Life crisis as an impetus for change, a group intervention for sexually inappropriate children

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Watson, Elvera J.
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A growing awareness of sexually acting out behaviour in young children in the social service stream prompted an exploration of resources for this population. The purpose of this practicum was to explore effective interventions for sexually acting out children and then to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention that would assist these children and their caregivers. Additionally, the purpose was to practice advanced clinical social work skills. The primary intervention was a group format, utilizing a psychoeducation, cognitive approach, informed by small group theory. There were two simultaneous groups conducted, one for the children and one for their caregivers. The children's group provided participants an avenue for understanding their sexually acting out behaviours, examining feelings, addressing sexuality and developing healthy manifestations of sexuality, reducing isolation and stigmatization and practicing healthy problem-solving and coping skills. The parent group facilitated an understanding of the sexually acting out behaviours and developed positive coping strategies through the provision of mutual support, education, reduced isolation and improved parent/child relationships. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)