The National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY) is a part of the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) in the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences. In 2001, CCAN was selected by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to establish NCSBY to develop resources and training material for professions from multiple disciplines (probation, mental health, medicine, education, child welfare, law, law enforcement, and the judiciary) addressing youth with problematic or illegal sexual behavior. As part of the initial three-year project, CCAN established NCSBY.org, a web-based resource center for professionals, and a National Advisory Board. The website included curriculum, cataloged assessment instruments, registration law information by states, and fact sheets.
Recent funding from OJJDP provided support for updating and maintaining the NCSBY website for professionals and parents and other caregivers, with plans to develop a section designed for youth to promote healthy, pro-social lifestyles. The information on this website is designed to improve the accuracy, accessibility, and strategic use of information about the nature, incidence, prevalence, prevention, treatment, and management of youth with problematic sexual behavior. Information to help parents and professionals understand and support healthy sexual development and appropriate decision making is also provided.
The transformation of the NCSBY website originated with an OJJDP grant to the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC). The MDOC subcontracted with the University of Maine. Drs. Sue Righthand and Jeffrey Hecker coordinated this project and were assisted by Drs. Asia Serwik and Douglas Nangle and worked closely with MDOC administrators Lars Olsen and Renna Hegg. To facilitate early intervention, leaders in the field on interventions with children who have sexual behavior problems, Drs. Jane Silovsky and Alison Gray, also provided training and consultation. This team concluded that a web based resource designed to provide the latest research findings for understanding and working with children and teenagers with problematic and illegal sexual behavior would enable the work of this project to continue. The website would allow evidence based information to be available to a wide audience of treatment providers, juvenile justice professionals, attorneys and judges, and policy makers, as well as youth and families. Dr. Righthand led this effort during the MDOC project. Following the Maine’s OJJDP grant, the MDOC provided draft documents to CCAN for the National Center for Sexual Behavior in Youth to complete this resource and make it available on this website.
Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems Program
NCSBY is also designed to disseminate the efforts of the OJJDP and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART)’s Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems Program. This program targets late childhood and early adolescence for implementing evidence-based, coordinated, comprehensive management and intervention strategies to address problematic sexual behavior of youth, the effects on child victims, and their families. Focusing on late childhood and early adolescence for comprehensive and early intervention management strategies to address problematic sexual behavior of youth has a high potential for impact. Greater than one-third of sexual offenses against child victims are committed by other youth (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Chaffin, 2009), with 12-14 year olds being the peak ages.
Efficacious early interventions have been developed and evaluated that address the needs of youth with problematic sexual behaviors, child victims, and their families. These evidence-based practices (EBPs) share a common underlying theory and emphasis on working with caregivers. However, across the nation, family members are commonly separated and served by different service agencies (if referred at all for services) and rarely provided EBPs. The youth with problematic sexual behavior may unnecessarily be sent away to residential care or other out of home placements. Multiple agency, system, and policy level barriers impact referral, access, and engagement in services. The efforts of OJJDP and SMART to establish community-based EBPs across the nation is intended to lead to individual, family, community, and society benefits.
Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN)
OJJDP selected CCAN to implement training and technical assistance for the OJJDP Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems programs across the country. Training and technical assistance (T/TA) is provided to sites funded by OJJDP to develop and sustain the programs.
CCAN is a university-based Center that directs research, professional and public education, clinical services, and administrative programs in the field of child maltreatment. Since its establishment in 1992, CCAN has become a nationally prominent and influential Center for child maltreatment research, training, and service. Under the direction of Dr. Barbara Bonner, the CCAN research and training agenda addresses the scientific understanding of how child maltreatment and adversity impact child health and well-being, as well as the development, refinement, and widespread implementation of evidence-based prevention and treatment practices. Services, training and research in the problematic sexual behavior of youth has been a longstanding focus of CCAN. Treatment services for the youth and their caregivers has been provided since the 1980s. Dr. Bonner, Director of CCAN, established the Adolescents with Illegal Sexual Behavior Treatment Program at OUHSC in 1985 and the Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Program Treatment Program in 1992. The services were adapted and expanded to serve preschool children in 1997. The treatment programs for children and adolescents are ongoing and have served hundreds of youth and their caregivers. Members of the CCAN faculty provide training to professionals throughout the United States and internationally in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with problematic sexual behavior.
Jane F. Silovsky, PhD, Professor, is a licensed Clinical Child Psychologist and the Associate Director of the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Silovsky received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Alabama. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Since 1997, she has been the Director of the Children with Sexual Behavior Problems program, an assessment, treatment, and research program for preschool and school age children with problematic sexual behavior. Dr. Silovsky’s research is in the area of treatment outcome and program evaluation of services for children affected by child maltreatment.
Barbara L. Bonner, PhD, a licensed Clinical Child Psychologist, is a Professor and the CMRI/Jean Gumerson Endowed Chair, Director of the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) and Associate Director of the Child Study Center (CSC) in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). She established the Adolescents with Illegal Sexual Behavior Treatment Program at OUHSC in 1985 and the Children with Sexual Behavior Problems Treatment Program in 1992. She authored a publication for SaferSociety Press entitled, Taking Action: Support for Families of Adolescents with Illegal Sexual Behavior, a booklet designed to provide information and suggestions for parents and caregivers. Dr. Bonner has presented nationally and internationally on children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems.
Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., is a Licensed Professional Counselor and works for the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK. He is the Co-Director of the Treatment Program for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) for school-age children, and a lead clinician in the PSB Programs for school-age and preschool children. He is a Master Trainer in the University of Oklahoma Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy models for preschool and school-age children. Mr. Widdifield provides training to professionals in child protection services, foster care, juvenile justice, schools, mental health agencies, and to the general community on the research and treatment of youth with PSB. Mr. Widdifield has been fully trained as a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) provider and supervisor.
Elizabeth Bard, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor at CCAN at OUHSC. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and completed the APA approved post-doctoral training program at OUHSC. Dr. Bard is a Master Trainer in the Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT) treatment model. She currently is the co-director of the PSB-CBT school age program and provides training to students as well as state and regional providers in PSB-CBT. Dr. Bard conducts treatment and clinical training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and is the Director of the A Better Chance Clinic, which services infants and children with prenatal exposure to substances.
Carrie Schwab is a Research Project Coordinator for the problematic sexual behavior training and technical assistance program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. In 2009, Ms. Schwab received her Associates in Arts in Diversified Studies from the Oklahoma City Community College. She has been involved with the PSB T/TA program since 2010. Ms. Schwab coordinates training for professionals across the country, manages multi-media approaches to training, and regularly evaluates the training provided.
NCSBY Advisory Board
• Lucy Berliner, MSW, Harborview Sexual Assault Center
• Kurt Bumby, Center for Effective Public Policy and Center
• Michael Caldwell, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
• Maia Christopher, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
• Jeff Fitzsimmons, JD, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
• Kristine Jensen, Probation Officer, Colorado, 18th Judicial District
• Michael Johnson, Boy Scouts of America – Youth Protection Team
• Denise Kane, PhD; Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
• Nancy Kellogg, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
• David Kolko, PhD, University of Pittsburg – School of Medicine
• Elizabeth Letourneau, PhD, John Hopkins University
• Chris Newlin, MS, LPC, National Children’s Advocacy Center
• Nicole Pittman, ESQ, Stoneleigh Fellow
• Deborah Rice, Executive Director, Stop It Now!
• Lawrence Ricci, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Director Spurwick Child Abuse Program
• Sue Righthand, PhD, University of Maine
• Kecia Rongen, Program Administrator, Department of Social and Health Services, WA
• Kathy Simms, MSW, National Resource Center for Child Protective Services
• Judge Stuart, District Judge, Oklahoma
• Jennifer Yuzuk, MA, Senior Probation Officer
• Frank Zimring, JD, Berkley University