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CWDS Curriculum

Understanding Sexually Abusive Behaviors in Children and Adolescents

Level: Advanced Practice—Lineworker

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: New and current child welfare personnel seeking information on the indicators and characteristics of children who exhibit sexual behaviors and children who exhibit sexually abusive behaviors.

Intended Objectives:

  • To provide an overview of childhood sexual development as it pertains to preschool, school-aged and latency-aged children
  • To acquaint participants with factors that can positively and negatively influence healthy child sexual development
  • To increase awareness of the effects of sexual abuse
  • To assist participants in the ability to differentiate between normal, exploratory sexual behavior and sexually abusive behavior
  • To familiarize participants with the characteristics of children who abuse
  • To familiarize participants with the family dynamics of children who abuse
  • To provide participants best practice interventions with sexually abusive children and their families

Topics Include:

  • Childhood sexual development
  • Elements of age-appropriate sexual play
  • Elements of sexually abusive behavior
  • Dynamics of sexually abusive children and adolescents
  • Intervention with sexually abusive children and their families

CalSWEC Competencies Addressed:

2.3 Student recognizes and accurately identifies physical, emotional and behavioral indicators of child abuse, child neglect, and child sexual abuse in child victims and their families.

2.4 Student gathers, evaluates and presents pertinent information from informants, case records and other collateral sources to support or refute an abuse or neglect allegation.

3.4 Student conducts effective casework interviews.

4.3 Student understands the process of human sexual development and behavior.

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