Training Description & Topics


The training will provide an introduction to and overview of the contemporary process of sexual risk assessment for young people who engaged in sexually abusive behavior, including the necessity of a comprehensive assessment process. It will review types of assessment, the two primary approaches to risk assessment, and the most commonly used assessments in assessing sexual risk in adolescents (and children), and will also look at the nature of and empirical support for both risk factors and juvenile risk assessment instruments. Importantly, the training will emphasize the need for sensitivity to both context and developmental factors in evaluating children and adolescents, and the goal of recognizing the young person as a whole person and placing sexually problematic behavior into the context of both their psychosocial history and current psychosocial functioning. Understanding both the weaknesses and the strengths of the risk assessment process, the training will also highlight the capacity and value of structured risk assessment instruments in helping to understand the nature and circumstances of risk for assessed individuals, as well as factors and circumstances that protect against risk, and their value as tools for treatment planning and case management.   

Topics to be discussed:
1. Definitions and ideas about risk
2. Current approaches to assessment
3. Conceptualizations of risk 
4. Review of risk assessment instruments and their empirical validity 
5. Embedding the use of risk assessment instruments into comprehensive assessment 
6. Contextual and developmental background to assessing juvenile behavior 
7. Risk and protective factors 
8. Practice guidelines