U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Model for Therapists to Assess Readiness for and Provide Reunification Treatment to Juvenile Sex Offenders and Their VictimsThe S.A.F.E.R. Model (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 53-1 - 53-28, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
Bert Harris, M.A., L.P.; Julie Campbell, L.C.S.W.
Date Published
28 pages
This chapter presents a process to be used in determining the readiness for and conducting the implementation of family reunification in cases where a juvenile has committed a sexual offense against another family member.
The Sexual Abuse Family Evaluation for Reunification (S.A.F.E.R.) model consists of a step-by-step method for assessing victim, offender, and family readiness for reunification. The S.A.F.E.R. model defines reunification as "any level of contact between an offender and his/her victims." The chapter notes, however, that even in families that have achieved sufficient healing for full reunification, the offender and victim must always be supervised by adults and are never to be left alone together. Before describing the S.A.F.E.R. model, the chapter discusses systemic influences on reunification, including issues with the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system. The S.A.F.E.R. model is an interdisciplinary approach that involves the criminal justice system, the child welfare system, the sex offender treatment provider, and the victim treatment provider. The model's evaluation for reunification includes an assessment of the service delivery providers involved in the family's life as well as the family's ability to reintegrate the offender into the family. The model provides a qualitative appraisal of the systematic performance in major areas that are critical to the care of the victim, the offender, and the family as a whole. The chapter outlines the service delivery evaluation factors for both the offender and the victim, as well as family evaluation factors. The reunification case conference follows the completion of the service delivery evaluation factors and the family evaluation factors. The model includes four steps in the process of family reunification: family reorientation, appropriate apologies and communication with one another, reintegration, and discharge and aftercare. Each of these steps is explained in detail. 3 references and appended rating scale for the service delivery provider and checklists for reunification readiness