regarding client services. The projects will provide insight into the current experiences of clinicians and their service impacts which will inform policies and programming for agencies, clients, and staff.
Impacts of Contact Among Siblings Engaged in Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse
Current best practice guidelines recommend separating siblings of intrafamilial sexual abuse; specifically, removing the perpetrating sibling from the victim’s home. To date, there is a lack of evidence regarding the positive and negative impacts related to the extent and type of contact siblings maintain during clinical assessment and treatment, following intrafamilial sexual abuse. Through this study, we are exploring whether: i) continuing to reside in the same home, ii) maintaining supervised or unsupervised contact, or iii) having no contact at all during agency involvement (e.g., assessment and treatment) impacts personal and interpersonal functioning, and family reunification of both siblings.
Pornography Use of Children with Concerning Sexual Behaviours
Accessing and exposure to sexually explicit media (SEM) are commonly revealed during our clinical assessments. However, there is little evidence of the occurrence, experiences, and impacts of early exposure to this media, particularly for children known to have engaged in concerning sexual behaviours (CSBs). This study was designed to explore SEM use and impacts for children who have engaged in CSBs and/or experienced sexual abuse. Understanding the impacts of easy and widespread access to sexually explicit media will benefit both prevention and intervention efforts. Therefore, through this project, we intend to increase knowledge related to SEM access, identify types and content of SEM viewed, and explore the potential impacts of viewing SEM.
Aligning Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse Crime and Punishment: Victims’ Voices
Many of Radius’ clients include siblings and families in which intrafamilial sexual abuse has occurred. Though intra- and extra- familial sexual abuse victims may experience similar impacts and challenges, unique experiences and needs for intrafamilial victims and families include residential location, continued contact, and intrafamilial relationships. Radius completed a pilot project exploring whether child and adolescent victims report desired outcomes for their perpetrators and what they reported (see Victims Voices summary in completed projects). The Victims Voices project is continuing with an amended purpose: to explore victims’ desired outcomes for perpetrators who are related to them. We are also including parents/guardians’ self-reported desired outcomes for their child who has sexually abused a sibling.
Utility of Protocols for Identifying Children’s and Adolescents’ Intervention Needs to Decrease Potential for Repeating Concerning Sexual Behaviours/Sexual Abuse
Preventing continued engagement in concerning sexual behaviours (CSB) is a primary goal of intervention for children/adolescents with a CSB history. Radius was involved in developing and implementing methods to assist clinical staff to identify CSB clients’ needs specific to their sexual behaviours. Radius’ is conducting multiple projects aimed at determining the efficacy of these protocols. As multiple agencies complete the same protocols on their clients, Radius has developed research partnerships with multiple agencies who participate in the studies by sharing their data.
Treatment Outcome Predictors
Treatment outcomes include successful completion, unsuccessful completion, and treatment dropout. Having early knowledge of whether a client will successfully complete treatment may assist in determining treatment provisions. For example, should a client be identified as likely to drop-out of treatment, service providers may be able to identify alternative services or additional supports to prevent this. The goal of this project is to identify assessment information that distinguishes clients who did and did not successfully complete treatment, among Radius’ client groups. Knowledge of these factors may assist in addressing client needs, caseload management, as well as treatment planning.
Exploring Caregiver Reactions to Intrafamilial Childhood Sexual Abuse Disclosure
While the level of parental support has been studied for victims of CSA, there is not much research on the level of support that parents provide for children and adolescents that engage in sexualized behaviour against their sibling or other family members. This study seeks to examine the levels of support provided by caregivers to the perpetrating sibling compared to the sibling that was offended against, and whether sociodemographic variables such as age, gender, and level of family functioning and whether it impacts treatment outcome. Through this study, we hope to understand the role of parental support in treatment outcomes for this client group.