The mission of the Sexually Inappropriate Behavioral Remediation (SIBR) program is to prevent sexually inappropriate behavior among adolescents and to address its effects on youth, families and the community. The purpose of treatment includes not only the elimination of risk for sexual and/or general recidivism, but also the introduction of positive indicators of health – psychological, social, biological, and/or spiritual.
The SIBR program serves children from ages eight to 21. The average age of adolescents in the program is 14 to 18 and predominately male.
Most of the children in this program are from Stark County. Children are typically referred to the SIBR program by Stark County Family Court, parents, schools, and C&A providers. Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (C&A) also works adolescents court-appointed from Columbiana, Carroll, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. The youth in this program come from diverse cultural, social, or economic backgrounds, and present with a variety of concerns related and unrelated to the inappropriate sexual behavior.
All youths who are participating in treatment will meet Dr. Seandra Walker for a consultation appointment. From there, the child will be placed in the correct treatment service. The consultation is to give the staff/court system a better understanding of the problem.
What is considered sexually inappropriate behavior?
Sexually inappropriate behavior falls into three problem behaviors:
Sexually inappropriate behavior falls into three problem behaviors:
- Problem sexual behavior – this includes boundary-crossing behavior among prepubescent children such as inappropriate touching (self or others) and/or inappropriate sexual communication (verbally, texting, or social media).
- Sexually reactive behavior – this includes sexualized behavior such as boundary-crossing, inappropriate touching and language, inappropriate masturbatory behavior and inappropriate media use that are associated with traumatic stress resultant from sexual abuse. This behavior violates the rights of others or others’ property but does not result in legal sanctions.
- Sexual offending behavior – this includes any sexual behavior which results in legal sanctions. Examples of this include child pornography, gross sexual imposition or rape.
The SIBR program offers three service tracks to help heal these youths: Comprehensive/Risk Assessment, Full-Treatment SIBR, and Healthy Sexuality. Specialized services for youth with developmental disabilities are provided through individual therapy services for youth within both the Healthy Sexuality and Full Treatment Programs.
When the court is concerned about a youth’s risk of reoffending, or they believe that there are additional factors that may be contributing to this youth’s offense, they will submit a referral for a risk assessment. A risk assessment provides guidance to court officials regarding how to best intervene in order to prevent sexually inappropriate behavior among the youth who have completed the plea process regarding a sex offense charge. This assessment will also provide court officials how to best intervene in order to reduce repeat offenses among youth who have been charged with a non-sexual offense either after the pleas process or during probation. The risk assessment helps to guide future treatment by identifying the presence of dynamic risk factors associated with sexual offense recidivism and potential protective factors that may mitigate this risk.
Full Treatment SIBR
Full-treatment SIBR is for youths ages 13 to 19 who have been adjudicated for a sexual offense. Treatment services are tailored individually based on the Risk-Needs-Responsivity principle and established through a comprehensive assessment or risk assessment. Treatment may include individual/family therapy, group therapy, case management services, social skills group and medical services. Treatment typically lasts one year.
The Full-treatment SIBR group is designed for typically-functioning youth and pertains to skill-building related to a number of domains associated with decreasing risk for sexual offending behavior including: Sex Education, Understanding Sexual Offending, Understanding Victim Impact, Empathy, Problem-Solving and Communication, and Thinking Errors. Activities include group discussion, writing assignments, and art projects. The Full Treatment Group meets weekly is provided on a rolling basis.
When available, the full-treatment SIBR youth may participate in the Social Skills group. This group is an eight-week interactive learning experience for the youths, and is typically facilitated by a case manager. The Social Skills group provides context for skills acquisitions and rehearsal related to specific social skills such as: active listening, nonverbal communication and boundaries, expression of emotions, understanding social context, problem-solving and conflict resolution, peer pressure, and dating/intimacy skills.
Healthy Sexuality is comprised of two services, which include Healthy Sexuality Groups and Healthy Sexuality Individual therapy.
Healthy sexuality group is an eight-week program that is educational in nature and is designed for youths ages 12 to 18 who have demonstrated inappropriate sexual behavior that warranted attention from community members (i.e. family, mental health providers, school) or Stark County Family Court. Some of the youth in the program have been court-ordered as part of a Diversion Program, but that is not a precursor to program participation. The topics discussed in this program include developing and maintaining healthy relationships, communication skills, boundaries, sexual education, laws of consent, human trafficking, effects of pornography, and victim impact.
Depending on the need of the referred youth, Healthy Sexuality can be provided on an individual basis. Individual Healthy Sexuality is considered when the youth is under the age of 12, or exhibits developmental concerns or other contraindicating factors, such as severe mental illness diagnoses that require attention throughout treatment over and above the delivery of curriculum.
Seandra Walker, Emma Farkas, and Nanetta Kounouzvelis are the currently the only SIBR providers at C&A. As such, it would be difficult for them to take on every client that exhibits inappropriate sexual behavior. If you are concerned about your client’s sexual behavior and are not sure if they would benefit from SIBR-related services, reach out to Dr. Walker for a consultation! Depending on the situation/concern, Dr. Walker can provide you with appropriate interventions to incorporate into your treatment or help you make a referral to the SIBR program.
The goal of the SIBR program is to provide relevant psychoeducation, effective interventions, and genuine empathy to remediate inappropriate sexual behaviors and develop skills necessary for healthy and happy relationships.
Dr. Seandra Walker