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Increasing Prevention and Enhancing Programming for Philadelphia's Children and Adolescents with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $450,000)

Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI) aims to address the full range of problematic sexual behavior (PSB) among youth in Philadelphia, through the following means: supporting and expanding treatment for children with PSB and adolescents with illegal sexual behavior; supporting services for victims of sexual abuse; providing early screening, identification, and referral through JJPI’s School Screening Program (SSP) and providing training for schools on preventing, identifying, and responding to PSB. JJPI will work closely with an existing Multi-disciplinary Team that was first convened in 2020 to coordinate and support the identification and treatment of children and adolescents with PSB in Philadelphia.

JJPI plans to support existing evidence-based PSB treatments by adding new therapists and providing additional supervision for the following evidence-based treatments: Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior—Adolescent Model (PSB-CBT-A); Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior—School-Age Model (PSB-CBT-S); and Multisystemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB). In addition, JJPI proposes to add a new evidence-informed treatment model for PSB through the addition of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Problem Sexual Behavior (TF-PSB-CBT). TF-CBT is an existing model of trauma treatment offered by JJPI and a number of other providers in Philadelphia. Our project will train additional clinicians to deliver TF-CBT to increase the availability of treatment for sexual abuse survivors and will also train existing and new clinicians to provide TF-PSB-CBT. The addition of TF-PSB-CBT will significantly add to the availability of treatment in two ways, 1) by providing treatment specifically for children presenting with PSB who are also survivors of sexual abuse or other traumas, and 2) by providing a model that can be used with children ages 4-6, since PSB-CBT-S is intended only for individuals ages 7-11.

JJPI has outlined the following outcomes for our project:  1) identify PSB and provide early intervention for PSB exhibited in the school setting through the School Screening Program (SSP) and 2) meet the following outcomes for youth receiving one of the three proposed treatments: a) prevent recurrence of sexually abusive behavior, b) decrease behavior problems, c) decrease youth criminal offending behaviors (non-sexual), d) improve family cohesion, adaptability and functioning, e) decrease youth association with a delinquent peer group; f) increase youth association with a  pro-social peer group and developmentally appropriate activities for youth, g) improve youth’s academic success, and h) prevent out-of-home placement.

Date Created: September 8, 2023